BMW expects to achieve its target annual sales of two million cars four years earlier than planned. The company had forecasted to top two million sales in 2020 and by the looks of the figures in the first months of 2012, BMW is poised to reach the target by 2016. CEO Norbert Reithofer said BMW may surpass the 2 million target this year, including its Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, without sacrificing its profits.
BMW delivered 1.67 million cars in 2012. Reithofer said that BMW is expecting new highs in sales volume and pretax earnings for 2012. The company’s pretax profit for 2012 is expected to surpass the EUR7.38 billion posted in 2011.
The chief executive said that the company is off to a promising start, as it posted record sales figures in the first months of 2012. The company is all poised to protect its title as the world's best-selling premium carmaker from close rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz by building new plants in Brazil and China.
All three premium carmakers expect to break sales records this year as demand continues to grow in the US and China. BMW, however, warned that profitability at its automotive division may take a hit this year due to the current European debt crisis and the introduction of the new versions of the new 3 series and 1 series, which shifts consumer to buy lower-margin models.
Reithofer said that the company’s auto earnings before interest and taxes would be "at the upper end" of its 8 percent to 10 percent target range. The figures are lower than the 11.8 percent margin that the company posted in 2011.