Report: BMW expanding model ranges to boost annual sales

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 8, 2010

As part of BMW’s strategy to fend off Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG, it will expand its BMW and Mini model ranges. BMW, the world's largest maker of luxury vehicles, also aims to boost annual sales 55% in the next decade.

CEO Norbert Reithofer said that to reinforce long-term growth, the company may require a new factory and expansion of existing facilities.

From 1.29 million last year, BMW has set a target to sell over 2 million vehicles by 2020. At BMW’s Munich headquarters, Reithofer said that the “big push” in new models to enter new segments comes after 2012. Reithofer said that in planning for 2020, it will have to consider additional capacity.

He said that BMW intends to widen the 6 series and Mini model lines as well as produce a battery-powered car for city driving. BMW is preparing for the onslaught expected as Volkswagen merges with Porsche Automobil Holding SE. Meanwhile, Audi has set its own target to overtake BMW as the leader in luxury vehicles by 2015.

In 2005, BMW claimed the top spot from Daimler's Mercedes-Benz. Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler, said that if BMW doesn’t attack, it risks being on the defensive. However, he thinks that BMW can meet its targets because it has the “right mix of caution and controlled offense.”

After rolling out the new two-door model next year, Reithofer intends to add a four-door version of the 6-series luxury coupe. He also plans to launch new front-wheel-drive technology to the BMW brand, ending the nameplate's exclusive use of rear-wheel powertrains. This is proof of BMW’s decision to expand its compact vehicle offerings.

Reithofer added that BMW is working on various ideas to attract new customers with fresh small-car models. Reithofer took over as CEO in September 2006 after managing production for six years.

The executive, who has one year left on his current contract, has cut jobs and set a target to cut over 4 billion euros from buying outlays to increase auto profits. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: bmw, lineup, sales

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