As auto sales have weakened in Europe due to the economic crisis, the tens of thousands of cars that BMW AG intended for Europe were instead sent to the U.S. and Asia. At an event in Munich last Wednesday, Ian Robertson, BMW sales chief, said that the difficulties the company faces in Europe are “getting greater.” He believes that it may take years before the region stabilizes and the auto market recovers. The auto industry in Europe is predicted to experience its steepest drop in annual sales in 19 years this year. BMW has been able to avoid the full force of the debt crisis in Europe due to the high demand in the U.S. and China for its vehicles such as the new 3-Series sedan.
In September, the brand reported a 14% increase in sales of its cars and SUVs worldwide, which aided in raising the nine-month deliveries by 8.6% to 1.11 million vehicles. Robertson also said that there will be "good" growth in the U.S. in October and November. He also thinks that the Chinese market remains attractive even if growth has slowed since the start of 2012.
He said that the slowdown in China is related to the problems in Europe. Robertson explained that the growth in other countries doesn’t aid BMW’s partners in Europe and so the company may have to help dealers get through the crisis, particularly in Spain where decisions have to be made on whether to restructure the dealers’ network.