BMW Group saw its earnings before interest and taxes in the first quarter of 2014 surge 3 percent EUR2.09 billion ($2.9 billion), with revenue growing 4 percent to EUR18.2 billion. BMW chief executive Norbert Reithofer said in a statement remarked that the Group has made a strong start to the year with new record first-quarter figures.
Its namesake BMW brand logged a 12-percent rise in first-quarter deliveries, allowing it to retain its lead in global luxury sales. Rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz are both aiming to top BMW as the best-selling luxury carmaker by 2020. BMW’s growth in the first quarter of 2014 was boosted by strong demand for its SUVs.
Its X1 surged 15 in the quarter; X3 by11 percent; and X5 by 14 percent. BMW confirmed its target of a significant pretax profit this year, as propelled by the 4-series Gran Coupe and the 2-series compact hatchback. Reithofer remarked that BMW is aiming for a new record group profit before tax figure that is significantly higher than in 2013.
Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner said in March that they expect pretax profit to hike by at least a high single-digit percentage above EUR7.91 billion logged in 2013 – to be boosted by 16 new and refreshed models. BMW hiked its investments on new vehicles and technology in the past few years to stave off challenges from Audi and Mercedes.
Audi is preparing its offensive for the top spot by introducing 17 new or revamped vehicles this year, including a revival of the iconic TT sports car. Mercedes, on the other hand, is launching 30 vehicles by 2020, including a dozen that has no predecessors.
In response, BMW will roll out the X4 SUV and the 2-series Active Tourer this year and the i8 plug-in hybrid supercar next month. BMW is investing $1 billion to expand output at its site in the United States by 50 percent. It is also mulling a second plant in North America to meet increasing demand. [source: BMW]