BMW Group posted a 3.5-percent increase in the 2012 profit as the demand for the new BMW 3-series sedan in China and the U.S. had been so high that it made up for the decline in the European market. In a statement, BMW Group revealed that earnings before interest and taxes increased to EUR8.3 billion ($10.7 billion) from EUR8.02 billion the previous year.
It also revealed that sales revenues rose by 12 percent to EUR76.8 billion. BMW Group, which produces vehicles with the brands BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce, is relying on the increasing demand in China and the U.S. to guard itself from the ill effects on the auto market in Europe of the continent’s problems concerning sovereign debt. In fact, last year was the auto industry’s lowest in 17 years.
Furthermore, BMW is hoping to secure its top sales rank in the luxury car segment as it faces off against Audi and Mercedes-Benz, which are both working to steal the No. 1 spot by the end of the decade. In the statement, Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer said that the company is aiming for more sales volume growth throughout the globe this year. It also aims to achieve a record for deliveries.
He said that in multiple markets, the financial situation is expected to “remain challenging.” BMW Group has proposed that last year, it had a record dividend of EUR2.50 per common share compared with EUR2.30 the prior year.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, formerly the sales head of Audi, was hired by BMW in order to get one step further to the top in the premium segment. Schwarzenbauer will be the board member responsible for Mini, Rolls-Royce, BMW motorcycles and group aftersales beginning April 1. BMW widened the gap against its rivals last year with a 12 percent boost in sales to 1.54 million BMW-brand vehicles, driven by the demand for the new 3 series, 1 series and X1 and X3 SUVs.
Despite an increasingly volatile market in 2012, the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands saw their vehicle sales jump by 10.6 percent to 1,845,186 units (1,668,982 vehicles in 2011). All three brands exceeded expectations in terms of sales. Record sales volume figures were posted on each brand. The BMW brand sold 11.6 percent more vehicles in 2012 to 1,540,085 (1,380,384 units in 2011). The MINI marque sold 5.8 percent more units last year to 301,526 (285,060 units in 2011) while sales Rolls-Royce cars jumped a percent from 3,538 units in 2011 to 3,575 models in 2012.
Particularly successful models in 2012 include the new BMW 3 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series and BMW X.