During the current coronavirus pandemic, protecting employees and taking responsibility for society are the number one priority for the BMW Group. At the same time, it is important to safeguard the company’s liquidity and secure its long-term success.
The sales result for the first quarter was overshadowed by the global impact of COVID-19 and the effects of the temporary closure of a large number of retail outlets. The BMW Group delivered a total of 477,111 (‑20.6%) premium BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles to customers in the first three months of this year.
“We are reacting to the globally challenging sales situation caused by the corona pandemic and are flexibly adapting our production volume to demand. In this way, we are creating important conditions for the company’s continued economic success,” underlined Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Customer, Brands and Sales. “In China, we are seeing the first signs of recovery with a strong order intake,” Nota continued.
Thanks to its major model offensive in recent months, the BMW Group initially made a good start to the year and was reporting sales growth. However, by February, the impact of the pandemic had already led to a significant decrease in sales in China. By March, the effects of the pandemic were clearly visible in sales figures in Europe and the US. Around 80% of all retail outlets in Europe and 70% of those in the US are currently closed due to the coronavirus. In a number of countries, including Germany, stationary retailers are legally prohibited from selling cars at the present time.
BMW Group supports measures to contain the pandemic
The BMW Group fully supports the measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and is meeting its responsibility to society. The company is providing vehicles to social and healthcare facilities to ensure the mobility of health sector helpers and workers. At its German and international locations, the BMW Group is also helping social and public institutions with donations of goods and materials such as breathing masks and disinfectants. The company is currently working closely with its global supplier network to procure the necessary respiratory masks and other medical equipment at short notice. It is also reviewing the possibility of producing medical masks itself.
The BMW Group is providing its retail partners and customers with the best possible support in this difficult situation. Since the situation differs from one country to another, specific measures are being implemented for individual markets in close consultation with retail partners. Where currently appropriate, the BMW Group is also offering its customers measures such as the extension of warranties from new vehicle sales and the extension of maintenance intervals and continues to provide workshop services, as far as the legal requirements allow.
411,809 BMW vehicles delivered in first quarter
A total of 411,809 (-20.1%) BMW vehicles were delivered to customers in the first three months of the year. The MINI brand sold 64,449 (-23.4%) units during the same period.
In the first quarter 30,692 (+13.9%) electrified vehicles of the BMW and MINI brands were sold worldwide. “This means we are also on track to meet the EU’s CO2 targets. We do not see any necessity to defer climate protection goals”, said Pieter Nota.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars reported sales of 853 (-27.2%) vehicles in the first quarter of the current year. A total of 34,774 (-9.9%) motorcycles were also delivered to customers between January and March.
In the US, a total of 64,692 (-17.4%) vehicles were sold in the first quarter of the year; of these, 59,455 (-15.3%) were BMW brand vehicles.
In China, first-quarter sales were down 30.9% (116,452 vehicles). In a welcome development, this trend was reversed in March, pointing to a sustainable recovery in this market. Sales figures in South Korea also trended in a positive direction.
In the region of Europe, a total of 220,812 (-18.3%) BMW and MINI vehicles were delivered to customers in the first three months of the year. In Germany, BMW Group sold 67,882 units (-9.0%); this was a smaller decrease than for the market as a whole.