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BMW Group sees volume, profits up

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Following its announcement of record earnings in 2015, the BMW Group is forecasting continued increases in company sales volume, revenue and earnings.

At the annual Accounts Press Conference in Munich, company officials said launches of the new X1 and the Mini Clubman, coupled with the projected impact of the new 7 Series, the group expects a slight increase in the overall sales volume of the group for the year. The company also released its 2015 annual report (.pdf)

BMW A.G. Board of Management Chairman Harald Kruger prepares to address an audience at the BMW Group Annual Accounts press conference Wednesday at the BMW Welt in Munich. (Photo provided)


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“We are targeting new highs for sales volume and group profit before tax,” said Harald Kruger, chairman of the BMW A.G. Board of Management, in a statement.

In the first two months of the year, BMW Group sales have increased by 7.9% over 2015. In February, the group said it topped more than 163,000 vehicles sold, setting a global sales record.

Company officials said the group profit before tax is forecast to increase slightly as the company “benefits from its strong brands, attractive product range and the expectation that international automobile markets will continue their generally upward trend.” In the first two months, sales in Europe and Asia experienced increases which offset a drop in North American sales.

The expected return on equity for the BMW Group is also forecast to be ahead of the target rate of 18% and company officials said they expect it to be more along the lines of the 2015 level of 20.2%.

“For us, strategy and profitability are inextricably linked,” said Friedrich Eichiner, board of management member in charge of finance, in a statement. “Our financial strength today is the basis for our success tomorrow.”

The company also plans to expand its M brand as well as introducing the X7 which is slated to be produced at the Spartanburg plant in the Upstate.

“We will be broadening our model range with the BMW X7,” Kruger said. “We are also taking an in-depth look at the additional potential of this highly attractive segment.”

During the event, company officials discussed the new iNext series as part of its Sustainable Value Report 2015 (.pdf), which is unveiled during its centenary celebration earlier in March. The group said it intends to expand its i brand and continue work on electric mobility and automated driving.

“Throughout its 100-year history, the BMW Group has always reinvented itself. As a pioneer of new technologies, the company has shaped change, within both the industry and the world of mobility,” Kruger said.

The group said it plans to use the i brand to extend the range of electric-powered vehicles as well as continue developing other hybrids. The development may also include hydrogen fuel cell technology.

“This symbol of our technology leadership will demonstrate how we will bring the future of mobility into series production,” Kruger said.

The new BMW Group project i 2.0 will have a focus on high-definition digital maps, sensor technology, cloud technology and artificial intelligence, according to company officials.

“With project i 2.0 we will lead the field of autonomous driving,” said Klaus Frohlich, BMW A.G. Board of Management member in charge of development said, in a statement. “We will turn research projects into new kinds of industrial processes, bringing future technology onto the road.”

In its sustainability report released during the press conference, the BMW Group reported a 39.5% drop in carbon dioxide emissions in vehicles since 1995 and has reduced resource consumption by an average of 48.1% at its plants. The company also increased its usage of electricity obtained by renewable sources to 58% in 2015.

For video from the Annual Accounts press conference, go to GSA Business Report’s YouTube page.

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-235-5677, ext. 107, or @matthewclark76 on Twitter.

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-720-1222.

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