The BMW Group delivered nearly 2.5 million vehicles to customers around the world, surpassing its 2018 sales goal by 1.1%.
The company did it by selling more BMWs and Rolls-Royces than ever before, according to a news release. Those brands plus Mini accounted for the eighth consecutive annual sales record by delivering 2,490,664 vehicles.
Sales of electric BMW and Mini cars grew by 38.4% compared to the previous year.
The BMW Group expects to achieve a slight increase in global sales in 2019. The generally good economic environment and positive forecasts for the premium segment, in combination with new models, especially the updated and expanded X-family portfolio, are expected to support sales growth in 2019, according to the release.
“However, political and economic circumstances are expected to remain volatile, which could have an impact on the automotive market,” the news release said.
In mainland China, the BMW Group expects solid sales growth in 2019. While the Chinese market has normalized, the premium segment is expected to show good growth potential, according to a BMW analysis. China-manufactured BMW vehicles will be the main growth drivers, especially the BMW X3, which will be fully available in 2019, after a plant in China opened June 2018.
It is the first X-model not manufactured in Spartanburg County.
“In Europe, the BMW Group anticipates slight sales growth in 2019, although depending on economic development in the region, we cannot rule out that sales volume may remain at last year’s level,” the release said.
Although the overall car market in the United States seems to have reached a peak, forecasts for the premium segment show growth potential for 2019, BMW said. “Given the positive outlook for both the premium car market and the overall economy, the BMW Group expects to achieve a slight sales growth, with growth driven largely by our renewed SUV-line-up,” the release said.
The company is looking for the new BMW X7 to boost interest in the next year.
“While we expect market conditions to remain challenging this year, new models like the all-new BMW X7 and the seventh generation of the BMW 3 Series, combined with an ever-greater focus on our customers and their needs, mean we at the BMW Group will continue on our successful course,” Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said in the news release. Nota is responsible for sales and brand for BMW.
Last year the BMW brand achieved its highest-ever annual sales and brand’s biggest growth drivers were the BMW X vehicles, thanks to the introduction of the BMW X2 early in 2018 and the extension of BMW X3 production to China and South Africa, according to the news release.
“We are proud to have achieved our best-ever annual sales result, despite a number of important model changeovers and significant, ongoing headwinds in several major markets,” Nota said in the release. “2018 saw the introduction of several exciting brand new models including the BMW X2 and the BMW 8 Series, as well as the launch of the new generation BMW X4 and BMW X5 and the long-awaited BMW Z4. I am confident the momentum generated by these new models will continue through 2019.”