The BMW Group continues to perform well and has generated a new record for first-quarter earnings. Group revenues increased by 28.9% to euro 16,037 million (2010: euro 12,443 million). The total number of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand cars sold increased by 21.3% to 382,758 units (2010: 315,614 units), the best first-quarter sales volume performance in the Group’s history. This contributed to the increased revenues as did sales of more profitable models, higher selling prices and improvements in efficiency.
BMW automobiles recorded growth of 20.8% in the first quarter with sales of 321,175 vehicles (2010: 265,809 units). The MINI brand increased 22.9% in the first quarter with sales of 60,860 units (2010: 49,526 units). First-quarter sales of Rolls-Royce brand motor cars more than doubled to 723 units (2010: 279 units).
The BMW Group recorded growth in almost all regions during the first three months of the year: Europe +13.0%, Germany +9.0%, Great Britain +21.7%, Italy +8.0%, France +13.5% and Spain +3.3%. The sales performance in North America was also strong in the first quarter, with the number of cars sold rising by 17.3% to 71,257 units. Sales in the USA rose by 18.2% to 65,163 units, making it once again the largest single market for the BMW Group. High growth rates were also achieved in Asia, where a total of 90,148 units were sold (+53.0%), including 58,706 units (+71.6%) in China.
Strong sales volume growth for Motorcycles segment
First-quarter Motorcycles segment revenues increased by 13.1% to euro 397 million (2010: euro 351 million). Profit for the segment was the same as last year, however, at euro 30 million. This is most likely due to start-up costs associated with several newly introduced models. The segment result includes earnings from Husqvarna for the first time. Sales of BMW and Husqvarna brand motorcycles rose by 11.4% to 25,049 units (2010: 22,479 units), comprising 23,109 BMW motorcycles (2010: 20,840; +10.9%) and 1,940 Husqvarna motorcycles (2010: 1,639; +18.4%).
While sales numbers have not been released for BMW Motorrad USA, BMW Motorrad Canada reported sales of 250 units in April, a decrease of 23.3 percent compared to April 2010. Year-to-date, 485 units have been retailed, a decrease of 25.3% over the same period last year.
In its quarterly report BMW put its numbers into context by reporting on the worldwide motorcycle market. Overall, sales in the 500cc and larger market maintained last year’s levels which is good after three years of declining sales. The catastrophe in Japan had a negative impact on motorcycle markets in March, however, resulting in a first-quarter dip of 9.3%. Some markets showed improvements in the first quarter including Germany +8.3% and France +12.7% while the USA saw a modest increase of 3.2%. Some markets lost ground including Great Britain –10.7%, Spain –18.8% and Italy –5.7%.