Automotive sector cheered by record BMW sales

While the UK new car market continues to see declining sales, premium manufacturer BMW has illustrated the strength of its brand by revealing record business in January.

2017 marked the German company’s seventh consecutive year of record sales, a trend it looks set to retain as it enters 2018.

The group sold a total of 169,538 new vehicles last month, a rise of 3.8%. In addition to its own brand, sales of the MINI were also strong – the latter welcome news to the factory at Hams Hall where the engines are built for the cars.

Pieter Nota, BMW board member for sales, said: “We are driving the biggest model offensive in the company’s history and as availability ramps up in the course of the year, this will continue to come through in our sales results.

“Deliveries of the new BMW 5 Series sedan, for example, are up by 40%, while the introduction of the new BMW 6 Series GT has far more than doubled overall BMW 6 Series sales in the month.”

As new models such as the BMW X2 are brought on-stream, together with increased supply of the BMW X3 in the second half of this year, he said the group remained confident of its progress in 2018.

Having delivered more than 100,000 electrified vehicles in 2017, the group is looking to build on this and is targeting 140,000 EV deliveries this year.

With sales of BMW i, BMW iPerformance and MINI Electric vehicles increasing by 36.7% compared to January last year, the company is on track to achieve its target.

Worldwide, 7,155 customers took delivery of a premium BMW Group electrified vehicle in January, while more than a quarter of all BMW and MINI vehicles sold in Scandinavia were electrified.

Other strong markets included Great Britain/Ireland, where EVs accounted for 11.1% of total BMW and MINI sales, while in the United States, the proportion of EV sales was 5.2%.

Global BMW brand sales increased by 3.4% in the first month of 2018, with a total of 148,400 vehicles delivered to customers worldwide.

Across the model range, the new BMW 5 Series was once again a strong growth driver, with global sales up 39.6% (25,268).

The success of the BMW 1 Series sedan in China helped overall global BMW 1 Series sales increase by 26.4% while the BMW X1 (22,185 / +10.6%) and the BMW X6 (3,128 / +5.8%) were the main growth drivers in the BMW X family, its all-wheel-drive vehicles.

MINI achieved global sales growth of 7%, with 20,929 vehicles being delivered to customers in January. The strongest growth driver was the MINI Countryman, which doubled its sales compared to January last year.

More than 6,000 customers took delivery of this model during January, with one out of seven choosing the plug-in hybrid version of the car.

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