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Europe: BMW brings forward 2m car sales target

BMW laid down the gauntlet to competitors in the premium car segment by saying it expected to achieve record sales volumes and earnings in 2012 and to sell more than 2m vehicles by 2016, four years earlier than planned.

The Munich-based owner of the BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands said pre-tax profit would probably exceed the €7.4bn achieved in 2010. BMW pre-released headline figures last week.

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The carmaker achieved an 11.8 per cent return on sales in its automotive segment last year, exceeding its long-term target of 8-10 per cent.

BMW said that in 2012 it had enjoyed the best start to a year in its history and if that sales trend continued it expected that its full-year operating profit margin would be at the upper end of the target range. BMW is likely to enjoy a tailwind this year from the launch of new versions of its high-volume 1 and 3 series cars.

“Very few car companies have so far managed to achieve such a high level of profitability on a long-term basis. This is an ambitious goal we are aiming for, provided conditions remain stable,” Friedrich Eichiner, finance chief, said.
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