With 1,208,732 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand cars sold in 2004, the BMW Group beat the sales volume record set in the previous year by 9.4% (2003: 1,104,916 cars).
On the basis of this performance, Helmut Panke, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, has also confirmed the earnings forecast for 2004: "We have achieved all of the targets which were set for the year. The Group has been able to expand both its product range and its international market presence and acquired new dimensions. In line with this development, we will also achieve new record earnings for 2004."
Capital expenditure still at high level
In 2004, the BMW Group invested euro 3,226 million in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets. In addition, development expenditure of euro 1,121 million has been recognised as assets in accordance with IAS, so that total capital expenditure for 2004 amounted to euro 4,347 million. This represents an increase of 2.4% compared to the previous year (2003: euro 4,245 million).
Production volume increased
As a result of the product initiative, the BMW Group also achieved new record figures in production volume terms. In total, 1,250,345 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand cars were manufactured, 11.7% more than in the previous year (2003: 1,118,940 cars).
Increase in number of apprentices
The BMW Group had a worldwide workforce of 105,972 employees at 31 December 2004, 1.6% more than at the end of 2003. The number of apprentices also rose again. At present, 4,464 young people are learning a profession with the BMW Group, an increase of 3.7% compared to one year earlier.
Automobiles: All brands achieve new record volumes
In 2004, the Group introduced more new models onto the market than ever before. The BMW X3, the BMW 6 Series Coupé and Convertible models and the BMW 5 Series Touring were all launched in the first half of the year. The product range was broadened again in the second half of 2004 with the introduction of the BMW 1 Series and the MINI Convertible.
For the first time in its history, the BMW brand surpassed the one million mark with sales of 1,023,583 cars (+10.3% / 2003: 928,151 units). The BMW 1 Series, available since September, recorded 39,247 unit sales. The fourth generation of the BMW 3 Series has been the most successful series in the BMW Group's history: since its launch in 1998 more than three million new cars had been sold by the end of 2004. 449,732 BMW 3 Series cars were sold worldwide in 2004 (2003: 528,358 units), the 14.9% reduction being due to model life-cycle factors.
In 2004, more BMW 5 Series were delivered to customers than ever before: the sales volume reached 229,598 units, 23.8% more than in the previous year (2003: 185,481 units).
The strong demand for the new BMW 6 Series Coupé and Convertible models, which were launched in January and March respectively, has been extremely encouraging. By the year-end, 12,332 of the 6 Series Coupé and 8,708 of the 6 Series Convertible had been sold.
In its fourth year of production, the worldwide sales volume of the 7 Series was 47,689 units (-17.6% / 2003: 57,899 units). The BMW 7 Series has moved into first place in the top class in Germany and, with 7,671 vehicle registrations, it is the market leader in the segment for large limousines.
Demand for the BMW X5 continued at a high level. In the fifth full year of production, sales of this Sports Activity Vehicle totalled 104,988 units (-0.5% / 2003: 105,554 units). Since its market launch in 1999, more than 433,000 units of the BMW X5 have been sold. The BMW X3 was introduced onto the market in January 2004 and by the end of the year, 92,248 units had been delivered to customers. With the roadster segment contracting overall, a total of 38,483 BMW Z4 were delivered, 18.2% less than in the previous year (2003: 47,049 units).
Only three years after its market launch, the 500,000th MINI rolled off the production line in Oxford in August 2004. Altogether, sales of MINI brand cars rose to 184,357 units in 2004, an increase of 4.5% compared to the previous year (2003: 176,465 units). Sales of the entry model MINI One went up by 6.8% to 47,641 units (2003: 44,623 units), bolstered by the sales volume of the diesel version, MINI One D, with 16,726 units sold (2003: 9,316 units). The MINI Cooper remains the most popular model, with 77,532 units sold (-11.3% / 2003: 87,378 units). The top model, the MINI Cooper S achieved a sales volume of 40,443 units (-9.0% / 2003: 44,461 units). The MINI Convertible was launched in July 2004 and, by the year-end, a total of 18,741 units had been sold.
792 Rolls-Royce Phantoms were handed over to customers in the past year (2003: 300 units). This is the largest number of Rolls-Royce brand vehicles to have been sold for 14 years. The Rolls-Royce is therefore the indisputable market leader in the absolute luxury class.
Motorcycles just below previous year's level
The Motorcycles segment sold 92,266 units, just below the record sales volume achieved in the previous year (2003: 92,962 units / -0.7%).
Financial Services: growth course continued
The BMW Group expanded its activities in the Financial Services business and was able to continue its growth course in 2004. The volume of new customer financing contracts rose by 19.1% to euro 20,749 million, and hence a new record level (2003: euro 17,423 million). The proportion of new BMW and MINI cars financed by the Financial Services business in 2004 rose to 42.0% (2003: 38.3%).
In the past few years, the BMW Group has significantly expanded the range of products it offers in all of the relevant premium segments. The various new products launched in 2004 will be available in full throughout 2005. In addition, from spring onwards, the dynamic four-wheel xDrive system will be available for the first time in a BMW sedan, namely in the BMW 525xi and 530xi. The launch of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan in March will mark the start of the renewal of the core series. At the same time, series production will commence at the new BMW Leipzig plant.
The BMW Group therefore predicts a sales volume increase for all three brands and thus a new record sales volume level in 2005.
(Jan. 26, 2005)