THE BMW GROUP has posted strong financial results for the first half of this year, delivering 1,339,080 vehicles across its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands.
All brands posted sales growth in every region, with the United States continuing to be one of BMW’s strongest markets. With the re-opening in Europe, second-quarter figures for the region saw a 74.9% increase over the 2020 period.
Commenting on the results, Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Customer, Brands and Sales said: “We are on course to achieve solid, profitable sales growth. Thanks to our strong model line-up, high customer demand worldwide and our excellent operating performance, we were able to achieve a new all-time high in sales in the first half of 2021. It is particularly pleasing that we were able to more than double our sales of electrified vehicles.”
An increased proportion of its overall sales were made up of both fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. A total of 153,267 units represented a year-on-year increase of 148.5%, indicating the growing public appetite for electrified cars.
That trend looks set to grow in the second half of the year as BMW rolls out its new flagship electric SUV called the iX. It is one of several recently introduced models with a polarising design, but the German marque has lofty expectations.
“We are continuing the decisive electrification of our model line-up and expanding our range of fully-electric vehicles with two key innovation flagships: the BMW iX and the BMW i4,” explained Nota.
“The iX and the i4 embody a new era of electromobility for BMW and I am looking forward to seeing both on the roads from November. High incoming orders for both models confirm our customers’ strong interest in these highly emotional vehicles.”
The BMW i4 is a direct rival for the Tesla Model 3 and will be available in a high-performance guise badged as the i4 M50 with an output of 544bhp.
MINI registered 157,799 vehicle sales worldwide in the first six months of 2021, a 32.6% increase. Some 15% of those were electrified vehicles.
Luxury brand Rolls-Royce also posted healthy results with a total of 2,989 cars leaving the gates of the Goodwood factory in the first half of this year, up 91.6% over 2020. A sizeable portion of that increase can be attributed to the introduction of the new Rolls-Royce Ghost model.
BMW’s performance on two wheels was equally respectable, with the Motorrad division recording its best-ever first-half results by delivering 107,610 motorcycles. The introduction of eight new models during the year has kept interest in the marque high and an increasing model portfolio is continuing to bring in new customers.
Like several other car makers, BMW has been impacted by the global shortage of semiconductor chips. It expects supplies to remain challenging and will not rule out an impact on sales in the second half of the year.
An ambitious rollout of new models lies ahead, with BMW planning to offer fully electric versions of its flagship 7 Series saloon and popular 5 Series. A battery-powered X1 is likely to do well in the compact SUV segment, while MINI will see the Cooper SE joined by a pure electric Countryman.
BMW says that it expects fully electric vehicles to account for at least half of its entire global sales by 2030, amounting to as many as ten million battery-powered vehicles going onto the road.
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