BMW sells more cars than ever in the first quarter

Compared to the previous year, the Munich Group’s car sales increased by more than 33 percent. While business is booming in Asia, it is only slowly picking up in the home market.

The BMW X7 at the Beijing Motor Show in September 2020

BMW again sold more cars in the first quarter than before the Corona crisis. As the automaker announced in Munich on Thursday, it sold 636,600 BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce cars worldwide from January to the end of March – that was 5 percent more than in the first quarter of 2019 and 33.5 percent more than in the first quarter 2020. The enormous demand in Asia was decisive for this. Sales Manager Pieter Nota said: “This record sales underscores our ambitious growth targets for this year.”

The Chinese car market, which is so important for German carmakers, recovered strongly in March from the corona-related slump in the previous year. Sales by manufacturers of cars and commercial vehicles to dealers rose by 66.8 percent year-on-year to 2.38 million, as the manufacturers association CAAM announced on Thursday based on preliminary calculations. The Chinese government has boosted sales with subsidies after the corona slump. In China, BMW sold around 230,000 cars – a good 60,000 more than in the first quarter of 2019 and almost as many as in Europe as a whole. On the Asian continent, the group also achieved a record with 287,000 vehicles sold.

In Europe, the group delivered 239,000 cars in the first quarter – fewer than before the Corona crisis, but 8 percent more than in the first quarter of the previous year. The corona lockdowns began here at the end of March. Factories and dealerships were closed. In the United States, sales from January to the end of March were 78,000 vehicles, 17 percent above the same quarter of the previous year, but also did not yet reach the pre-Corona level.

The BMW Group was able to double sales of electrified vehicles compared to the same quarter of the previous year to 70,200 hybrid and e-cars. Nota said: “We are on track to deliver more than 100,000 fully electric vehicles by the end of this year and to have a total of at least one million electrified vehicles on the road.”