By Rebecca Burn-Callander Thursday, 10 January 2013

BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce on Chinese joyride

BMW roars into 2013 with record car sales for its own cars and for the Minis and Rolls-Royce motors it manufacturers. Revenues are up 40% in China alone.

Gary Numan wasn’t wrong when he sang, ‘It’s the only way to live: in cars’. The industry has just seen a massive resurgence, with more than two million new cars sold in the UK last year, the highest level of sales since 2008.

BMW investors will be singing their own cheerful ditties today (This one’s rather catchy), after it was revealed that group-wide sales in 2012 totalled 1.85 million cars, up 11% from a year earlier.

Sales of BMW vehicles are doing particularly well, rising 12% to 1.54 million but Mini sales are also on the up, increasing 6% to 301,526.
 
Against analyst expectations, Rolls-Royce is also doing well. Some 3,538 Rolls-Royces left the showroom, up 1% on 2011 (a small increase, admittedly, but not bad for a luxury motor, given the current consumer downturn). Apparently the Rolls is now very big in Latin America. It’s the third ‘record’ in a row’ – although 1% looks a little sad against the 31% and 150% growth rates seen over the past two years.

‘We had an outstanding year in spite of the challenges we faced, and Rolls-Royce now leads the ultra-luxury market by some considerable margin,’ says chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos. Starting 2013 in pole position also bodes well for the release of the release of the Phantom Series II, currently in production over at the Goodwood site.

In a statement released today, BMW says that its group-wide sales rose across all its global regions, ranging from 1% growth in Europe, to 33% in Russia, 32% in Asia, and 14% in the US. Sales in Asia were driven primarily China, where they jumped by 40%.
 
Ian Robertson, BMW's director of sales and marketing, says: ‘We enter the new year with positive momentum and despite the prevailing headwinds in some markets, we aim to achieve another record year in sales in 2013.’

Well, that’s just brum-ing marvellous.

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