BMW Press Release Revenues of the BMW Group declined only moderately in 2008 despite the worldwide financial and economic crisis.
Group revenues decreased by 5.0% to euro 53,197 million (2007: euro 56,018 million). Revenues of the Automobiles segment dropped to euro 48,782 million (2007: euro 53,818 million /-9.4%) reflecting lower sales volumes. The Motorcycles segment reported sales of euro 1,230 million (2007: euro 1,228 million / +0.2%), whilst the Financial Services segment increased its revenues by 12.8% to euro 15,725 million (2007: euro 13,940 million).
Unsurprisingly in the face of difficult business conditions in 2008, the BMW Group was not able to match the previous year’s record sales volume figure. Set against the previous year’s high level, however, the 4.3% sales volume decrease was also moderate. In total, the BMW Group sold 1,435,876 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles in 2008 (2007: 1,500,678 units). The group therefore recorded its second-best annual sales volume figure in its history (behind 2007).
Market climate deteriorated further in fourth quarter 2008
Worldwide business conditions for the automobile sector deteriorated sharply again in the fourth quarter 2008 adversely affecting business performance. Apart from the great reticence to purchase new vehicles, there were also no signs of stabilisation on the used car markets and consequently of residual values for vehicles coming out of leases. Despite the worsening financial and economic crisis, the BMW Group will be reporting clearly positive group earnings for the financial year 2008. The Annual Report for the full year 2008 will be presented at the Annual Accounts Press Conference on 18 March.
Capital expenditure at previous year’s level
Capital expenditure, at euro 4,204 million (2007: euro 4,267 million/-1.5%), was lower than in the previous year. The main focus of capital expenditure was on product and infrastructure investments in conjunction with production start-ups for new models such as the BMW 7 Series, the Z4, the X1 and the MINI Convertible. Capital expenditure for property, plant and equipment and other intangible assets increased by 1.1% to euro 2,966 million (2007: euro 2,934 million). In addition, at euro 1,224 million (2007: euro 1,333 million), development expenditure recognised as assets in accordance with IFRS was 8.2% lower than in the previous year.
The number of employees was reduced over the past year as a result of the previously reported personnel-related measures, the sale of business units, natural staff turnover and the expiry of temporary contracts. At the end of 2008, the worldwide workforce comprised 100,041 employees (31 December 2007: 107,539 employees), 7.0% fewer than one year earlier. Approximately 4,000 voluntary employment contract termination agreements had been signed by the end of December. In addition, almost 1,800 posts were reduced in conjunction with the sale of the Cirquent Group to NTT Data. The number of trainees at the year-end (4,102) remained at a high level (31 December 2007: 4,281).
MINI and Rolls-Royce achieve new sale volume records in 2008
The year 2008 presented the whole of the automobile industry with enormous challenges. The BMW Group was nevertheless able to achieve new sales volume records for its MINI and Rolls-Royce brands. One of the main contributing factors enabling the sales volume decrease to be kept to a moderate 4.3% was the BMW Group’s “Efficient Dynamics” technology which is helping to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. All new BMW and MINI models are now equipped with this technology as a standard feature. In Europe alone, the BMW Group delivered some 830,000 vehicles in 2008 equipped with Efficient Dynamics.
In 2008, 1,202,239 BMW brand vehicles (2007: 1,276,793 units/-5.8%) were sold worldwide, well ahead of the volumes achieved by relevant competitors in the premium segment. MINI was again able to increase the number of units sold, thus setting a new sales volume record. In total, 232,425 units were sold, 4.3% more than in the previous year.
With 1,212 units sold (2007: 1,010 units), Rolls-Royce Motor Cars recorded a sales volume growth of 20.0%. This was the fifth annual increase in succession, ensuring that Rolls-Royce remains the undisputed market leader in the ultra-luxury segment.
BMW again the leading European car brand in USA in 2008
The USA remained the largest single market for BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand cars in 2008. In total, the BMW Group sold 303,639 units (2007: 336,225 units / -9.7%) on this market. Despite a sales volume drop of 15.2% as a consequence of the financial crisis, the BMW brand was again the leading European car brand in the USA in 2008 with 249,113 units sold (2007: 293,795 units). MINI can also look back on a successful performance in the USA in 2008 with sales up by 28.6% to 54,077 units (2007: 42,045 units). This was the best year for the brand in the premium small-vehicle sector in the USA since its market launch in 2002.
Germany remains the BMW Group’s second largest market with 284,353 units sold in total (2007: 284.690 units sold /-0.1%). With sales almost at the previous year’s level, the BMW Group performed significantly better than the German market as a whole which saw a contraction of 1.8% in 2008.
BMW Motorrad almost matches previous year’s record sales volume figure
BMW Motorrad was almost able to match its previous year’s record sales volume figure despite unfavourable business conditions on the world’s motorcycle markets. In total, 101,685 BMW motorcycles (2007: 102,467 units) were sold in 2008 (-0.8%).
Further growth for financial services business
Financial services business continued to grow in 2008. The volume of new retail customer contracts rose by 3.1% to euro 29,341 million. The proportion of new BMW and MINI brand cars financed by the Financial Services segment amounted to 48.5%, up by 3.8 percentage points compared to the previous year. This increase was largely attributable to the higher proportion of credit financing, while lease financing remained fairly constant.