BMW boss remains positive

Time 13 years ago

BMW is staying calm in the crisis of falling sales, says the company’s UK MD, Klaus Kibsgaard.

‘Things were going well until July, and short-term prospects are not upbeat. We must accept a decline in our overall volume.’

He estimates 2008 will be down 10 per cent – with, significantly, 2009 also posting a 10 per cent decline.
‘But, I am hopeful confidence will return.’ And the maker remains the market-leading premium player, he says.


Kibsgaard also revealed a few stories behind the headline figures. The ‘rays of sunshine,’ he said. It seems that the downsizing trend remains all the rage. 1-Series sales are up 42 per cent this year.

But things are not quite as straightforward as that. 5-Series sales, for example, were even on 08 – bad result? Not when ‘our rivals are down 27 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.’

And the reason why? 520d, revealed Kibsgaard. ‘That’s the answer.’ Because it’s a large executive that averages 55mpg and emits less than 140g/km of CO2.

This makes it tax-friendly, which ensures it is responsible for well over half of all 5-Series sales.

Other surprises include the 7-Series being up 2 per cent (due to run-out tacticals on the old-shape car?) and the 6-Series being up 17 per cent.

And the company’s heartland, the 3-Series? Well, this was down a startling 10 per cent in the first 9 months of 2008.

Kibsgaard has a reason for that, too. In September, a facelifted model was launched. It seems not even BMW is immune from the sufferings of a change-over period.


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