BMW on sales plummet

Time 12:40 pm, February 14, 2012

BMW sales were down 28 per cent in January – and despite investigations we’re still struggling to find out why.

The German manufacturer finished 2011 up 6.6 per cent on 2010 and December sales were also up two per cent.

However, come the start of 2012 the firm’s registrations have plummeted – and we’re trying to ascertain why.

Usually such a huge dip in sales can be attributed to a large fleet deal in the corresponding month the previous year, or perhaps a sales incentive, such as zero per cent finance.

But a spokesman said there was nothing like that ‘to his knowledge’ in 2011 adding: ‘Let’s see what happens in March – that’s a month that will matter.

‘There is nothing too surprising in this as we have traditionally been slow starters with sales rising as the year progresses. It is better to look at the year end figures for 2011 than picking Jan 2012 in isolation.’

The spokesman pointed to the fact BMW finished 2011 up nearly seven per cent with the 3 Series registering a rise despite a new one just about to hit showrooms.

Still, it seems a little strange that BMW registered such a dip – especially when rival premium German marques were up. Arch enemies Mercedes were up a whopping 20 per cent in January, and Audi up two per cent, so it can’t be a prestige car issue.

Maybe taking one month in isolation is a little unfair, but manufacturers are just as quick to shout about their dramatic rises, so it seems only fair we question them when sales take a tumble too.

What do you think was the cause? Let us know by tweeting the editor or posting your comment below.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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