In 2014, we are focusing even more strongly on innovative
technologies and customer satisfaction.
Through innovation, we continue to develop our brands and drive
progress forward in our industry. That is how we secure our own future
in an ever changing environment. And that is how we create added value
for our customers and shareholders.
Let me give you three examples:
1. The BMW i3: The demand for our innovative electric vehicle is
high. In March alone, we sold 1,000 BMW i3 cars worldwide. Just a few
days ago, the BMW i3 was launched in the US. American customers are
particularly open to new types of drive-trains. We expect the majority
of BMW i3 cars to be sold in the US. We especially focus on California
as a relevant market for electric cars, as it is considered by experts
to be a trendsetter for the whole USA. In Japan, the i3 has been
available for customers since early April, and China is due to follow
later in the year. At our site in Leipzig, production is being ramped
up according to schedule – with 100 vehicles produced per day. More
than 5,000 BMW i3 cars have been built so far in total. Many of these
cars were delivered to our global markets as demonstration and
exhibition vehicles. Now, more and more cars are being built to meet
2. The BMW i8: As promised, we are going to launch the second member
of the BMW i family in June. It combines a total of three world firsts
The BMW i8 is the world’s first plug-in hybrid sports car with the
BMW i Life-Drive architecture.
It is the first sports car with a three-cylinder drivetrain.
And it is the first series car featuring the new laser light technology.
Just like the i3, the US could become the key market for the BMW i8
as well. It is currently being tested by international media at our
press event in Los Angeles. With BMW i, lightweight technology plays a
central role. Carbon fiber is a material with a significant future in
our industry, which we will also use in other series models.
3. The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer: This is the first BMW model with
front-wheel drive, and is a trailblazer to acquire new customers to
the BMW brand. It offers the best technological solution for this very
practical and functional car. The Active Tourer will be available as
of the fourth quarter.
All these initiatives are part of our long-term strategy: „Number
ONE“. It continues to be our roadmap towards the future. We have held
the lead in the premium segment for almost a decade now. Our strategy
covers a time frame up to the year 2020. Naturally, we are already
thinking beyond this.
It goes without saying, we monitor closely all the relevant trends in
our environment and beyond, as well as assessing the external
challenges that have an effect on our business. Some of the questions
we ask ourselves are:
What do customers expect of a leading mobility company today and
How do we remain at the forefront of technological trends and
create attractive services?
How do we want to develop our brands further in a timely manner so
that we can win new customer groups without compromising on our
How can we master the complexity arising from the many
requirements and the growth targets we have set for ourselves?
And last but not least: What kind of company do we want to be in
As always, our goal is long-term profitable growth. Following four
straight record years, we are aiming at continuing our successful
business development this year.
Our 2014 targets are as follows:
New record sales on Group level of over two million cars.
A new record in Group profit before tax, significantly above the
last year’s level.
An EBIT margin in the Automobile Segment in the range of 8 to 10 percent.
We have started the new business year with a strong first quarter.
Between January and March, we sold around 487,000 cars worldwide.
This is more than ever before in a first quarter.
We posted new first quarter record sales for BMW and Rolls-Royce
as well as BMW Motorrad. The MINI sales figures were affected by the
model update of the Hatch.
Our BMW brand exceeded for the first time in a first quarter
the mark of 400,000 cars delivered. 30 years ago, this was the sales
figure for an entire year. This highlights the innovative strength
of our company and the appeal of our brands. The BMW 3, 5 and 6
Series as well as the BMW X5 are currently the market leaders in
their respective segments.
Our Group profit before tax stands at over 2.1 billion Euros.
Again, this is a new record for a first quarter.
The Group net profit amounts to over 1.4 billion Euros.
The EBIT margin in the Automobile Segment continues to be in the
upper half of the targeted profitability range of between 8 and 10
This all shows that: Following the first quarter, we are on track
towards meeting our targets for 2014.
Two factors should have a positive effect on our business development
this year: First, demand in the key automotive regions of North
America and Asia is increasing. In Europe, we were also able to record
a slight growth in sales in the first quarter. Second, we are offering
our customers a young and attractive model portfolio.
Of course, it is important that the economic uptrend in Europe
stabilizes further. However, we are well aware that a number of risks
still exist: High public debt, unequal development of worldwide
economic markets, and political tensions and conflicts.
Our business environment can be affected by these and so remains
volatile. As a successful global company, we continue to aim for a
balanced distribution of sales in the three large regions: Europe,
Asia and America.
In this way, we avoid one-sided dependencies. As a basis for further
global growth we are strategically expanding our capacity, in keeping
with the principle Production follows the market.
The Americas are and will remain a key region for our global growth:
With the expansion of our site in Spartanburg, we will increase
our production capacity in the US to 450,000 units annually by the
end of 2016. This is 50 percent more than today. Our respective
investment in the period 2014 to 2016 stands at one billion dollars.
In the fall of this year, our new BMW plant in Brazil will begin
production. Its annual output is planned to reach up to 30,000 units
in the mid-term.
Our customers all around the world have diverse and individual needs.
In 2014, we will offer them even more variety, not only to meet their
diverse tastes but also to fulfill their individual aspirations.
Our BMW X range continues to be a huge success. More than 3.3
million X vehicles sold since 1999 attest to the popularity of this
model family. Today, more than one in four vehicles of the BMW brand
is an X model. The model update of the BMW X1 has been available
since March 2014. It is to be followed by the model update of the
BMW X3 in May. In July, a new member is going to join the X family –
the BMW X4. Plus, with our BMW Concept X5 eDrive, we have shown how
we will be able to increase the efficiency of our X range even
further with a plug-in hybrid.
And for the future, we have announced another completely new model –
the BMW X7.
The new BMW 4 Series is also very popular with customers. The new
BMW 4 Series Convertible came out in March. In June, following the
Coupe and Convertible, the third model in the new 4 series will be
launched: the Gran Coupe. And for those customers who enjoy an even
sportier drive, the M version will be available in September.
Two further new M models are the BMW M3 Sedan and the BMW M4
Coupe, both available as of June.
The new BMW 2 Series Coupe arrived at the dealerships in March and
has had a successful start.
At the same time, the new generation of the MINI Hatch was
launched. From the second half of the year on, the new MINI will
also be manufactured by our partner, VDL NedCar in the Netherlands.
The Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II is going to be delivered to
customers as of fall.
We will continue to invest in new models, in innovative technologies
and in our facilities around the globe. Our innovative drive, our
financial strength and our business success provide us with the
necessary flexibility and latitude to grow. That is how we will
continue to remain Number ONE.