BMW Release: In view of the global financial and economic crisis the BMW Group was, as expected, unable to match the previous year ‘s record earnings in its sales figures for 2008 as a whole. Nevertheless, the company reported only a moderate decrease of 4.3% from 2007 ‘s high level. Last year the BMW Group delivered a total of 1,435,876 (prev.yr: 1,500,678) BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand automobiles to customers worldwide. The company thus achieved the second-best sales result in its history, after 2007, and also remained the world ‘s leading supplier of premium vehicles in 2008. The month of December was again marked by consumer reticence, with 112,423 (prev.yr.: 152,721 / -26.4%) vehicles sold.

Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing: “2008 was a tough year for the automotive industry worldwide. Despite the global financial and economic crisis, the BMW Group was able to set new sales records at MINI and Rolls-Royce in 2008. Overall we performed comparatively well with a 4.3% decrease. One clear reason for this is our Efficient Dynamics technology for reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions which meanwhile comes as standard in all BMW and MINI models. ” Robertson also added: “We have already reached fuel efficiency levels that some of our competitors still want to achieve. Month to month, we were able to sell more vehicles with fuel saving technology than some car companies do in a year. ” In 2008, the BMW Group delivered in Europe alone around 830,000 vehicles with Efficient Dynamics to its customers. Between 1995 and 2008, the company has achieved a 25% reduction of the CO2 value of its fleet in Europe to less than 160g per kilometre.

The BMW brand delivered 1,202,239 (prev.yr.: 1,276,793 / -5.8%) vehicles to customers worldwide in 2008, placing it clearly ahead of core competitors in the premium segment. In the month under review 97,256 units – or 26.2% fewer vehicles – were sold than in the same month last year.

Annual sales of MINI and Rolls-Royce reach all-time high

The MINI brand made further sales gains in 2008 to achieve a new all-time high. With a total of 232,425 deliveries it grew 4.3% over the previous year. In December the brand reported sales down 27.8% to 15,010 (prev.yr.: 20,800) vehicles. A temporary interruption in the MINI model programme also contributed to this relatively substantial decrease. The MINI Convertible ceased production back in August 2008 – with the new MINI Convertible not scheduled for market launch until late March 2009.

In 2008 sales of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars climbed 20.0% higher than the previous year to reach a total of 1,212 (prev.yr: 1,010) automobiles. With six consecutive years of sales growth, Rolls-Royce remains the clear market leader in the super luxury class segment. The brand delivered 157 motor cars to customers in the month under review (-16.9%).

BMW once again most successful European automotive brand in the U.S. in 2008

The United States remained the biggest single market for BMW Group automobiles in 2008. The BMW Group delivered a total of 303,190 (prev.yr.: 335,840 / -9.7%) vehicles here. Despite a decrease of 15.2% for the year ending in December, the BMW brand was once again the most successful European automotive brand in the USA in 2008 (249,113 vehicles sold). No other automotive brand from Europe sold more vehicles in the world ‘s biggest auto market in 2008.

The MINI brand can also look back on a successful year in the United States. In fact, 2008 was the brand ‘s best year since the premium small car was launched on the U.S. market in 2002 (54,077 vehicles sold/ +28.6%). For the very first time, the U.S. became the largest single market for MINI.

Germany was second among the BMW Group ‘s major markets with a total of 284,353 new registrations (prev.yr. 284,690 / -0.1%). With sales almost reaching the previous year ‘s level, the BMW Group performed considerably better than the overall market here, which shrank by 1.8%.

In spite of difficult conditions on the global markets, BMW Motorrad was nearly able to match last year ‘s record sales. 101,685 (prev.yr.: 102,467) BMW motorcycles were delivered to customers in 2008 (-0.8%). Sales in December were even 9.3% higher than the previous year (6,821 units) at 7,457 units.