In April the BMW Group ‘s sales performance was again impacted by weak automotive markets resulting from the global economic and financial crisis. In addition, many countries also had two fewer workdays this month than last April. Over the past month deliveries of the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands decreased by 23.8% to 101,589 (prev.yr. 133,287) vehicles. Sales of the BMW brand were 24.6% lower at 84,218 (prev.yr. 111,737) units. MINI sold 17,320 vehicles (prev.yr. 21,462 / -19.3%) in April. Rolls-Royce reported a decline of 42.0% to 51 automobiles (prev.yr. 88) for the month.

The BMW Group sold 378,859 (prev.yr. 485,232 / -21.9%) vehicles worldwide between January and April. BMW delivered 317,722 (prev.yr. 405,282) units: 21.6% less than in the same period last year. The MINI brand reported a 23.6% (60,912 units / prev.yr. 79,679) decline in sales volumes for the year to the end of April, while the Rolls-Royce brand experienced a decrease of 17.0% (225 units /prev.yr. 271).

Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing: “The situation on the global automotive markets remains very challenging – even though we did manage to gain market share in the premium segment over the first four months of 2009.” Robertson added: “BMW is still the world’s number one premium automotive brand in terms of sales. And in the United States no other European automobile brand sold more vehicles in April than BMW. I remain confident we will be able to expand our market position in the premium segment further by the end of the year.”

With 15,705 (prev.yr. 26,735 / -41.3%) deliveries in the U.S. in April, BMW posted a substantial decrease in sales. However, last month BMW was not only able to defend its position as the best-selling premium automotive brand, but was also the top European automobile brand in the U.S. MINI also performed much better than the overall market (-34%) and its segment (-26 %) despite a decline of 22.4%. For the year to the end of April both brands increased their share of the world’s largest automotive market.

The new BMW Z4 has been extremely well received by customers and the media alike. The sporty roadster, which is manufactured at BMW’s Regensburg plant, will be in showrooms starting May 9th. More than 3,000 orders for the new model have already been placed. The BMW X6 is also in the fast lane – deliveries have more than tripled from last year’s level to reach 3,600 units (prev.yr. 885 / +306.8%). The brand’s flagship also made further gains: The new BMW 7 Series, which just unveiled its top-of-the-range 760 Li version at the Shanghai Auto Show, was delivered to 3,004 customers in April. With 19,712 units sold, sales of the BMW 1 Series matched the previous year’s level (prev.yr. 19,719 / +/-0%). Sales of the popular 5-door version climbed 9.9% to a total of 11,193 units (prev.yr. 10,189).

The Motorcycle Segment also felt the effects of the difficult market conditions in April. In the month under review the BMW Group sold 10,166 (prev.yr. 12,489) motorcycles – a decrease of 18.6%. For the year to the end of April 27,400 motorcycles were delivered to customers (prev.yr. 33,533 / -18.3%). The newly expanded BMW motorcycle range is expected to boost sales. The three K Series models presented last year (K1300 S/R/GT) have been available for delivery to customers since early February. The new F 800 R will also be launched later this month, as well as BMW’s first super sport motorcycle, the S 1000 RR, towards the end of the year.