BMW expects 8 percent market growth in 2012 image

BMW AG, the world’s largest luxury automaker expects the premium-luxury car market to grow more than twice as fast as the overall auto market this year, its Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner said in an interview with an German newspaper, Reuters reports.

“Around the world, we see market growth of 4 percent and more than 8 percent in the premium market,” Friedrich Eichiner told Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview published on Tuesday.

In addition, the executive said the automaker is well prepared for a new recession.

“Our factories are very flexible and can absorb a lot of working time accounts.”
“A crisis like in 2008 we could handle, thanks to our flexibility quite well.”

He said he sees the European car market remaining flat this year, while the United States and China offer growth opportunities.

Globally, BMW is the leader of the premium segment. But in the United States sales for Mercedes surged in November, climbing more than 40 per cent.
Sales of BMWs rose only 7 per cent, leaving it clinging to a slender lead of only 1,500 units for the year.

The latest figures from the companies show BMW has sold 221,073 vehicles so far this year, while Mercedes has sold 219,491.

In addition, the German automaker has big aspirations for the Chinese market where Audi is the leader. In Beijing, BMW dealerships are giving markdowns of as much as 19 percent on a 3-series car.

BMW increased deliveries 6 percent for the month, compared with a 67 percent surge to 169,058 vehicles during the first eight months of the year, London-based Credit Suisse AG analysts Arndt Ellinghorst, Erich Hauser and George Galliers wrote in a Sept. 5 report.