BMW looks to China for global sales rally image

German premium car maker BMW expects a gradual recovery in global sales in 2010, with double-digit growth in China to offset its domestic downturn, Reuters reported Friday, citing the company’s head of sales.

“There are genuinely strong growth markets and China is leading the field there,” Robertson told Reuters on the sidelines of the Los Angeles auto show. “The encouraging thing is that around the rest of the world we’re starting to see a positive trend as well.”

BMW has said it expects 2009 sales to fall by 10%-15% from last year’s 1.44 million cars, but it expects to get a lift in 2010 from the launch of upcoming models, including a new 5-series sedan. “We’re confident that we’ll see some growth,” Robertson said Wednesday.

BMW sold 9,558 cars in China in October, up 81% year on year, bringing sales in the first ten months up 36.7% to 71,952 units. China sales jumped again in November, helping push BMW global sales up for the second straight month. Sales numbers are available soon.

China has become the fourth-biggest market for BMW after Germany, the U.S. and the UK. Robertson said China’s continued strong growth would make it the third largest market for BMW, just behind Germany, the U.S, in the next several years.

The boom in China has driven BMW and its partner Brilliance Auto to invest $735 million to expand a plant in Shenyang that makes 3-series and 5-series sedans.

Source: Gasgoo