BMW recently declared that fourth-quarter earnings fell 12% due to the fact that the company spent more on new models.
In the second half the company spent 500 million euros to introduce new versions of the 3-Series sedan and 1-Series compact, models which are expected to help BMW beat the 2011 sales record of 1.67 million cars. Deliveries in 2011 rose 14 percent, as X3 sales more than doubled on demand in China and the U.S.
“The past year has been the best year in the BMW Group’s corporate history,” Reithofer said. “We have achieved new sales volume, revenues and earnings highs, and exceeded our targets.”
At the Geneva Motor Show, BMW introduced a new four-door version of the 6-Series coupe and the Mini brand announced plans to produce the Clubvan cargo vehicle starting in the second half. The expansion is part of Reithofer’s plans to increase sales to 2 million cars by 2020.
As a plan to counter Mercedes and Audi, BMW is looking for a potential technology cooperation with GM, adding to its existing partnerships with PSA Peugeot Citroen and Toyota Motor Corp. BMW expects sales to grow this year at least 10% in China and a single digit in North America, offsetting a market decline of as much as 5 percent in Europe.