BMW Hopes X1 and 5 Series Will Keep Up German Sales

BMW hopes new models such as the X1 compact Sports Activity Vehicle and the new 5 Series will protect it against a strong decrease in car sales in Germany, which is still the company’s biggest market. German car sales dropped 22.8 percent in the first quarter of 2010, to 670,410 units.

"One thing we have this year that we didn't have for much of last year is a lot of new products," said BMW sales boss Ian Robertson in an interview quoted by the Automotive News. "The X1 hit the streets in November and it is outselling our objectives. The 5 series is arriving. As the year progresses we get the Mini Countryman and the X3 comes at the end of the year. Therefore the product momentum is with us," added the official.

With the help of the X1, BMW Group managed to avoid the sharp decline in Germany's overall first-quarter sales. The BMW brand sold 50,416 cars in Germany in the first quarter, a rise of 2.2 percent compared to the same period last year. 10.8 percent of those sales were represented by the X1 SAV (5,459 units). Combined volume for the BMW and MINI brands rose 1.4 percent to 56,617 units.

BMW X1’s success is explained by Robertson by the fact that customers new to the brand form the majority of the model’s clients. "There are a lot of new customers coming from near-premium brands because it is quite competitively priced," Robertson said about the small crossover that retails in Germany for EUR29,550 (about USD40,128). He added that a significant amount of clients are transitioning from the X3, which is at the end of its life cycle.
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