"We are heading into the new business year with cautious optimism and are targeting group earnings well above the level reported for the past year. We want to see visible progress in 2010 in the direction of our profitability targets for 2012“, Norbert Reithofer, BMW chariman of the board said at the Annual Accounts Press Conference in Munich.
Based on the fact that all three arms of the group (automobiles, motorcylces and financial services) will report better earnings in 2010, BMW has revised its EBIT margin to a low single digit percentage.
Contributing to the growth will be the models launched last year, as for 2010 no other big novelties will come out from the manufacturer's shops.
The BMW 5 Series will be launched in the end of March, accounting for one fifth of BMW-brand sales, the BMW X1 and BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo will have a full year to prove their worth, while the MINI Countryman will come to save the day, if needed, towards the end of the year.
As for human resources, one of the biggest expenditures in any business, BMW plans to have 96,000 employees by the end of the year, basically the same as the number registered at the end of 2009. The balance will be achieved through natural attrition, pre-retirement part-time working arrangements and voluntary employment contract terminations, compensated by the incoming trainees.