SUV demand is driving up BMW sales

BMW will move into the highest echelon of the SUV market in the next 12 months with the X7. — AFP pic
BMW will move into the highest echelon of the SUV market in the next 12 months with the X7. — AFP pic

BERLIN, Nov 14 — Yesterday, German premium automaker BMW, who also owns Mini and Rolls-Royce, announced that for the first time in its 101-year history, it has sold over 2 million vehicles in just 10 months.

The figures include sales of the company’s core BMW brand, plus those of Mini and BMW motorcycles but exclude Rolls-Royce sales. Nevertheless, between January and October the firm has delivered 2,008,849 vehicles globally.

“Our sales results for the first ten months of the year confirm the broad range and appeal of our model line-up,” said Dr Ian Robertson, the company’s global head of Sales and Brand.

Ignoring Mini and motorbike sales, the total figure includes 1,706,020 BMWs.

And while demand for the 1 Series and 5-Series and bigger 7-Series executive sedans are strong, the biggest demand is for the company’s quickly expanding X-range of SUVs, or Sports Activity Vehicles, as the company prefers to call them.

Over the past 10 months there has been an 11.3 per cent jump in demand for BMW-badged SUVs equating to 578,336 unit sales.

All of which explains why the company recently launched a compact X2 coupe-esque crossover and is getting ready to launch a range-topping X7 luxury off-roader complete with three rows of seats.

However, this apparently insatiable demand for all things SUV could backfire.

If demand continues at the same rate, then the company that stands for sporting dynamics and for building true race-bred drivers’ cars will be selling more SUVs than Land Rover, a company that sells off-roaders and only off-roaders. In January this year, Land Rover also reported record sales, of 434,583 cars sold in a 12-month period for the first time in history.

However, BMW’s range of crossovers has already become a bigger SUV company in just 10 months.

What’s more, the company’s figures don’t include sales of the Mini All4 range of compact crossovers. —  AFP-Relaxnews

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