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06-24-2004, 05:31 PM
MUNICH, Germany -- German luxury carmaker BMW AG expects the launch of its new 1-series compact to add sales of at least 100,000 vehicles in 2005, the company said, setting a record group sales target.

During the premiere presentation of its new hatchback, BMW's head of sales and marketing, Michael Ganal, reaffirmed the goal of record group deliveries in 2004. He spoke late Wednesday, and his comments were embargoed until Thursday.

When asked whether the growth would continue into the next year, he said, "That's how it should be."

The company sold 1.1 million cars last year and wants to boost this figure to 1.4 million by 2008.

Although Ganal was confident BMW had produced another hit with the 1 series, due to enter showrooms Sept. 18, he cautioned not to expect sales of as much as 50,000 units already this year, half of its eventual full-year target.

BMW is reaping the benefits of the largest product offensive in the company's history, entering into three new segments this year alone with the launch of the 6-series luxury coupe, the X3 compact off-roader and its 1-series hatchback.

"Both (sales of the 6-series and the X3) are developing better than planned, and we're quite confident that the 1-series will also do so," said Ganal, a BMW management board member.

The 1 series will compete directly against premium compacts -- such as the Audi A3 sportback, the Alfa Romeo 147 and the Mercedes A class -- which make up only about 6 percent of all compact cars sold worldwide.

BMW has designed its sporty hatchback to attract a new and much younger set of customers to the brand.

"We want to attract these new consumer groups to the BMW brand and create long-term brand loyalty," he said.


Part of the allure rests in its powertrain, which offers the only rear-wheel-drive compact in the world. This allows the hatchback to distribute its weight equally between both axles and provides an agile and sporty drive.

The carmaker expects its new 1 series to profit from industry forecasts for growth of 50 percent in premium compact sales by 2010, compared with the 20 percent expected for the segment overall.

"Our BMW 1 series will respond to this increasing demand," Ganal said. "There is plenty of growth potential."

BMW aims to offer the car in the United States within the next five years, but not in its current four-cylinder, hatchback version.

The 1 series, built in Regensburg, Germany, and sharing an undisclosed portion of components with the 3 series, starts at $24,030 for the base 116i model, propelled by a 115-hp gasoline engine.

Dismissing speculation that the model was priced too high for this highly competitive segment, Ganal said, "From what I read and hear, we haven't priced it wrong, so we won't have to adjust it later on."

Sales of Volkwagen's flagship Golf V hatchback started to meet expectations only after the company threw in free air conditioning as an incentive a few months after its launch.

Ganal also said that global car sales for its core BMW brand would grow by some 13 percent or more in June.

"In the month of May, BMW sales actually grew by close to 13 percent," he said. "And in June we won't fall under this mark."

Last month BMW sold 90,268 of its BMW brand cars, a gain of 12.9 percent. Total group sales including deliveries of its Mini and Rolls-Royce brands rose 11.9 percent to 105,655 units.

By comparison, global sales of rival DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes brand luxury cars sank 9.2 percent in May as the carmaker suffers from an increasingly aging product range.

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06-25-2004, 09:56 AM

06-25-2004, 10:55 AM
Did really well during FY'03. Has been doing well YTD'04 thru May, in the German & US markets. We'll know more, when the 1H'04 financials are released...If not sooner.

06-25-2004, 12:06 PM
Provides an excellent spread sheet comparison around the 2nd or 3rd of each month.

Keep your eyes peeled for it.

As of the end of May E60 was ahead of the E39 in unit sales for US market., w/o a touring version or the M model.

June sales end on a Wednesday so Friday July 2nd Fred will have the info posted.

Not only for the 5 series but all BMW models.

06-25-2004, 01:51 PM
Wait, we won't see the 1er in the US for another 5 years?

06-25-2004, 03:24 PM
'95 325i

08-04-2004, 11:53 AM

08-04-2004, 12:44 PM

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