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December 8, 2010 / spiritsofthadevil

BMW Group sales continue to accelerate

BMW Group sales continue to accelerate in July

Munich. The BMW Group continued on its successful growth track as the world’s leading premium manufacturer once again in July with an increase in sales of 9.1%. A total of 119,982 (prev. yr. 109,933) BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand automobiles were sold worldwide last month. Over the past seven months, the number of deliveries climbed 12.5% to 816,014 vehicles (prev. yr. 725.403).

Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing: “We saw significant growth again in July. We are reaping the benefits not only of the global economic recovery but also of customers’ positive response to our vehicles.” Robertson continued: “Sales increased for the eleventh straight month since September 2009. We also expect our sales performance to remain strong over the coming months. For 2010 as a whole, we are aiming for growth of around 10% to reach a total of over 1.4 million vehicles.”

The BMW Group made substantial gains in many markets in July. In the US, the company delivered 10.1% (23,390 / prev. yr. 21,253) more vehicles. With 19,064 (+16.4% / prev. yr. 16,381) sales last month, the BMW brand was once again the best-selling premium automobile brand in the US market. Among the European markets, the BMW Group reported the largest increases with +25.6% in Great Britain / Ireland (11.748 / prev. yr. 9.352). The company once more reported its strongest growth in Asia, where 52.1% more vehicles (22.629 / prev. yr. 14.882) were sold last month. The trend in the largest Asian market, China, remained extremely positive, with an increase in sales volumes of 81.7% to 13,852 automobiles (prev. yr. 7,623). The company also managed to make gains in Germany against the strong downward trend (-30%) in the overall market. A total of 23,384 (prev. yr. 22,570) new BMW and MINI vehicles were registered here in July – an increase of 3.6%.

Sales of BMW brand automobiles climbed to 101,490 units (prev. yr. 90,605 / +12.0%) in the month under review. The brand has delivered a total of 687,250 (prev. yr. 604,214) units to customers since the start of the year – an increase of 13.7%.

Ian Robertson: “We are well positioned for the future with our strong product portfolio. A whole range of attractive new vehicles will be launching in the second half of the year.” These include the new BMW 5 Series Sedan Long Wheelbase version which will be introduced in China in September. A four-wheel version is also coming onto the market. From the autumn onwards, the 5 Series Touring will complete the new BMW 5 Series range, and the second generation of the BMW X3 will also become available. A further highlight will be the new MINI Countryman, which will be launched in Europe from mid-September onwards and will boost sales of the brand dramatically: Orders for MINI’s new Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) are already well over plan.

As expected due to the upcoming extensive revisions to the current MINI model range, the MINI brand delivered slightly fewer vehicles in the month under review
(18,241 / -5.4%) than in the same period last year (19,283). From mid-September onwards, all models will receive striking design modifications, additional engine variants and new diesel engines, as well as innovative new equipment options. In the first seven months, MINI delivered 127,543 (prev. yr. 120.815) vehicles to customers: Volumes are therefore 5.6% higher than the same period last year.

Rolls-Royce enjoyed another strong month and was able to increase sales more than five-fold year-on-year: 251 automobiles were delivered to customers (prev. yr. 45 / +457.8%) in July. In the year to the end of July, 1,221 Rolls-Royce customers worldwide took possession of their vehicles (prev. yr. 347 / +226.5%).

BMW Motorrad posted another major increase in sales in July and continued on its growth track. Against the persistent downward trend in the motorcycle segment over 500 cc, BMW Motorrad sales rose by 4.4% to 10,022 (prev. yr. 9,604) units in July. With its young and attractive range of models, BMW Motorrad reported sales growth of 18.5% to 67,037 (prev. yr. 56,578) vehicles in the year to the end of July. The large long-distance enduro, the BMW R 1200 GS, remains the best-selling model in the BMW motorcycle range. The GS will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It is the most successful BMW motorcycle ever built and has become the world’s best-selling motorcycle in the 500 cc and above range.

BMW Group sales in / up to July 2010 at a glance

BMW Group sales in / up to July 2010 at a glance

In July 2010       Compared to previous year    Up to/incl. July 2010 Compared to previous year
BMW Group Automobiles 119,982     +9.1%      816,014               +12.5%
BMW                                 101,490     +12.0%    687,250               +13.6%
MINI                                    18,241      -5.4%      127,543                  +5.6%
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars          251     +457.8%      1,221               +226.5%
BMW Motorcycles              10,022       +4.4%         67,037               +18.5%




Unilever issues its first ever Renminbi bond

28/03/2011 : London & Rotterdam: Unilever announced today the issuance of its first ever Renminbi (Rmb)-denominated bond.

The Rmb 300,000,000 1.15% per cent Fixed Rate Notes due 31st March 2014 (the “Notes”) are issued by Unilever N.V. and guaranteed by Unilever PLC and Unilever United States, Inc.

Unilever’s Renminbi bond is the first issued by a European multinational and the first by a company in the FMCG sector. The Notes, issued in Hong Kong for institutional investors, have an approximate equivalent value of US$45m/€33m.

Graeme Pitkethly, Unilever’s Group Treasurer, explains: “We have clearly defined ambitions in Unilever. This bond brings a new source of high quality funding to fuel those growth plans by increasing our investment in China. We are delighted with the terms of the financing.”

Unilever has a well-established presence in China, serving Chinese consumers with its international brand portfolio as well as with local brands. In order to further its long-term commitment to China, in 2000 Unilever initiated a new strategic blueprint for its operations, which included the development of one of its largest manufacturing sites for home care, personal care, and tea products in Hefei, which exports products to 14 countries. In 2009 Unilever extended its presence further when it opened one of its global research and development centres in Shanghai.

The following Final Terms for the Notes are available for viewing: Final Terms dated 28th March 2011 relating to the Information Memorandum dated 6th May 2010 and Supplemental Information Memorandum dated 28th March 2011 for the US$15,000,000,000 Debt Issuance Programme with Unilever N.V., Unilever PLC and Unilever Japan K.K. as issuers.


Safe Harbour Statement:

This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including ‘forward-looking statements’ within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as ‘expects’, ‘anticipates’, ‘intends’, ‘believes’ or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including, among others, competitive pricing and activities, economic slowdown, industry consolidation, access to credit markets, recruitment levels, reputational risks, commodity prices, continued availability of raw materials, prioritisation of projects, consumption levels, costs, the ability to maintain and manage key customer relationships and supply chain sources, consumer demands, currency values, interest rates, the ability to integrate acquisitions and complete planned divestitures, the ability to complete planned restructuring activities, physical risks, environmental risks, the ability to manage regulatory, tax and legal matters and resolve pending matters within current estimates, legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments, political, economic and social conditions in the geographic markets where the Group operates and new or changed priorities of the Boards. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group’s filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Group’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2010. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this document. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.


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