No one would've called this 9 months ago.
BMW has been coming under fire for a lot of reasons lately. The biggest reason in 2020 was undoubtedly the "unusual" styling choice for the new BMW M3 and M4, but that wasn't enough. More recently, the brand has seen hate spewed at it from all angles for dubbing the sound of a Lamborghini V10 over a video of the M2 CS. Despite these fails, the German automaker has done remarkably well and has ended the year on a high, reporting better than expected sales figures and increased production in the US. Considering the challenges that all industries had to face last year, this is impressive.
BMW is reporting fourth-quarter sales of 98,750 vehicles, which is only two percent down from the 100,797 vehicles sold in the same period of 2019. For the year as a whole, however, vehicle sales decreased by 17.5 percent for a total of 278,732 units compared to the 338,003 of 2019.
Mini sales dropped by 3.6 percent year on year and totaled 8,864 vehicles. Overall sales for the year reached 28,138, a 22.4 percent decline compared to the 36,272 vehicles sold in 2019. BMW says that its sales in the US "improved significantly" over the second half of the year and puts this recovery partly down to increased production at Plant Spartanburg that helped meet the demand for X3, X5, and X7 SUVs.
BMW North America president and CEO Bernhard Kuhnt says: "There is no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year for automotive sales, but we have found that these challenges were due more to the circumstances, rather than consumer demand." The resurgence in sales of new vehicles is also attributed to the flexibility of dealers and says that this helped the brand exceed its own expectations for the year. There's still a long way for the brand to go before it becomes as resilient as Toyota, but considering BMW's luxury connotations, an improvement over projected sales is always welcome. Here's hoping 2021 is better for everyone so we can see more new vehicles and tech being unveiled.