The BMW Group's first-quarter earnings have the answers.
The BMW Group says that demand for Rolls-Royce, BMW, and Mini models has skyrocketed over the last year. That's also despite rampant supply issues, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and echos of the pandemic. The BMW Group credits its new electric models, like the BMW iX and Mini Cooper Electric, for consumers' interest in the group's brands. On paper, that certainly looks to be the case.
In its first-quarter financial report, the BMW Group reported that 15% of vehicles delivered this year were electric, up from 11% last year. Those don't sound like huge figures, but when your delivered units numbers close to 600,000 even small margins can be big.
However, that's still fewer cars than the BMW Group delivered last year. In the first quarter of 2021, 636,606 cars were delivered compared to 596,907- down 6.2%. However, the Group made more money than last year, with $12.8 million in profit. It's an interesting dynamic we've seen before. Bentley managed the same trick, crediting the sale of higher-dollar cars for the uptick in profit despite delivering fewer cars.
Some of those BMW Group figures can be attributed to the same phenomenon. Rolls-Royce sold 17% more cars than last year's first quarter, totaling 1,624 units delivered. Those are high-dollar cars, and certainly make up for some lost deliveries elsewhere. The other factor in this phenomenon is BMW's first-time consolidation of BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. Basically, that's BMW's once-separate Chinese arm. They're responsible for "R&D, procurement, production, sales and after-sales services of BMW automobiles in China." This consolidation is the reason BMW says created its profits for this year.
BMW and Mini delivered 519,796 cars and 75,847 cars respectively. BMW cites the war in Ukraine as one of its more major production pitfalls, saying that it "represented a further risk factor for operations." However, the Group's electric vehicle push is stronger than ever. It says that 27.7% of the models delivered in the first quarter were electric. In total, 89,669 electrified vehicles were delivered this year, up from 70,207.
With the consolidation of the BMW Group's Chinese operation, we're not sure where profits can go but up. However, BMW brands are still hampered by supply chain issues. We'll have to wait and see if the brand's numbers can continue to trend upward.