Like many automakers in the U.S., BMW enjoyed strong SUV sales in the first quarter and rode them to 12.6% sales increase here and to a 4% jump in global net profits, the automaker said.
The German carmaker said its revenue for the quarter jumped 14.7% to $23.6 billion, or 20.9 billion euros. Its net profits rose to $1.7 billion, or 1.52 billion euros, during the period.
BMW not only generated profit, but its EBIT margin in the Automotive segment was 9.5%, which at the top end of its forecasted range of between 8 and 10%.
Automobile sales volume of the BMW Group climbed by 8.1% to 526,669 units compared with 487,024 units in the year-ago period and setting a new record in the process.
“We have got off to a good start in 2015”, said Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
Increased U.S. sales were matched by a 15.1% jump in Great Britain and a 9.6% rise in still-recovering Europe. Overall, BMW brand vehicle sales were up 5.4% led by the X5, which was up 29.7%, and the 2 Series and 4 Series, both of which more than doubled their year-ago totals.
While U.S. and European sales rose, the company alse enjoyed strong results in Asia, where it sold 166,678 units for 5.1% increase during the quarter. Those totals include a 6.4% jump in China to 115,078 units from 108,143 units the same quarter last year.
(Foreign automakers enjoy strong April sales. For more, Click Here.)
The company’s non-BMW branded vehicles performed well during the quarter. Mini recorded a new high for first-quarter deliveries to customers, registering a sales volume of 74,312 units compared with 57,868 units last year: a 28.4% increase. Sales of the Mini (three- and five-door) more than doubled to 47,922 units.
In the ultra-luxury segment, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars achieved the second-best first-quarter sales volume performance in its history, with 781 units delivered. However, that was down 12.9% from last year’s 897 units.
(Click Here for details about how strong Mercedes sales helped Daimler to Q1 profits.)
Based on the results, BMW officials reaffirmed its targets for the full year.
“We are aiming to achieve solid growth in 2015, and hence new record figures for sales volume and profit before tax,” Reithofer said, including a prediction that the maker “will remain the world’s leading manufacturer of premium vehicles in 2015.”
(To see more about BMW’s first plug-in hybrid SUV, Click Here.)
The company has been in a sales tug-of-war with Mercedes-Benz in recent years, but Lexus and Audi have been making a push to conquest sales from the pair during that time.