BMW and Daimler don’t really like each other. As Herr Baron Schmitt put it, “Daimler engineers view their colleagues as boorish Bavarian upstarts. BMW engineers think Daimler is a congregation of has-beens”. Bluntly speaking, there’s no love lost between them. Which makes the following news that much sweeter to the “Bavarian upstarts”. And which makes the has-beens gnash their teeth.
While Daimler reports a €2.6 billion loss and a no dividend for the year, BMW is announcing increased sales. The State (of South Carolina, where BMW has a plant) reports that BMW’s global sales have increased 14 percent. BMW said that it sold 91,758 BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce vehicles during February 2010 compared to 80,474 in February 2009. “After a substantial increase in January, sales year-on-year were significantly higher as well in February,” said Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for sales and marketing, “Last month we saw growth in Asia, in particular, but we also made gains in many markets in Europe, Africa and the Americas. In key sales markets such as the U.S., the automotive sector is also showing encouraging signs of a gradual recovery.”
Whilst BMW branded vehicles grew 16.3 percent in the United States, in China, they rocketed up 96.7 percent during the month of February. Bubble or not, BMW are delighted with that news. There was also good news for the UK export figures (which had been poor of recent) with global Mini sales growing 16 percent (YOY). Lastly, Rolls Royce branded cars were up 48.1 percent to 154 units (previous year 67 units). Given BMW’s size and the shrinking of the luxury car segment, BMW’s figures are impressive. Not that will come as much comfort to Daimler.