Πάρτι με μπύρες θα κάνουνε οι Γερμανικές αυτοκινητοβιομηχανίες, αφού την ώρα που η Ευρώπη βουλιάζει στη δίνη της οικονομικής ύφεσης, αυτές σημειώνουν το ένα ρεκόρ μετά το άλλο σε ότι αφορά τις πωλήσεις τους. H BMW ανακοίνωσε σήμερα τόσο τα οικονομικά της αποτελέσματα του πρώτου τριμήνου. Ήταν το καλύτερο τρίμηνο της Ιστορίας της, αφού είδε καθαρά κέρδη προ φόρων 2.07 δις ευρώ (+21.8%), τα έσοδα ανήλθαν σε 18.29 δις ευρώ (+14.1%), ενώ τα καθαρά κέρδη ανήλθαν σε 1.34 δις ευρώ (+18.1%). Το BMW Group πούλησε 425.528 μονάδες (+11.2%), με την BMW να πουλά 356.548 μονάδες (+11%), η Mini 68.210 μονάδες (+12.1%) και η Rolls Royce 770 μονάδες (+6.5%).

Η Porsche από την μεριά της, ανακοίνωσε ότι το πρώτο τρίμηνο ενίσχυσε τα έσοδα της κατά 32.4%, αφού αυτά ανήλθαν σε 3.02 δις ευρώ. Πούλησε 30.231 αυτοκίνητα (+29%) με τα λειτουργικά κέρδη να ανήλθαν σε 528 εκατ. ευρώ (+18.4%). Η Porsche επίσης ανακοίνωσε ότι το πρώτο τρίμηνο προσέλαβε 725 νέους υπαλλήλους, ανεβάζοντας έτσι το ανθρώπινο δυναμικό της σε 16.032 υπαλλήλους. Περισσότερες λεπτομέρειες μπορείς να βρεις στο δελτίο τύπου που ακολουθεί.

[Πηγή: BMW, Porsche| Photo Copyright: REUTERS/Michaela Rehle]

Δελτίο Τύπου

Strong growth in new 911 sales – sales growth worldwide in all regions

Porsche AG boosts revenue in first quarter of 2012 by 32.4 per cent

Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has got the new financial year off to a flying start. The company managed to increase sales, revenue and operating profit significantly in the first quarter of 2012. Porsche increased its worldwide sales by 29 per cent to 30,231 vehicles. Compared with the same quarter the year before, revenue was up 32.4 per cent to 3.025 billion euro. Operating profit reached 528 million euro, 18.4 per cent more than in the first quarter of 2011. That put Porsche’s operating return on sales at 17.5 per cent. Moreover, already in the first quarter the sports car manufacturer took on 725 new employees (+4.7 %), giving Porsche AG a total worldwide labour force as at 31 March of 16,032 employees.

“Behind these extremely gratifying figures is a clearly defined line: we focus systematically on solid, sustainable and high-quality growth,” said Matthias Müller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Porsche AG. “The youngest and most efficient model range of all time gives us an outstanding platform on which to sustain this course throughout 2012,” Müller said.

Sales of the new 911 alone, launched in December 2012, increased by 37.6 per cent in its first full quarter, compared with sales of the predecessor model one year earlier. Porsche is also registering a strong inflow of new orders for the new Boxster only recently unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show – just as it has for the new attractive Cayenne and Panamera GTS models. This year, Porsche will be bringing a further nine models to market – from new derivatives of the new 911 to the especially sporty Cayenne GTS.

In the first quarter of 2012, Porsche benefited first and foremost from increased demand in China, in the German domestic market and in the USA. The biggest increase was posted by the Panamera sports saloon with a jump of 58.4 per cent, with disproportionately strong growth of the six-cylinder engine version. In the opening quarter, 29.4 per cent more units of the Cayenne SUV were delivered to customers worldwide than in the same period of 2011.

“We are extremely satisfied with the first quarter 2012 results. We will keep this momentum going – exactly in line with our growth strategy,” said Lutz Meschke, Chief Financial Officer of Porsche AG. “We can fund both the significant increase in investment and the development expenditure for expanding our model range out of our strong cash flow. And both of those things with a return on sales of 17.5 per cent, which is significantly in excess of our strategic target value of a minimum of 15 per cent.”

Between January and March 2012, Porsche produced a total of 36,067 vehicles. That represents a 15 per cent increase compared with the same period last year. In the Leipzig plant, where the Cayenne and Panamera are produced, Porsche has expanded production to 450 units per day since the third shift was introduced in January 2012.

Porsche has set itself ambitious business targets with “Strategy 2018”: with an operating return on sales of at least 15 per cent and a return on capital of at least 21 per cent the aim is for the company to remain one of the world’s most profitable car manufacturers. Porsche thrills its customers with unique products and an outstanding purchase and ownership experience. Moreover, the sports car manufacturer is a much sought-after international employer and a fair and reliable partner for all stakeholders. The intention is to boost sales to approximately 200,000 vehicles by 2018. To that end, Porsche is investing in rejuvenating and expanding the entire model range. In 2011, the new edition of the Porsche 911 got the process underway. This will be followed in 2012 with the all-new Boxster and by the new Cayman. The introduction of the Macan urban SUV, to be built in the Leipzig plant, is to provide additional impetus from 2014 onwards.

PORSCHE AG group January – March
2012 2011 Variance (%)
Sales (units) 30.231 23.442 29,0
911 6.536 4.750 37,6
Boxster/Cayman 1.361 2.490 -45,3
Cayenne 14.867 11.487 29,4
Panamera 7.467 4.715 58,4
Production (units) 36.067 31.366 15,0
911 8.417 6.044 39,3
Boxster/Cayman 1.469 3.961 -62,9
Cayenne 17.913 15.189 17,9
Panamera 8.268 6.172 34,0
Revenue (Mio. €) 3.025 2.284 32,4
Operating Profit (Mio. €) 528 446 18,4
Employees 16.032 15.307* 4,7

* Due date: 12/31/2011

BMW Group reports record figures for first quarter

  • Best first-quarter performance in corporate history
  • Profit before financial result rises to € 2.13 billion
  • Profit before tax up to € 2.07 billion
  • Automotive segment EBIT climbs to € 1.87 billion
  • Targets for financial year 2012 reaffirmed

Munich . The BMW Group has had a successful start in the new financial year. “We have recorded the best first-quarter figures ever — for sales volume, revenues and earnings — in the BMW Group’s corporate history”, said Norbert Reithofer, the Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG on Thursday in Munich. The main reasons for this positive performance are the strong demand worldwide for the BMW Group’s attractive vehicles, the strength of the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands as well as improvements in efficiency.

First-quarter group revenues rose by 14.1% to € 18,293 million (Q1 2011: € 16,037 million). Profit before financial result (EBIT) rose by 18.8% to € 2,132 million (Q1 2011: € 1,795 million), while profit before tax (EBT) climbed by 21.8% to € 2,076 million (Q1 2011: € 1,705 million). Group net profit increased by 18.1% and reached € 1,349 million (Q1 2011: € 1,142 million).

First-quarter EBIT margin of 11.6% for Automotive Segment

The number of vehicles sold by the BMW Group during the first quarter 2012 rose by 11.2% to 425,528 units (Q1 2011: 382,758 units), with the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands all recording new sales volume highs.

Revenues and earnings in the Automotive segment increased accordingly: segment revenues rose by 12.4% to € 16,159 million (Q1 2012: € 14,373 million). EBIT increased by 10.0% to reach € 1,878 million (Q1 2011: € 1,708 million), resulting in an EBIT margin for the Automotive segment of 11.6%. Profit before tax increased to € 1,820 million (Q1 2011: € 1,605 million; +13.4%). This strong performance enabled the Automotive segment to generate a free cash flow of € 1,635 million during the first quarter (Q1 2011: € 1,624 million).

The BMW brand recorded worldwide growth of 11.0% in the first quarter with sales of 356,548 units (Q1 2011: 321,175 units). Sharp growth was recorded for the new BMW 1 Series, sales of which increased by 20.2% to 54,160 units (Q1 2011: 45,075 units). The new BMW 3 Series Sedan, which has been on the market since February, also got off to a strong start with first-quarter sales up by 13.6%. The total number of BMW 3 Series vehicles handed over to customers during the reporting period increased by 3.9% to 91,189 units (Q1 2011: 87,762 units).

Sales of the new BMW 6 Series jumped to 4,651 units (Q1 2011: 789 units). The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé — the first four-door Coupé in the brand’s history — will become available in June and provide further impetus. The BMW 7 Series recorded a first-quarter sales volume of 17,786 units (Q1 2011: 14,817 units), an increase of 20.0%.

The various models of the X Series continue to perform well. First-quarter sales of the BMW X1 rose by 8.4% to 29,532 units (Q1 2011: 27,238 units). The new BMW X3 registered strong growth, with worldwide sales surging by 55.3% to 35,248 units (Q1 2011: 22,693 units). The BMW X5 maintained its position as segment leader thanks to a 14.7% increase in sales volume to 26,563 units (Q1 2011: 23,149 units). Sales of the BMW X6 during the period went up by 13.7% to 11,048 units (Q1 2011: 9,715).

The MINI brand also achieved a new sales volume record, with sales up in the first quarter by 12.1% to 68,210 units (Q1 2011: 60,860 units). The launch of new models gave a boost to the MINI sales performance; for example the MINI Coupé was handed over to 3,029 customers during the three-month period, while the Roadster — which was first launched in March 2012 — had already gained 980 customers by the end of the quarter. Sales of the MINI Countryman grew strongly by 36.8% to 22,001 units (Q1 2011:16,078 units). The MINI brand continues to generate a very high-value sales product mix: during the quarter under report 19.6% of customers opted for the MINI One, 44.3% for the MINI Cooper and 36.1% for the MINI Cooper S.

The Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ success story within the super-luxury segment continued with the brand registering its best first-quarter sales performance ever with 770 units sold (Q1 2011: 723 units; +6.5%). The Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II was presented at the Geneva Motor Show at the beginning of March and will be launched in the markets during the second half of the year.

The BMW Group increased first-quarter sales volumes in almost all of the world’s regions. Sales in Europe edged up by 0.5% to 201,063 units. New sales volume highs were recorded in both North America and Asia. In total, 83,177 vehicles were handed over to customers in North America during the period under report, 16.7% more than in the corresponding quarter last year. Sales in the USA rose by 16.5% to 75,931 units.

The BMW Group continued to register strong growth in Asia, selling 118,880 units (+31.9%) during the period from January to March. A total of 80,218 units (+36.6%) were sold in China. In Japan, the number of cars sold rose by 44.4% to 13,994 units.

Higher sales volume, revenues and earnings for Motorcycles segment

Also in the Motorcycles segment, first-quarter sales volume, revenues and earnings were all higher than in the previous year. Segment revenues increased by 12.8% to € 448 million (Q1 2011: € 397 million). EBIT improved by 19.4% to € 37 million (Q1 2011: € 31 million) and profit before tax by 23.3% to € 37 million (Q1 2011: € 30 million). First-quarter motorcycle sales picked up by 7.8% to reach 27,015 units (Q1 2011: 25,049 units). This included 24,373 BMW brand motorcycles (Q1 2011: 23,109 units; +5.5%), the best first-quarter sales performance in the company’s history. Husqvarna motorcycle sales jumped by 36.2% to 2,642 units (Q1 2011: 1,940 units).

Successful first quarter for Financial Services segment

The Financial Services segment also started the year well. Segment revenues totalled € 4,800 million (Q1 2011: € 4,183 million), 14.8% ahead of the previous year’s first quarter. The profit before tax edged up by 1.2% to € 434 million (Q1 2011: € 429 million).

The number of lease and financing contracts in place with dealers and retail customers at the end of the reporting period grew by 12.8% to 3,646,111 contracts. This figure includes 260,038 contracts of the ING Car Lease (ICL) Group, which was acquired in 2011. The number of new financing and lease contracts signed in the period from January to March rose by 10.5% to 305,984 contracts, 22,367 of which are attributable to the ICL Group. Leasing business grew by 24.9%, credit financing by 4.3%.

Workforce size increased

The BMW Group’s workforce also increased in the period to 31 March 2012. The number of employees worldwide went up by 5.4% to 101,260 at the end of the reporting period (Q1 2011: 96,045). One of the reasons for the increase was the acquisition of the ICL Group. In addition, skilled workers and engineers continue to be recruited in order to keep pace with persistently strong demand for BMW Group vehicles, to push innovations and to focus on the development of new technologies.

BMW Group reaffirms targets for full year

In view of record sales volume figures in the first quarter, a strong order-book, the fresh and attractive model range as well as the successful launch of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, the BMW Group is confident about its prospects for the current year. The targets set for the full year remain in place: “We are still aiming to achieve new record figures for sales volume and pre-tax earnings in 2012”, stated Reithofer. “The BMW Group plans to grow faster than the market as a whole in the current year and expects to achieve new sales volume records for its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands”, continued Reithofer.

The BMW Group continues to target an EBIT margin between 8 and 10% in the Automotive segment. Provided that the global economic climate does not take a turn for the worse, the BMW Group forecasts an EBIT margin for 2012 at the upper end of this corridor. Investment in new technologies and the expansion of the production network will result in higher expenditure for the financial year 2012.

The Financial Services segment continues to target a return on equity of at least 18% in the Financial Services segment for the financial year 2012. The forecasts for the current year are based on the assumption that worldwide economic conditions remain stable.

With its Strategy Number ONE, the BMW Group has set the course for a successful future. This is also reflected in the positive development of sales volume, revenues and earnings. Profitable growth will be achieved by launching new products in all vehicle segments and by engaging in new markets. The BMW Group is targeting a worldwide sales volume of more than two million vehicles in 2016.

The BMW Group – an overview

1st quarter2012 1st quarter2011* Change in %
Deliveries to customers
Automotive 425,528 382,758 11.2
Thereof: BMW units 356,548 321,175 11.0
MINI units 68,210 60,860 12.1
Rolls-Royce units 770 723 6.5
Motorcycles units 27,015 25,049 7.8
Thereof:BMW units 24,373 23,109 5.5
Husqvarna units 2,642 1,940 36.2
Workforce1 101,260 96,045 5.4
Revenues € million 18,293 16,037 14.1
Thereof:Automotive € million 16,159 14,373 12.4
Motorcycles € million 448 397 12.8
Financial Services € million 4,800 4,183 14.8
Other entities € million 1 1
Eliminations € million -3,115 -2,917 -6.8
Operating cash flow2 € million 2,293 2,076 10.5
Profit before financial result € million 2,132 1,795 18.8
Thereof:Automotive € million 1,878 1,708 10.0
Motorcycles € million 37 31 19.4
Financial Services € million 426 403 5.7
Other entities € million 13 17 -23.5
Eliminations € million -222 -364 39.0
Profit before tax € million 2,076 1,705 21.8
Thereof:Automotive € million 1,820 1,605 13.4
Motorcycles € million 37 30 23.3
Financial Services € million 434 429 1.2
Other entities € million -21 -24 12.5
Eliminations € million -194 -335 42.1
Profit before tax € million -727 -563 -29.1
Net profit € million 1,349 1,142 18.1
Earnings per share3 € 2.05/2.05 1.73/1.73 18.5/18.5
* Q1 2011 figures partially adjusted for change in accounting policy for leased products1 Figures exclude dormant employment contracts, employees in the work and non-work phases of pre-retirement part-time arrangements and low wage earners2 Automotive segment3 Earnings per share of common stock/preferred stock

The BMW Group

The BMW Group is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI, Husqvarna Motorcycles and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 25 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2011, the BMW Group sold about 1.67 million cars and more than 113,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2011 was euro 7.38 billion on revenues amounting to euro 68.82 billion. At 31 December 2011, the BMW Group had a workforce of approximately 100,000 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. As a result of its efforts, the BMW Group has been ranked industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last seven years.

Statement by Dr. Friedrich Eichiner, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Finance, Conference Call Interim Report to 31 March 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning from my side as well! Our quarterly results – with new sales, revenue and earnings records – are once again clear evidence of our operating and financial strength.

The credit-rating agency Standard & Poor’s upgraded our rating in April, based on our positive business development and solid financial position. This gives us the best credit rating of all European car manufacturers.

The BMW Group’s quarterly earnings before taxes improved year-on-year to 2.076 billion € – an increase of 21.8%. Our Group EBIT margin was 11.3%.

A change in accounting in our 2011 Group financial statements has also resulted in a restatement of certain figures for the individual quarters of 2011. The change concerns the evaluation of products leased through BMW Financial Services. The adjusted 2011 figures are identified in the quarterly report. The quarterly adjustments for the whole of the 2011 financial year can be found under note 3.

First, let’s take a look at the Automotive segment: Demand for our three premium brands was positively high in the first quarter. We delivered more than 425,000 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles for revenues of 16.16 billion € in this segment – an increase of 12.4% year-on-year.

We saw dynamic sales growth in China and the United States, in particular, as well as in many emerging markets in Asia and Latin America. However, the situation has become less favorable in a number of Southern European markets, and competitive pressure has increased.

The segment EBIT for the first quarter totalled just under 1.88 billion €. This is an increase of 10% over the same period last year – the result of sales growth and product mix. The EBIT margin in the Automotive segment remained at roughly the same level as last year, at 11.6%.

As previously announced, our upfront investments in future projects and expenditure for research and development were higher than in the first quarter of 2011. The total amount was in the low three-digit millions.

We are taking advantage of our earning power to make targeted investments: Our development spending on lightweight construction and alternative drive technologies will secure us a stronger market position in the future. Our vehicles will need to become even more efficient to meet stricter CO2 standards worldwide. Over the full year, this will result in additional expenditure between 800 million and 1 billion €.

Inventories increased by more than 1.2 billion € in the first quarter of 2012.

This is essentially due to the global market launch of the 3 Series Sedan and sales growth in our overseas markets. As previously anticipated, we expect a burden from pricing due to the 3 Series Sedan model changeover throughout the first half of the year – mainly because not all new models are available yet in the overseas markets.

The segment’s dynamic operating performance generated a strong operating cash flow and a free cash flow of 1.635 billion €. We expect this positive trend to continue throughout the rest of the year and are targeting a free cash flow of more than three billion €.

The positive development also had a positive impact on Group liquidity. We have a strong liquidity basis and are in a good position to cope with potential volatility. As per 31 March, Group liquidity totalled 12.0 billion €. Net financial assets in the Automotive segment amounted to 13.9 billion €.

The Financial Services segment also benefited from our sales growth. We concluded almost 306,000 leasing and financing contracts with retail customers in the first quarter. This represents a 10.5% increase over the same period last year. At the end of the first quarter, the total number of contracts in place reached 3.65 million. This also includes ING Car Lease contracts. Our business also profited from attractive financing conditions.

The segment generated a pre-tax profit of 434 million € in the first quarter. This includes a positive one-off effect in the amount of 43 million € from end-of-lease business. Earnings were therefore slightly higher year-on-year.

The Financial Services segment provided leasing or financing for 38.2% of new BMW Group vehicles in the first quarter. This rate is slightly lower than last year due to China’s rapidly growing share of sales – and the fact that the penetration rate is still relatively low in the Chinese market.

The risk situation developed as expected in the first quarter. Used-car prices remained stable in the US and Germany.

The price situation decreased slightly in the UK. Used-car prices fell in the Southern European markets – and we also see potential risks here for the months ahead. Overall, we expect market development to be uneven and more volatile.

The credit risks for the Financial Services segment remained stable in the first quarter. However, individual market performance is likely to vary over the coming months.

The integration of ING Car Lease has made the BMW Group one of Europe’s leading fleet service providers. We will be expanding our market position through new offerings. Our fleet management company, Alphabet, won the first major corporate customers for its AlphaCity innovative mobility solution in the first quarter. New telematics solutions and accounting systems will allow companies to loan their fleet vehicles to employees for private use and optimise their fleet utilisation. This new form of car sharing will open up new growth opportunities for Alphabet’s mobility services.

We remain confident overall about the prospects for our financial services business: BMW Financial Services continues to benefit from strong growth in the premium segment. Our excellent position is due to:

– adopting more conservative residual values during the financial and economic crisis,

– the lower total volume of off-lease vehicles, and

– our healthy level of risk provisions.

In the Motorcycles segment, first-quarter sales rose by almost 8% to more than 27,000 units. Growth in Brazil, the US and Germany more than offset the decline in sales in individual European markets.

Segment revenues climbed 12.8% to 448 million € in the first three months. At the end of the quarter, EBIT totalled 37 million € – and was therefore 19.4% higher year-on-year.

With its attractive model line-up, the Motorcycles segment can expect to make further sales gains in a shrinking total market.

The BMW Group will continue its successful course in the second half of the year. We expect the positive trend in sales to continue –thanks to the new 3 Series Sedan and the 6 Series Gran Coupé, the updated 7 Series Sedan and other new models.

However, we are well aware of the uncertainties in the market: We are responding to competitive pressure in Europe with an attractive product line-up. Nevertheless, increased competition could have an adverse impact on pricing in specific markets.

A number of growth markets are characterised by market regulation measures, such as import duties and special taxes. At the same time, we are taking the necessary steps in preparation for stricter CO2 taxation.

Current uncertainties make it more difficult to predict business developments accurately. We remain cautiously optimistic and continue to make sustained profitable growth and a sound financial position our priority.

We are maintaining our guidance – and expect all three brands to achieve record sales. Assuming the global situation does not deteriorate, we forecast record earnings at Group level and in the Automotive segment, as announced in March. The EBIT margin for the Automotive segment is likely to be at the high end of our 8-10% target range.

We will remain on course and consistently pursue our goals. We are monitoring economic conditions so that we can respond flexibly to volatility.

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, we would be happy to take your questions.

Thank you.

Statement by Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Conference Call Interim Report to 31 March 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In 2016, BMW will be 100 years old – a clear testimony to our company’s ability to evolve and grow. This is a true milestone as we continue our success story. This means that we will keep acting with foresight and a long-term, global perspective in mind. Just like our investors expect of us.

In the first quarter of 2012, we managed to further build on our successful business performance of the 2011 financial year.

  • In terms of sales, it was the most successful first quarter ever for the BMW Group, with a total of over 425,000 cars sold worldwide.
  • It was the most successful first quarter ever for our three automotive brands – BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce – as well as for BMW Motorrad.
  • It was also the best first quarter ever with regard to our pre-tax result on the Group level, which stands at two billion Euros.
  • We recorded an EBIT margin in the Automotive Segment of 11.6 per cent.

The BMW Group continues to benefit from the decisions we made as part of our strategy Number ONE back in 2007. And today, we are clearly looking far ahead again.

  • In 2016, we aim to sell over two million cars.
  • We also aim to generate sustainable profits. This means: A goal to achieve an EBIT margin in the Automotive Segment in the range of 8 to 10 per cent over the long-term. So far, almost no car company has managed to achieve this performance for a longer period of time.
  • For the year 2020, our vision remains clear: to be the leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility.

In order to meet these goals, we have to make large-scale investments now – in new technologies, in all our German and global facilities, and in training our staff successfully to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.

What are our expectations for the year 2012?

  • We are targeting a new sales record for the Group.
  • New all-time highs for our three car brands.
  • And a new record pre-tax result on the Group level.

These targets are based on the assumption that the economic and financial conditions will remain largely stable. Nobody can forecast how the financial systems and consumer demand will develop, given the high level of public debt in various countries. As well, the economic strength in individual southern European markets may weaken further.

But one thing is true: There continue to be opportunities for future growth in the premium car market. Demand for our young and attractive model portfolio remains strong with customers all around the world.

Our segment leaders are:

The BMW 1 Series and the X1, the new BMW 3 Series Sedan — even with the model change in the first quarter of 2012 — the BMW 3 Series Convertible, the BMW 5 Series, the BMW X5, and the BMW 6 Series.

By summer, BMW and MINI will have introduced further new models and variants.

Let me give you a few examples:

  • This March saw the launch of the next member of the MINI family, the MINI Roadster.
  • Next will be the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe in June. It’s the first four-door coupe made by BMW.
  • The model update of the BMW 7 Series will arrive at the dealerships in July.
  • One of the highlights in the second half of the year will be the revised Phantom Series II at Rolls-Royce.
  • And this fall, we will launch the BMW X1 in the US.

The development of global car markets varies from region to region. In many markets we recorded double-digit growth in the first quarter. This is especially true for larger regions such as North America, with a 17 per cent increase, and Asia, with a 32 per cent increase.

This strong performance allows us to compensate for the decrease in demand we are currently experiencing in some countries in Southern Europe which have been especially affected by the financial crisis. Thanks to our flexible production network and a wide range of models, we react quickly and effectively to changing market demands.

It is for this very reason that we continue to strive for balanced growth across the globe. In the first quarter 2012, the BMW Group’s largest individual markets of Germany, the US, and China were fairly balanced. In absolute terms, China was our best-performing market in the first quarter, ahead of the US and Germany for the first time. The premium segment in China will continue to offer positive growth opportunities. However, customers – and Chinese authorities – are setting specific requirements for the car industry in China.

We will continue to align our production, our products and new technologies to meet these requirements.

  • Our new plant in Tiexi opens in mid-May.
  • At the Beijing Motor Show, the BMW 3 Series long wheelbase version for Chinese customers celebrated its world premiere.
  • We will bring BMW brand e-cars to China and develop a specific offering for the Chinese market in cooperation with our partner Brilliance.

Political regulations around the world affecting the automotive industry remain on the agenda. Specifics vary from country to country.

  • In China, the government is strongly pushing for electrification.
  • In the US, the government has established CO2-emission targets for 2025. E-cars will be receiving credits. They will be factored in several times when calculating a brand’s fleet average.
  • In Europe, the EU-Commission will decide this summer about a European fleet average of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer as the target for 2020. At present, e-cars in the EU also receive a so-called supercredit. However, this bonus is supposed to expire in 2015 – which would prove challenging.

In order to meet the diverse CO2-emission targets, we are consistently pursuing the development of future technologies. Our goal for 2020 is to reduce our fleet’s CO2-emissions by 50 per cent compared with the mid-1990s.

So what steps are we taking?

  • We continue to invest in Efficient Dynamics as well as in plug-in hybrids and e-cars.
  • We have signed a cooperation agreement with Toyota Motor Corporation. Together we want to take the lithium-ion battery technology to the next level.
  • The carbon fiber for the BMW i family is produced in our new, hydroelectric-powered plant in Washington State. We are producing car body parts from this carbon fiber as well as components for the e-drive in Bavaria. We will then build our e-cars in Leipzig. That way, we strengthen Germany’s position in the fields of industrializing e-mobility and lightweight construction.
  • At the same time, we are preparing our staff for the challenges ahead. In the past twelve months, we have trained more than 1,000 employees – from apprentices to engineers – in the field of e-mobility at our new training center in Munich.

We are facing a variety of different issues – such as:

  • political regulation
  • diverse market conditions
  • demographic change
  • shortage of specialists
  • new mobility services
  • the value shift in our society, and
  • new demands from upcoming generations.

Our strategy is clearly focused on addressing these challenges – as an independent company. All our efforts are clearly geared toward remaining the leader in the premium segment.

Thanks to our experience in positioning premium brands, we will continue to grow the strength of our three brands – BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce. We will act with foresight and maintain a long-term, global approach. This has been and continues to be the foundation for our success moving towards 2020.

Thank you very much for your attention.