“We sold more vehicles in the second quarter than ever before and achieved record earnings,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
And it’s not Mini sales that are leading the charge. The big demand among customers has been for Rolls-Royce, BMW’s flagship 7 Series and its growing range of X-badged SUVs.
During the first six months of 2016, the company sold a record 986,557 BMWs and demand for the 7 Series is up 31.7 per cent compared to the previous year. The company sold 94,156 X1 compact SUVs (a 61.7 per cent jump) and 77,486 larger X3 models (a 16.6 per cent increase in demand).
Over the past three months, Rolls-Royce has also seen a new quarterly sales record of 1,133 cars. And 514 of them were the new Dawn convertible.
“Sustainable profitability on this scale provides us with the financial headroom we need to pursue our work on future technologies such as electric mobility and automated driving. For me, there is no either/or between the present and the future. The strength of today’s core business is the cornerstone for tomorrow’s success,” Krüger said.
And the figures show that customers are already moving towards this brave new mobility world. In June, electrified BMW-made cars, be it battery or plug-in hybrid, accounted for 4 per cent of the company’s sales in Europe. What’s more, in countries where the charging infrastructure is strongest and where government and other incentives are greatest, the numbers are significantly bigger. In the Netherlands, for instance, 14.9 per cent of all BMWs sold in June were either electric or hybrid and across Scandinavia, they represented 13.2 per cent during the same period.
BMW also noted that since its only fully-electric car i3 got an upgraded battery for increased range in July—it can now cover up to 200km of everyday driving on a single charge—it has received more than 7,000 orders. That’s three times as many reservations that the first generation i3 received when it was launched.
This suggests that range anxiety, rather than price is still the biggest hurdle to overcome when it comes to getting drivers to move from gasoline-powered cars.