Published on January 15th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair


BMW Group Posts 8.4% Drop In Sales In 2020 VS 2019

BMW Group were clearly not immune to the effects of the pandemic last year. Early on, they posted their first quarterly loss in over a decade. However, like many other premium manufacturers, they were quick to make adjustments and ended the year with some recovery. By the end of 2020, BMW Group, which consists of the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands sold some 2,155,537 passenger cars. They trade blows with top rival Daimler, who sold 2,202,578 passenger cars in 2020. These numbers don’t include BMW Motorrad and Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle figures.

Counting all of BMW Group vehicle sales, the number is 2,324,809. It’s an 8.4% drop over their 2019 figure, but with a Q4 improvement of 3.2% y-o-y. Just like with other premium manufacturers, sales of electrified vehicles expanded. PHEV sales climbed by 38.9% despite lower fuel prices during the pandemic.

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For a closer look at the BMW Group’s sales performance, check out their press release below.


The BMW Group once again confirmed its position as the world’s leading premium automotive manufacturer last year, with a total of 2,324,809 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles (-8.4%) delivered to customers worldwide. 686,069 vehicles were sold at Group level in the fourth quarter, an increase of three percent (+3.2%) year-on-year. Sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles climbed almost 40 percent (38.9%) compared to the previous year, reflecting strong customer interest in this drive train variant.

Consistent and rapid adaptation of sales channels 

Due to the corona pandemic and the desire of customers for the sales process to be as contactless as possible, the BMW Group systematically pushed ahead with digitalization last year: Sales representatives in more than 60 markets are now able to advise customers and sell vehicles regardless of their location. They can configure vehicles together using a shared screen, for instance, or give customers a live demonstration of the cars they have in stock.

In a second step, the company has extensively implemented the sales process online for its retail partners in key markets via its high-traffic websites and will roll out this offering in additional markets in 2021.

Strong performance by models in high-end luxury segment

The BMW brand finished the year with a total of 2,028,659 (-7.2%) vehicles delivered to customers worldwide. A significant contribution was made by the strong performance of the models in the upper luxury segment, which increased by 12.4 percent year-on-year to a total of 115,420 units thanks to the 7 Series, 8 Series and BMW X7. Sales of these highly profitable models have increased by more than 70 percent overall since 2018.

Sales of electrified vehicles up more than 30 percent, demonstrating growth in electromobility

As an e-mobility pioneer, the BMW Group sold a total of 192,646 electrified BMW and MINI vehicles worldwide last year – an increase of a third (+31.8%) over 2019. This means that electromobility is also a significant growth driver for the company in absolute terms. Sales of fully electric vehicles rose by 13 percent, while plug-in hybrid sales climbed by almost 40 percent. In Europe, electrified vehicles already accounted for 15 percent of total sales.

The BMW Group has now increased the number of electrified vehicles (pure electric and plug-in hybrid) in its line-up to 13 models, which are available in 74 markets around the globe. By 2023, the BMW Group plans to almost double its line-up to 25 electrified vehicles, of which more than half will be fully electric. The introduction of the pure-electric MINI* and BMW iX3* last year will be followed in 2021 by the start of production for the fully electric BMW iX in Dingolfing and the BMW i4 in Munich.

BMW M GmbH defies current challenges to report most successful year in its almost 50-year history

With sales growth of six percent (144,218 vehicles delivered), BMW M GmbH once again closes the past year as the most successful in its history. Especially the high-performance models in the X series including the new X6 M50i* contributed to BMW M’s sales success. Last year, both the new BMW M3 and the BMW M4 celebrated their world premieres and both models will be launched in the first quarter of this year.

MINI ELECTRIC and John Cooper Works models especially in high demand

In a challenging year and an extremely competitive segment, MINI brand sales reached 292,394 units (-15.8%) in 2020. The fully electric MINI ELECTRIC*, with 17,580 vehicles sold, and the John Cooper Works models, with a total of 20,565 units (+20.8%) sold, were particularly popular with customers.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars: remarkable performance in an extraordinary year

In 2020, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars sold a total of 3,756 motor cars (-26.4%). This result was achieved despite the absence of the marque’s best-selling model, Ghost, from the market, in anticipation of the introduction of a new model which arrived at the end of the year. Customer demand remained strong across all models, with Bespoke commissions at record levels. The highlight of the year was the launch of new Ghost, to universal acclaim from customers, the media and the wider public alike. Orders for the new model have resulted in a strong order book, filled well into the second half of 2021. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars continues to strive for long-term sustainable growth.

BMW Motorrad posts second-best sales figures in its history

Despite the challenges resulting from the pandemic, BMW Motorrad was able to deliver 169,272 motorcycles and scooters to customers in 2020 and achieved the second-best sales figures in its history. This achievement underpins BMW Motorrad’s successful growth strategy. Guarantor for the positive result was the market launch of thirteen new models as well as the strong BMW Motorrad product portfolio.

BMW & MINI sales in the regions/markets

BMW Group sales in China were seven percent (7.4%) higher than the previous year, with a total of 777,379 BMW and MINI vehicles delivered to customers. This is the BMW Group’s best-ever annual sales result in China since entering the market in 1994. The company’s fifth-largest market, South Korea, reported a significant sales increase of a third (+30.5%), compared to the previous year, with 69,872 units sold.

The BMW Group sold a total of 306,870 units (-18.0%) in the US last year. In a challenging environment dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, the recovery in consumer demand, combined with close and efficient cooperation with dealers, delivered a strong fourth quarter.

In Europe, in an extraordinary year marked by retail restrictions, total BMW and MINI sales were nearly sixteen per cent (912,621 units) below the previous year. In its home market of Germany, the BMW Group recorded a decline of 13.3% (287,143 units).

BMW Group sales in Q4/YTD December 2020 at a glance

4th Quarter 2020Compared with previous year %YTDDecember 2020Compared with previous year %
BMW Group Automotive 1686,069+3.2%2,324,809-8.4%
BMW 1600,799+4.3%2,028,659-7.2%
BMW M GmbH 143,568+6.2%144,218+5.9%
MINI 184,165-3.7%292,394-15.8%
BMW Group electrified* 176,246+55.0%192,646+31.8%
Rolls-Royce 11,105-20.7%3,756-26.4%
BMW Motorrad39,673+3.8%169,272-3.4%

*BMW i, BMW iPerformance, MINI Electric

1In connection with a review of its sales and related reporting practices, BMW Group reviewed prior period retail vehicle delivery data and determined that certain vehicle deliveries were not reported in the correct periods. Further information can be found in BMW Group’s 2019 Annual Report on page 54. As an update of the information given there, BMW Group has revised the data on vehicle deliveries retrospectively going back to 2015 in its sixteen most significant markets.

BMW & MINI sales in the regions/markets

4th Quarter 2020Compared with previous year %YTD December 2020Compared with previous year %
Europe 1264,096-4.0%912,621-15.7%
Germany* 185,062-6.7%287,143-13.4%
Asia 1279,986+14.8%984,515+6.1%
China  1217,698+10.1%777,379+7.4%
Americas 1127,459-4.4%378,613-19.7%
USA 1107,299-2.2%306,870-18.0%

*Provisional registration figures

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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