Frankfurt: The German luxury car maker BMW said on Monday that February sales plunged by an annualised 24% but vowed to remain the world’s top high-end brand.
The BMW group, which owns the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, sold a total of 80,453 vehicles, a statement said.
Its results contrasted sharply with overall German auto sales, which leapt 21.5% higher in February according to figures released by the VDA federation of auto manufacturers, while exports plunged by 51%.
The statement quoted BMW sales director Ian Robertson as saying: “Despite the difficult conditions, the BMW group aims to remain the world’s leading supplier of premium automobiles in 2009 and after the first two months we are right on track.”
A breakdown of the group’s data showed that BMW brand auto sales also shed 24 % from February 2008 to 68,803 cars, while Mini sales slumped by 27% on the year to 11,583 vehicles.
On a two-month basis meant to smooth out one-off variations, BMW brand sales also lost 24% in January and February, while Mini sales were off by just over 30%.
The result for BMW’s own brand was nonetheless better than the overall market for luxury cars, which was expected to contract by 27% in the same period, which meant BMW would gain market share in the premium sector.
Last week, German rival Daimler said its sales had fallen by 25% last month.
BMW also expects to get a boost from the introduction of a new Mini.