In spite of what we hear in news everyday about the plummeting sales of high performance gas guzzling models, BMW M GmbH posted a significant increase in sales last year. In 2010 BMW sold 16,967 units of M cars worldwide which indicates a 14.2 percent growth. They are also seeing an increasing demand for M Sport packages, exclusive special options from BMW Individual as well as driving experience training courses.
Considerable growth impulses are also anticipated for 2011 thanks to an extended M Sport package and BMW Individual product range and the launch of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé, which takes the company into a new vehicle segment. Beyond this, the development of special task and security vehicles based on current BMW production models will also fall within the remit of BMW M GmbH in future.
The 14.2 percent global growth in new car registrations posted by the BMW AG subsidiary last year – which precisely matches the growth rate of the BMW Group as a whole – bears witness to the enduringly strong fascination exerted by these high-performance sports cars. The production phase-out of the BMW M5 and BMW M6 models was more than compensated for by a consistently high demand for the BMW M3 and the newly introduced all-wheel-drive models BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M. Yet again the BMW M3 demonstrated its status as the most popular ambassador for the M ethos. Worldwide, 5,729 units of the BMW M3 Coupé were sold, to which were added 2,544 units of the BMW M3 Convertible and 1,843 BMW M3 Saloons. Sales of the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M totalled 2,778 and 3,082 respectively.
The most important single market in 2010 was once again the USA, where overall BMW M car sales rose by more than 6 percent to 6,821. The number two sales region, as before, was the German domestic market with sales of 1,716 cars, followed by Britain and Northern Ireland with 1,264 units. The most dynamic growth by far was seen in the Chinese car market, where sales rose by 355 percent to 1,088 units, making China the fourth-strongest market for BMW M cars. BMW M GmbH also registered outstanding growth rates in Brazil (+ 237 percent) and Russia (+ 104 percent).
M Sport packages: growth in sales, range to expand in 2011 too.
In terms of sales of the M Sport packages – now available for virtually all the model ranges – BMW M GmbH also recorded positive growth in the last financial year. The model-specific development of aerodynamics, chassis, exterior and interior components lends attractive highlights to ultra-sporty driving pleasure across all the vehicle categories, and the range of options on offer is steadily expanding. The spectrum currently ranges from the BMW 1 Series to the BMW 7 Series, and also encompasses the BMW Z4 and the BMW X5. 2011 will see the BMW X3 and BMW X1 models added to the list.
In total, the number of M Sport packages produced in 2010 rose by 1 percent to 138,800. The main market for M Sport packages was Britain and Northern Ireland, followed by Germany and the USA. These markets once again posted a growth in figures for 2010, with the biggest percentage increases shown by the Korean car market (+ 411 percent) and China (+ 125 percent) and Russia (+ 107 percent).
BMW Individual boasts the strongest growth rates.
A significant jump in the demand for highly exclusive special options in the areas of bodywork paint, alloy wheels and interior fittings pushed up production figures for the BMW Individual business unit in 2010. Over the course of the year, production was ramped up to 24,155 options, with which the relevant cars were specifically enhanced based on personal preferences. This amounts to a growth rate of 47 percent.
Germany, which continues to be the most important single market for the BMW Individual programme, posted growth of 16 percent. Following a 119 percent leap, the USA now constitutes the second most important sales region. Demand for BMW Individual products experienced exceptionally dynamic growth in China (+ 275 percent) and Russia (+ 182 percent).
BMW Group Driving Experience: professional know-how for enhanced driving pleasure proves ever more popular.
The BMW Group’s Driving Experience programme also met with heightened interest in 2010. The number of participants rose by 21 percent to 12,945 – a unique achievement in the German marketplace. This programme, devised and organised by BMW M GmbH, covers BMW Driving Experience and MINI Driving Experience. The options range from short courses for beginners all the way to adventure tours and track training for motor sport fans. Experienced instructors convey target group-oriented know-how for self-assured driving pleasure.
It was above all the Experience courses of the BMW Group Driving Experience programmes that reflected a steep rise in demand with figures swelling by 69 percent. Efficient Dynamics Training in conjunction with safety exercises, introduced in 2008, likewise enjoyed growing popularity in 2010. The number of participants keen to learn more about economical as well as safe driving rose by 27 percent. The restructured programme for BMW Motorrad Training also triggered a boost in interest: the expanded programme led to a 208 percent increase in participants.
BMW M GmbH: top performance for special requirements – now for special task and security vehicles as well.
A further important aspect of the BMW Group Driving Experience scheme is the special training of drivers of BMW security vehicles. BMW Security Training teaches drivers of armoured and unarmoured vehicles to carry out challenging manoeuvres with confidence, to master all kinds of tricky situations with practised skill and to convey passengers to their destination in safety and comfort. Around 200 participants signed up for this course in 2010.
2011 sees BMW M GmbH extending its sphere of responsibility to include the development of security vehicles as well as special task vehicles for government authorities and public bodies. With this fifth business area, BMW M GmbH gains new possibilities for utilising and further expanding its more than 30-year experience in customer-led individualisation of vehicles – all the way to building one-off models. In a similar way to the high-performance sports cars from BMW M GmbH, these security and special task vehicles are also built as part of an integral development process that is guided by specific customer requirements and that ensures that these specifications are reconciled with maximum everyday utility and with the stringent quality and safety standards of premium carmaker BMW.
BMW security vehicles guarantee effective and tailored protection from criminal attacks and other hazardous situations. The current range includes security vehicles in various protection classes, all of which come with certification in compliance with internationally recognised standards. The protective equipment forms an integral part of the relevant vehicle concept. Unlike retrofit security measures, this principle ensures that all components are perfectly adapted to the relevant model. For example, an armoured passenger cell provides protection for the whole interior that covers all joints and seams. When it comes to the suspension tuning, too, the specific attributes of the security vehicle – including extra weight – are taken into account from the outset. Plus, all specific equipment details comply with the high quality and safety requirements of the BMW Group. Another advantage of this integrated development process is that the design of the vehicle is not affected by the implementation of security features. At first glance BMW security models are indistinguishable from production models and are therefore particularly discreet when out on the road.
In the field of special task vehicles for police forces, fire brigades and emergency services in Germany and abroad, the integration of specific requirements stipulated by each target group presents a particular challenge for the development and production process. BMW is the only German carmaker to systematically integrate these requirements during the series production process. This means that police patrol cars, for example, along with their specific radio, signalling and measuring technology are built in parallel with the corresponding series production models at the relevant plant.
Beyond that, a functionally optimised link-up with the production vehicle is given priority right at the development stage of components built to order for special task vehicles. Regular dialogue between BMW and the future users ensures that the appropriate integrated solutions are found. This ensures an overall concept for equipping special task vehicles which, on the one hand, complies with BMW’s high quality standards and, on the other, meets the specific demands of the respective users.