BMW enjoyed its best financial performance ever in 2000 built on a determination to develop its standing in the premium sector and despite having to absorb nearly £500m losses from the Rover Group prior to its sale in May.
Announcing its financial results this morning the company said profits had reached 1.6 billion euros (£1 billion), 500,000 euros more than in 1999. BMW Automobiles results were up 13% to 2.38 billion euros (£1.5 billion), up from 2.1 billion euros while BMW Motorcycles' increased by 50% to 27m euros (£17m).
Rover, including Land Rover, showed a loss of 762m euros (£480m) up to its sale to the Phoenix Consortium, after recording losses of 1.2 billion euros (£750m) for the 1999 full year.
In 2000 cars sales topped 822,181 units, up 9.4% from the previous year's total of 751,272.
Dr Joachim Milberg, BMW board of management chairman, said this morning: “Last year we consistently initiated the reorientation of the BMW Group. The core factor in this process is of course our uncompromising premium brand strategy. And it is on this foundation that the BMW Group is taking the offensive with a whole range of new products and all-new model series."
Dr Milberg said the groups' results “more than set off the drop in sales resulting from the sale of Rover”.
The new products revolve around the three new model series, the 1 and 6 and the X family, together with the launch of the Mini in July, a new 7 Series take over of Rolls Royce from 2003 marked with the launch of a new generation of cars.