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BMW wants record year

BMW, the German premium carmaker, is expecting record new car sales and profits this year driven by the introduction of new models and strong registrations for Mini.

Helmut Panke, chief executive officer, says: “We expect increasing sales volumes in 2004 for all brands and will continue to build on the BMW Group's position as one of the most profitable auto companies in the world.”

He adds: “We expect all three brands to reach new records in retail volume. We are also aiming at a new record result exceeding the previous record set in 2002. We will start this year to reap the benefits of our product and market initiative so far.”

BMW GB, which posted record sales last year of 93,833 (Mini: 40,510), will be asking its dealers to improve again. It intends to grow the network from 155 to 157 outlets this year, and wants the average dealer throughput to rise from 605 now to 615 by the end of 2004.

New models due to hit forecourts this year will see the group achieve a 10-model line up with the launch of the 6-series, X3, 1-series and Mini convertible.

BMW made pre-tax profits of £2.2bn last year down 2.8% on 2002. Turnover fell 2.1% to £27.9bn because of the weak dollar.

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