BMW Group is paving the way for continued success in the future with a high level of expenditure on new technologies and models and investments in its production network.
"In this way, we are preparing for the company's next phase of growth and making the BMW Group more competitive for the future. Anyone who wishes to shape the mobility of tomorrow must make the necessary investments today," said BMW AG chairman of the board of management, Norbert Reithofer, at the Annual General Meeting today in Munich.
The BMW Group will continue to invest in existing and new locations: for example, in the new site planned in Brazil, which will produce up to 30,000 vehicles per year. The start of production is slated for 2014, with investments in Brazil of more than €200 million over the coming years. Last year the BMW Group production network comprised a total of 29 locations in 14 countries.
Development costs for new technologies and vehicle concepts will also continue to rise in 2013, with 11 new BMW Group models scheduled for launch in 2013. By the end of 2014, some 25 new models will have been added to the range, 10 of them totally new models.
With a view to global sales development, the company will continue its strategy of avoiding over-reliance on a single market or region.
"We aim to maintain a good balance of sales between the three major regions of the world: Europe, the Americas and Asia," emphasised Reithofer. Last year, the US accounted for 18.9% of total sales, China 17.7% and Germany 15.6%.
Spotlight on e-mobility
Electro-mobility will be very much in the spotlight for the BMW Group this year. The BMW i3, which is designed for zero-emission driving in the urban environment and will come onto the market by the end of the year, underscores the BMW Group's role as a leading innovator in the premium segment.
"Later this year, we will start the revolution in our industry - and BMW i3 will give the mobility of tomorrow a face. The future belongs to those who dare to venture. We cannot ignore the need for new approaches - especially when circumstances are changing," said Reithofer. "Customers are waiting for attractive options - options which we can deliver."
The BMW i3 features a passenger compartment made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and an aluminium chassis, and sets new standards in the field of lightweight construction. As a result, the BMW i3 will be 250 to 350kg lighter than a conventional electric car.
BMW reaffirms targets
After a record-breaking 2012, the BMW Group reaffirmed its ambitious targets for the full year amid a persistently difficult and volatile economic environment.
"We are aiming for a new sales volume record at Group level and a Group profit before tax for 2013 on a similar scale to 2012," confirmed Reithofer.
Despite the additional costs referred to, the automotive segment continues to forecast an EBIT margin of between 8% and 10% for the current year. This range is also seen as a sustainable EBIT margin beyond 2013.
However, depending on political and economic developments, actual margins could end up being above or below the targeted range.
The motorcycle segment forecasts further sales volume growth in the current year thanks to attractive new models such as the R 1200 GS, which should, in turn, bring about a further rise in segment revenues and earnings.
The financial services segment is also expected to produce another strong performance and remains committed to achieving a return on equity of at least 18%.
Forecasts for the current year are based on the assumption that economic and political conditions worldwide will not change significantly. ∎
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