BMW mentioned it generated extra cash than anticipated final yr, becoming a member of German peer Volkswagen in posting upbeat preliminary earnings after sustaining their restoration from coronavirus disruptions.
Automotive free money stream rose to 2.eight billion euros ($3.four billion) within the ultimate three months of 2020, nearly double the year-earlier interval, BMW mentioned in a press release Wednesday. The corporate reiterated that margins shall be on the increased finish of a variety of as a lot as Three p.c.
BMW and VW’s gross sales each rebounded after the primary half of final yr, with demand coming again significantly robust in China. Nonetheless, coronavirus lockdowns weighed on full-year shipments, and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz maintained its management of the worldwide luxury-car section for a fifth consecutive yr.
Whereas BMW is doing effectively in China — its largest market — the automaker is beneath rising stress there as upstarts together with Tesla, Nio and Li Auto achieve share.
BMW is responding to the risk by increasing its electrical choices, with the iX SUV and the i4 sedan anticipated to go on sale this yr and in 2022, respectively.
BMW additionally benefited from better-than-expected outcomes from remarketing used vehicles, a section bolstered by shoppers searching for options to public transport due to the pandemic. That market, together with what the corporate referred to as “centered” administration of inventories, helped enhance free money stream to about 3.four billion euros final yr.
The corporate this week was amongst a gaggle of 42 corporations permitted to get about 2.9 billion euros in state assist for battery initiatives that can strengthen Europe’s place within the race to supply extra electrical autos.
BMW additionally will make investments a three-digit million euro quantity in web advertising and marketing and gross sales processes because it bets on-line buying will assist compensate for pandemic-related dealership closures in its main markets.
The corporate is scheduled to publish detailed full-year earnings on March 17.