BMW has successfully set the benchmark for luxury motoring since the 1980s, creating a standard now fiercely contested by other manufacturers, not least countrymates Mercedes-Benz and Audi, and Japanese challenger Lexus. Meanwhile, the group has diversified. Having finally pulled the plug on a disastrous 1990s dalliance with Britain's Rover, BMW now offers only the enormously successful relaunched Mini at the lower end of its range, and ultra-prestige Rolls-Royce marque at the top. More important perhaps has been the expansion of the core BMW marque with new models including the entry-level 1 series, the hugely popular X-series SUV range, and high-performance hybrid and all-electric BMWi. The group claims to be the local leader in Europe in sales of electrified vehicles, and the global leader in plug-in hybrids. It is also the only volume automobile manufacturer to concentrate exclusively on the premium passenger car sector (although it also keeps a toehold in premium motorcycles as well with BMW Motorrad). This concentration has allowed performance to soar, largely unencumbered by the continuing drag effect of the struggling European mass-market automobile sector. Until the Covid pandemic, volume sales had hit new highs every year since 2011, coming in at 2.54m vehicles in 2019, including almost 2.2m for the main BMW brand. The figure for 2020 was 2.35m, including 2.05m for BMW itself. However, that figure remained below Mercedes-Benz. BMW originally overtook its arch-rival in global sales in 2005, but the older brand fought back successfully, moving back into pole position in 2016 and retaining it ever since. China is now BMW Group's single biggest market for unit sales, accounting for 29% of deliveries: more than the next two biggest markets - the US and Germany - combined. The X SUV series, now seven models strong, accounts for 44% of all units sold; however the individual top-selling models remain the 3 series and 5 series sedans at 359k and 353k units respectively. Volume sales of motorcycles hit a new high in 2019 of 175k units, as did unit sales of Rolls Royce which exceeded 5,000 cars for the first time. Group revenues topped €100bn for the first time that year at €104.2bn, though net profit was at a five -year low of €5.0bn. For 2020, revenues were €99.0bn with net income falling still further to €3.9bn. Oliver Zipse, previously head of production, succeeded Harald Krueger as executive chairman in 2019. Though publicly quoted, BMW Group is still 47% controlled by Stefan Quandt and his sister Susanne Klatten. They are the children of the industrialist Herbert Quandt, who rescued the business from near-collapse in 1960. The Quandt family are Germany's richest with a combined estimated wealth of almost $41bn.
Capsule checked 3rd September 2020
Adbrands Account Assignments track account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets.
Account assignments & selected contact information
Which agencies handle advertising for BMW? Find out more from the Adbrands Account Assignments database
Marketing decisionmakers for BMW? Find out more from the Adbrands Account Assignments database
Historical profile information for BMW Group
Adbrands Daily Update 9th Jul 2021: The financial ripples from Volkswagen's Dieselgate scandal continue to spread six years after it was revealed. This week, European regulators slapped Volkswagen and BMW with fines of €502m and €373m respectively for colluding to reduce competition in systems to lower diesel emissions. At the same time as Volkswagen was developing the engineering technology to cheat emissions tests between 2009 and 2014, it met with German rivals BMW and Daimler on several occasions to discuss their respective systems. The three companies agreed to work together to avoid competitive rivalry in this area, and to fulfill only the minimum requirements required by EU regulation. However, Daimler subsequently received immunity from fines or prosecution by acting as a whistleblower on the discussions. Volkswagen criticised the regulators' decision but agreed to settle in return for a reduction in the final fine. BMW denied any illegal activity but also agreed to settle.
Adbrands Daily Update 11th Mar 2021: BMW and Daimler are to sell their digital parking division Park Now to Swedish rival EasyPark. Park Now operates a collection of different apps that allows users to reserve, book, and pay for parking spaces. Brands being transferred include RingGo (the dominant parking app in the UK, and especially in London), Park Now (in France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria), Park-line (the Netherlands) and Parkmobile (US, Canada and Australia). EasyPark operates a similar range of services in Scandinavia, Spain, Italy, France and Germany. BMW and Daimler retain a collection of ride-hailing and electric charge location apps.
Adbrands Daily Update 9th Sep 2020: BMW is to consolidate its advertising across Europe for both the main BMW brand and Mini with Serviceplan, already its partner in several markets including Germany, and S4 Capital's Mediamonks production network. They will be supported by consulting agency Berylls under the shared banner of "The Engine". That partnership will replace third-party agencies in all other markets - for example FCB in several countries including the UK and Russia, SCPF in Spain and 180 Kingsday and TBWA in Netherlands, Belgium and other markets. It's not yet clear where this leaves Anomaly Berlin, which was awarded the global account for Mini earlier this year.
Adbrands Daily Update 20th Dec 2019: Just a few weeks after pooling their mobility services under the Share Now banner, Daimler and BMW announced plans to suspend operations of car-sharing services Car2Go and Drive Now throughout North America, as well as in London, Brussels and Florence. Share Now blamed the pullout on "rising infrastructure complexities" in North America and low adoption rates in those three European cities. The service will continue in 18 other European cities.
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Nov 2019: German car giants Daimler and BMW unveiled the first fruits of their previously agreed mobility joint venture. Share Now will gradually absorb their two existing car-share ventures, Daimler's Car2Go and BMW's Drive Now. Together these currently serve around 4m customers in 31 cities in continental Europe and North America. The current brands will be phased out in favour of Share Now, and a series of other similar ventures will follow. Reach Now will absorb the Moovel service which allows customers to book public transport tickets; Free Now is the venture's Uber competitor, absorbing the currently separate MyTaxi, Chauffeur Privé, Clever Taxi and Beat; Park Now offers smartphone-operated ticketless parking services in more than 1,100 cities under the Parkmobile or Park Now brands.
All rights reserved © Mind Advertising Ltd 1998-2021