BMW upbeat despite weak 2016 sales
Car deliveries contract, motorcycles gain
BMW Group Thailand remains upbeat about its sales performance despite projecting the overall luxury car market to remain flat this year.
President Stefan Teuchert said Thailand's luxury car market is expected to stand pat at 20,489 units this year, equivalent to sales in 2016, which dropped by 8.7% from 2015, the first fall in nine years.
BMW plans to introduce around 20 models this year, including the BMW 5 Series sedan launched yesterday.
The German luxury automaker is also scheduled to unveil its new Mini Countryman, Mini John Cooper Works Clubman and BMW Motorrad R nineT in the first quarter this year.
Mr Teuchert said the group began 2017 with a 22% rise in deliveries of 745 BMW and Mini cars in January.
BMW Motorrad also performed very well last month, with 110 motorcycles sold, up by 22% year-on-year.
"It is a good start for the group and we are eager to grow in the premium car segment again," he said.
BMW Group Thailand reported its sales performance contracted last year 9.6% to 7,923 BMW and Mini deliveries, marking its first dip in nine years.
BMW dropped by 9.6% to 7,010 cars and Mini also decreased by 10.2% to 913 cars.
But BMW Motorrad tallied a 42.1% rise to 1,819 deliveries in 2016.
Markus Glaeser, head of BMW Motorrad Thailand, said the overall big bike market above 500cc rose by 7% last year to 18,500 motorcycles, citing new registration figures from the Land Transport Department.
"I believe the big bike market has potential to grow this year, but the growth rate is unlikely to be at the same pace as last year," Mr Glaeser said.
In a related development, BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand reported its Rayong plant exported 9,449 completely built-up units of BMWs mainly to China in 2016, the first year of shipments for the Munich-based parent firm from its Thailand facility.
A total of 2,215 units of BMW Motorrad were shipped last year mainly to China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, up from 1,000 motorcycles in 2015.
Mr Glaeser said Vietnam will be the next export destination for BMW Motorrad in 2017.
BMW Financial Services Thailand, meanwhile, reported its outstanding hire-purchase loans rose by 7.5% to 35.9 billion baht as of last year.