BMW confident to break sales performance

By KEVIN WONG / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM

BMW Group Malaysia (BMW Malaysia) is upbeat to break its sales performance this year, following 11.2% sales growth recorded for the first half of 2018 (1H18) compared to the same period a year ago.

The group has delivered over 6,400 vehicles comprising BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad motorcycles.

Individually, the BMW brand sales have delivered 5,300 cars, while MINI sales increased by 18% to over 550 units and BMW Motorrad sales were up by 8% which sold over 540 units.

BMW Malaysia MD and CEO Harald Hoelzl (picture) said the group is confident to achieve a double-digit growth by the end of 2018.

“At the same time, for the remaining of 2018, we are quite confident to overachieve our target as we are going to launch the new MINI Hatch, as well as the new X3 here in Malaysia.

“So, it looks very promising for 2H18 to achieve our set targets quite significantly,” he said after the unveiling of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance yesterday.

The success in Malaysia, Hoelzl said, echoes that of the BMW Group worldwide — which saw a 35th consecutive quarter of sales growth with a total of 1,242,507 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles delivered to customers.

Locally, BMW Malaysia’s plug-in hybrid sales have accounted for more than half of total vehicle deliveries at 56%, with over 3,200 units sold.

Hoelzl said Malaysia is a major contributor to BMW Group’s global sales target for its plug-in car segment.

“We are also the market leaders of the segment of 15% in the region, followed by Thailand,” he said.

Meanwhile, BMW Malaysia corporate communications head Sashi Ambi said it is still early to determine how the upcoming Sales and Services Tax will affect the prices.

“However, we will continue to look on how to meet our customers’ demands and delivery during this period,” he said.

In terms of BMW Group’s take on autonomous vehicles, Sashi shared the directions for the future for premium automobiles — especially BMW — are automated, connected and electrified with shared services.

“So, technically in the future, we are looking at autonomous as one option. However, we are still developing and only to see something by 2021.

“At the same time, it is still too early to determine whether Malaysia is ready for autonomous cars, but when the time comes, we will continue to meet the market demands and to provide the solutions.

“As for now, this (autonomous vehicle) is not the solution for the Malaysian market,” he said.

BMW Malaysia unveiled the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance which exemplifies the brand’s new definition of visionary mobility and progressive luxury for the first time in Malaysia as well as in South-East Asia.

“Luxury has a whole new meaning. At BMW Group, we understand this as the ability to have time for you, for other people and other things. Luxury is the ability to define and experience,” Hoelzl said.