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Market Insight: BMW M chasing record sales in 2020

M-arching forwards: not even the Covid-19 pandemic has been able to stop BMW M chalking up positive sales growth in 2020 with the M135i xDrive leading the charge.

Australian BMW M sales are up 6.1 per cent so far this year ending August


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28 Sep 2020

BMW Australia’s M division is looking set to enjoy a prosperous year in 2020 with its total sales up by more than six per cent despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic which has seen the sales of other makes and models plummet.


Speaking to Australian journalists at the virtual media launch of the new M3 and M4, BMW Australia CEO Vikram Pawah revealed the performance division was on track to exceed the 4288 sales notched up last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic.


“Sales in Australia are up 6.1 per cent year-to-date with a volume of 3220 to the end of August, so it’s really good we’re actually growing in a declining market with our M sales,” he said.


“That’s a great testament to our product line-up and our strategy that we’ve been putting in place for some time now.”


With M’s sales figures on the rise, so too is the brand’s overall segment share which is up to 21.4 per cent (+2.5% year on year) with the Bavarian performance specialist now leading 15 of the 23 segments it features in.


This detail particularly pleased Mr Pawah, who described the progress as a “great, great improvement in these tough circumstances” and reaffirmed that Australia boasts the second-highest uptake of BMW M models in the world.


“One in five BMWs sold in Australia wears an M Badge, New Zealand it’s even better – I think it’s one in four – so we need good performance there in both these markets with the M Performance and M business,” he said.


The key to this success, according to Mr Pawah, is BMW M’s recent product offensive which has introduced a series of new models and variants “which are relevant for our markets”.


Leading sales charge this year are the M135i xDrive (523), M235i xDrive (334) and M340i xDrive (312), all of which were introduced to the market within the last 12 months and form part of the M Performance line-up.


In terms of the full-fat M variants, the M2 currently sits at the top of the sales tree with 168 units shifted, despite taking a 50 per cent hit compared to last year following a production disruption due to Covid-19.


By contrast, the X3 M Competition (164) is up 320 per cent while its coupe-brethren the X4 M Competition (113) is up 253 per cent.


As the mainstream market and even parts of the premium market for that matter continue to sway towards SUVs, BMW says it has not experienced the same swing – as indicated by the above data – with all of the new additions to its M and M Performance line-ups being designed to broaden customer choice.


“Growth has been driven by our product offensive but also our broadened customer offering with the M Pure strategy, which provides customers the opportunity to benefit from the performance of flagship models,” Mr Pawah said.


A prime example of the Pure strategy paying dividends was the revelation that some 70 per cent of all M550i sales were of the Pure variant.


When all is said and done, the brand is set to notch up some 4830 M sales for the year, marking a year-on-year increase of 12.6 per cent.


While not being quite as open as BMW with its data, Mercedes-AMG also looks on track to post positive sales growth this year with a spokesperson revealing that sales were “slightly up” so far in 2020 – as of August – compared to 2019, something they attributed to “the launch of a number of new Mercedes-AMG models”.


Like its Bavarian counterpart, AMG models accounted for around 20 per cent (one in five, approx. 3800) of all Mercedes passenger car sales (18,984) through the first eight months of the year, with the most popular models being the A35 hatch and sedan, GLC43 SUV and A45 S.


“AMG SUV models have played a big part in the success of Mercedes-AMG this year and of course our AMG 35 and 45 models continue to be the most wanted in the showroom,” the brand said.


With the imminent arrival of the updated new E63 S super-sedan and other more volume-oriented variants including the GLA45, GLB35 and CLA35, the spokesperson said the brand is expecting its AMG models “to continue to be a strong performer for the remainder of the year”.


Likewise, BMW is set to launch its facelifted M5 Competition super-sedan and chief E63 rival next month along with the blistering M2 CS before the all-new M3 and M4 launch early next year.

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