(File photo: VCG)
BERLIN, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- BMW expects sales to grow slightly "in the low to mid-single-digit area" in 2019, the German car maker announced on Friday.
Pieter Nota, member of the board of management of BMW AG responsible for sales and brand BMW, said that BMW would continue on its "successful course" in spite of "challenging" market conditions. BMW would aim to maintain its "clear focus on profitability," Nota added.
Last year, the Munich-based carmaker delivered around 2.1 million vehicles with its brand BMW, increasing sales by 1.8 percent compared to 2017. With its MINI and Rolls Royce subsidiary brands, BMW Group Automobile sold a total of around 2.49 million vehicles, an increase of 1.1 percent.
According to the company, the strongest growth drivers of the brand BMW were vehicles of the so-called X series. The introduction of the BMW X2 at the beginning of 2018 and the expansion of production of the BMW X3 in China and South Africa boosted total sales of the BMW X family by 12.1 percent to 792,590 units in 2018.
Another significant growth driver for the brand was the BMW 5 Series, of which sales increased by 12.7 percent. In 2018, a total of 328,997 units of the 5 series were sold.
China remains one of BMW's strongest sales markets. In Asia, BMW delivered almost 875,000 vehicles, of which around 640,000 were sold on Chinese mainland alone. In 2018, BMW's sales in the Chinese market increased by 7.7 percent.
A press representative of BMW told Xinhua on Friday that "China is much more than just our largest single sales market". It would "also be an extremely important strategic market" for BMW, as it is "home to our most extensive R&D and production facilities outside Germany".
In 2019, BMW expects "solid sales growth" for the Chinese mainland, with "locally produced BMW vehicles" being the main growth driver. For Europe and the United States, BMW is anticipating a "slight sales growth" in 2019.