Any petrolhead worth their salt will likely know that BMW has been on the automotive chopping block as of late. We know many purists will likely have dismissed the new M3 and M4 front fascia by now, but we’re actually talking about the brand moving farther away from the essence of early M vehicles – lightweight performance. Regardless of your feelings on where the German automaker is moving, it’s producing record sales numbers.
Even during the Coronavirus pandemic, BMW M sold 144,218 units in 2020 – an increase of six percent from 2019. So how was the subsidiary company so successful in such a tumultuous year? Spoiler alert: it was a very multifaceted effort.
Gallery: 2020 BMW X5 M / Competition
It all started with the introduction of several new Sport Activity Vehicles like the X5 M and X6 M. With over 625 bhp (466 kilowatts) on tap, these big contenders expertly filled an automotive itch that needed to be scratched. On the smaller side, 2020 also saw the debut of the BMW M2 CS which also served as a competition vehicle in the M Motorsport division.
“The fact that we were able to conclude this exceptionally challenging year with yet a further record is great validation of our consistent growth strategy,” said Markus Flasch, Chairman of the Board of BMW M GmbH.
On the less mechanical side of things, another massive contributing factor to the solid year was growing demand in relevant markets; 2020 saw new sales records achieved in the USA, China, Russia, Korea, Italy, and the UK. Aside from an injection of motorsport DNA into its road vehicles, the German automaker contributed a lot of this success to the engagement of its dealership network.
Let’s face it, the unfortunate reality is that cars are much bigger and heavier than they once were. But thanks to clever engineering and technology, BMW is still committed to developing the ultimate driving machine.
Munich. With yet another new sales record, the BMW M GmbH continued to grow also in the 2020 fiscal year. Despite the effects of the Corona pandemic on the market, it was possible to increase the number of BMW M automobiles sold by 6 percent to 144,218 units. Thanks to this result, the subsidiary company of the BMW Group with the status of an independent company has significantly strengthened its market leadership within the competitive environment first gained in 2019. “The fact that we were able to conclude this exceptionally challenging year with yet a further record is great validation of our consistent growth strategy,” says Markus Flasch, chairman of the board of the BMW M GmbH. “We can be particularly proud of the fact that we were able not only to defend our market dominance as the most successful provider of performance and high-performances automobiles, but also to have even expanded it.”
The further increase in sales figures was due, inter alia, to the successful market launch of the models BMW X5 M (combined fuel consumption: 13.1 – 12.6 l/100 km according to WLTP, 13.0 – 12.8 l/100 km according to NEDC; combined CO2 emissions: 298 – 287 g/km according to WLTP, 296 – 287 g/km according to NEDC) and BMW X6 M (combined fuel consumption: 13.4 – 13.1 l/100 km according to WLTP, 13.1 l/100 km according to NEDC; combined CO2 emissions: 305 – 300 g/km according to WLTP, 301 g/km according to NEDC). With V8 power units delivering up to 460 kW/625 hp, BMW M automobiles from the Sports Activity Vehicle and Sports Activity Coupe segment offer a particularly characteristic high-performance experience. Likewise, the special edition model BMW M2 CS (combined fuel consumption: 10.1 – 9.2 l/100 km according to WLTP, 10.4 – 9.4 l/100 km according to NEDC; combined CO2 emissions: 229 – 210 g/km according to WLTP, 238 – 214 g/km according to NEDC), which serves as the basis for a new competition vehicle from BMW Motorsport, has also received a positive response. In the high-performance model sector alone, it was possible to increase the number of worldwide deliveries by 4 percent vs. the year 2019.
Moreover, it was predominantly the performance automobiles developed for the new BMW 3 Series and the new BMW 4 Series that helped boost the sales of the BMW M GmbH so decisively. With powerful straight six-cylinder petrol and diesel power plants, specific suspension tuning and stand-alone design features, the top-of-the-range offer for the BMW 3 Series Sedan, the BMW 3 Series Touring and the BMW 4 Series Coupe also guarantees that characteristic M experience in the premium mid-range segment, coupled with unrestricted suitability for everyday use and long distances.
Growing demand in all relevant markets.
Technology transferred from motor racing, precisely coordinated features in the areas of drive systems, suspension, aerodynamics, interior design and operation as well as the resulting authentic character of BMW M automobiles, create a fascination, which continued in 2020 to captivate an increasing number of performance-oriented customers throughout the world. For example, in the USA, the most important market for BMW M automobiles, as well as in China, new records were achieved. In both Russia and Korea, it was possible to increase sales by more than 60 percent, and in Italy by 47 percent. And in the UK, too, the number of vehicles delivered exceeded our expectations. “We notice a steadily growing demand in all relevant markets for BMW M automobiles,” explains Thomas Felbermair, head of Sales and Marketing at BMW M GmbH. “Because of this and thanks to the engagement of our strong dealer network, we have been outstandingly successful in coping with the challenges posed by the pandemic.”
Ready to go: BMW M5 CS, BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe.
Looking towards the future, the initial focus shifts to the world premiere of the BMW M5 CS, which will take place in January 2021. A special edition of the BMW M5 will then be available for the first time – with outstanding performance and exclusive motorsport characteristics. Following that, the main focus will be on the market launch of the new BMW M3 Sedan starting in March 2021 (combined fuel consumption: 10.6 – 10.3 l/100 km according to WLTP, 10.8 l/100 km according to NEDC; combined CO2 emissions: 241 – 236 g/km according to WLTP, 248 g/km according to NEDC) and the new BMW M4 Coupe (combined fuel consumption: 10.5 – 10.3 l/100 km according to WLTP, 10.8 l/100 km according to NEDC; combined CO2 emissions: 240 – 235 g/km according to WLTP, 248 g/km according to NEDC). The two high-performance automobiles represent the essence of that unmistakable M feeling. Immediately after their world premiere, the new model generation aroused keen interest around the globe.
In future, the wishes of the M Community will be fulfilled by extraordinary diversity: Each variant with classic manual shift will be complemented by a Competition model featuring an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. Moreover, in the summer of 2021, the four-wheel drive system M xDrive will be added for the first time to the drive portfolio for the BMW M3 and the BMW M4. And the BMW M4 Convertible will also be launched in time for the warm season. On the other hand, the first BMW M3 Touring is still undergoing the series development process.
A glance into the future: continued growth, new M feeling through electrification, and an anniversary.
“It is remarkable that it was possible to achieve the new sales record even before the launch of our most important models,” says Markus Flasch. “The new BMW M3 and BMW M4 generation offers us the promise of dynamic growth in 2021 as well.” Moreover, he now also looks forward to presenting a completely new manifestation of the distinctive M feeling. Electrification will provide the basis for this. During the year 2021, the BMW M GmbH will be presenting an electrically powered performance automobile for the first time.
With this setting of agenda with which the “Power of Choice” strategy has been realised within the model range of the BMW M GmbH, and an exceptionally strong product range, the company is heading full of optimism for the forthcoming anniversary year. 2022 will be the year in which the BMW M GmbH celebrates 50 years of its existence. Markus Flasch has already announced “a year full of surprises”: “If I mention the keyword special edition models, it should be clear what our customers can look forward to during the anniversary year.”