The brand’s biggest growth drivers were the BMW X range, whose sales increased +12.1% to 792,590 units in the year, driven by the introduction of the BMW X2 early in 2018 and the extension of BMW X3 production to China and South Africa, in addition to the U.S.. These “popular premium sports activity vehicles” accounted for 37.3% of total BMW sales in 2018 (33.8% in 2017). Another significant growth driver for the brand was the BMW 5 Series, which was fully available in all markets throughout 2018. Sales of sedans are reported to have increased +12.7% in the year, to a total of 328,997 units.

“We are proud to have achieved our best-ever annual sales result, despite a number of important model-changeovers and significant, ongoing headwinds in several major markets,” said Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Brand BMW. “I am confident the momentum generated by these new models will continue through 2019”.

A total of 142,617 electrified BMW and MINI vehicles were sold worldwide in 2018, up +38.4% on the previous year, while Rolls-Royce, the luxury arm of the Group, announced sales of 4,107 in 2018, the highest in the marque’s 115-year history. Read more here.

In 2019, the automotive Group expects to achieve a slight increase in global sales, in the low to mid-single digit area. “The generally good economic environment and positive forecasts for the premium segment, in combination with our new models, especially the updated and expanded X-family portfolio, are expected to support sales growth in 2019. However political and economic circumstances are expected to remain volatile, which could have an impact on the automotive market”, said BMW.