The company highlighted its electric vehicle sales for the period, with fully electric vehicle sales up by 112.3% to 55,979 units and battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales up by 83.2% to 64,647 units.

Following the introduction of the new BMW i5 this year, the group will offer at least one fully electric model in every major segment of its business and predicts strong growth for this area in coming years. The company noted that, while the market launch of the electric Rolls-Royce Spectre will take place in Q4, Rolls-Royce will exclusively offer fully electric vehicles by the end of 2030.

BMW Group put its drop in sales down to the “aftereffects of China’s receding coronavirus wave” but expects the Chinese economy to stabilise over the course of 2023, while the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the European market were another factor.

The BMW brand alone sold 517,957 units worldwide during the first quarter of 2023, a drop of 0.4% year-on-year, while the Mini brand was down by 9.2% to 68,541 units. Finally, Rolls-Royce managed growth of 1%, reaching sales of 1,640 vehicles.

Regionally, BMW Group saw sales fall by 6.6% in China to 194,773 BMW and Mini vehicles, while sales in the U.S. in the first quarter were up by 11.4% to 89,750 units. In Europe, the group delivered 215,917 BMW and Mini vehicles, down by 1.9%.

Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said: “Our strong product line-up continues to inspire our customers worldwide. Our fully electric vehicles, in particular, are benefiting from high demand around the globe. We were therefore able to maintain the dynamic pace of our electromobility ramp-up in the first quarter.

“The BMW Group is on track for slight sales growth in the full year 2023. The main growth drivers in 2023 will be fully-electric vehicles and models from the high-end premium segment – like the new BMW i7, the new BMW 7 Series, the BMW XM and the updated BMW X7.”