BMW eyes 900,000 sales in 2001

BMW AG confirmed an earlier forecast for sales of more than 900,000 BMW and Mini brand cars and light trucks for 2001, despite a slower rate of increase in U.S. sales following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Sales of 900,000 would be about 11.1 percent below 2000 sales, including sales for Rover Group, before BMW dumped those brands last year. Excluding Rover Group, 900,000 would be an increase of 9.5 percent.

Worldwide, BMW and Mini sales were 671,850 for the first nine months, including 4,700 Minis. That total was about 9 percent ahead of the year-ago period, not counting Rover Group. U.S. sales in September were 4.4 percent ahead of the year-ago month for the BMW brand, vs. a year-to-date increase of 18.7 percent.

"We have been affected by the terrorist attacks in the United States. But our sales performances continued to be robust in September too, and on this basis our sales forecast of over 900,000 units can be confirmed," said Michael Ganal, member of the board for marketing and sales, in an Oct. 10 report.

You can reach Jim Henry at autonews@crain.com

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