Tom Purves, CEO of BMW North America LLC, says the BMW division expects 2004 U.S. sales to top last year's 240,859 with the help of the X3 SUV and 6-series coupe and convertible coming in the next few months.
BMW will face challenges, including maintaining profitability in the face of a deteriorating dollar.
The key will be cutting costs to make up for the currency problems, he said.
Purves was interviewed by Staff Reporter Diana T. Kurylko at the convention.
There is growing concern at NADA and with dealers about CSI and the changes that NADA believes have to be made. How is BMW addressing the issue?
NADA's concern is that CSI has become a way of hitting dealers over the head, and some of it doesn't lead to customer satisfaction but can lead to manipulation of numbers to get a result. Or maybe there may even be giveaways for people to write "excellent" on their forms.
We know that it is so important to dealers that people try to find ways of cheating. The issue is how do you make it fair and reduce that risk of manipulation.
What has BMW done to its CSI program?
Dealers, for the most part, say to us that the BMW CSI program has been positive. But their criticism is more in the minor areas of execution and not in the principle. For some of the domestics, it has been seen as more of a negative thing. In North Carolina, where there is some legislation that was going to be passed, our dealers fought for the program.
You can't just say, "This is what we are going to do, these are the targets, and this is what we have to do." It has to be a live thing, and many people don't understand that.