ZURICH, Switzerland -- BMW aims to increase sales up to 9 percent this year as it looks for a strong performance in Asia and the United States, its chief executive told a Swiss newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.
"We want to grow sales by a high single-digit percentage figure this year, so between 6 and 9 percent," Helmut Panke told the NZZ am Sonntag.
"BMW's market share in the United States is only 1.5 percent. In Europe we have a shares of 3.5 to 4 percent," he added.
The company's 2004 revenues climbed to $58.59 billion from 41.53 billion in the previous year, due mainly to a strong rise in revenues at its core auto division, which is engaged in its biggest product offensive.
Adjusted for currency effects, group revenues rose 9.2 percent last year.
Despite the extreme difficulties most major carmakers face as a result of global overcapacities and the resulting severe pricing pressures, BMW has remained one of the industry's few bright spots.
Vehicle sales rose 9.4 percent to a record 1.209 million units in 2004, driven by the successful launch of new products including the 1 series hatchback, the X3 compact offroader and the Mini Cabrio.
BMW, which has a reputation for beefy engines matched with sporty handling, has said it expected 2005 to be another sunny year for car sales.
The group has also said it would compensate as best it can for negative effects of higher material prices and a stronger euro.