DETROIT -- As the auto industry prepares to turn its back on a year it would rather forget -- November sales alone were the worst in half a century -- BMW of North America is getting ready to raise prices.
BMW will hike its list prices in the U.S. by an average of 0.7% starting Jan. 1. The automaker said the move was driven by ongoing economical changes in the marketplace and "will ensure revenue generation for the company's U.S. operations and help to protect the quality of business."
The rise comes despite the fact that the brand, like the rest of the industry, saw its U.S. new-vehicle sales slip by just over 12% to 231,053 units in the first 11 months of 2008 vs. a year ago.
Won't dissuade upscale consumers
The average price of a new BMW is roughly $35,000, said Todd Turner, president of consultant CarConcepts. However, Turner believes the primarily upscale consumers for BMW's products won't be dissuaded by the price hike. He added that he's not surprised by the move, since the U.S. dollar recently took a record week-to-week dive against the euro.
BMW's least-expensive 2009 model is the 128i coupe, carrying a suggested retail price of $30,225, including delivery charges. Its most expensive '09 model is the 2009 M6 convertible, priced at $108,725.
Omnicom Group's GSD&M Idea City, Austin, Texas, handles advertising for the brand.