In an uncertain 2009, BMW AG's sales boss Ian Robertson pledges to hold or boost the brand's global share of the premium market. Last week BMW unveiled the redesigned Z4 roadster with a powered convertible roof that retracts within 20 seconds.
BMW is moving production of the Z4 to Germany, so the Spartanburg, S.C., plant — where the previous model was built — can be expanded to produce the next generation of the X3 crossover.
BMW Group's global sales last year fell 4 percent to 1.4 million units of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles. In the United States, BMW Group sales fell 9.7 percent last year to 303,604 vehicles.
Robertson said at the Detroit auto show that despite the modest unit decline, BMW was able to boost its share of what it describes as the premium segment 0.4 share points to 15.1 percent in a declining worldwide market. BMW's U.S. market share rose to 2.3 percent from 2.1 percent.
The U.S. market will continue to be BMW's single largest market, Robertson said, citing the $1 billion investment to expand U.S. production at Spartanburg.