Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning from me as well. The year 2018 once again demonstrated the financial and performance strength of the BMW Group. Despite massive headwinds, we reported the second-best result in our company’s history: for the past 15 years, we have now been the world’s leading premium car company. At 7.2%, our EBIT margin in the Automotive Segment remains at a high level compared to competition, and in line with our adjusted guidance for the full year.
Nevertheless, our performance in 2018 did not meet our usual high standards. The challenging environment left its mark on the entire automotive industry last year: I am referring, in particular, to the trade dispute between the US and China – but also the challenge of regulations and the negative trend in exchange rates and commodity prices. All of these factors impacted the results of vehicle manufacturers across the board. Although we mastered the transition to the new WLTP test cycle smoothly and on schedule, the price war initiated by some of our competitors also impacted our profitability. At the same time, we are managing planned expenses for our ongoing business and setting our company’s course for the future.
The BMW Group is in the middle of the biggest model offensive in its history. We are investing billions in new products, e-mobility, autonomous driving and the next strategic steps for mobility services.
We see great potential here. Rapid scalability will be decisive. E-mobility is financially challenging – but we see no alternative. As a premium manufacturer, we clearly possess the best credentials to successfully implement it.
Despite these extremely volatile conditions, 2018 was overall a successful year for the BMW Group. We were the only premium car company to see growth in the US. In China, we delivered more than 640,000 vehicles to customers, in a contracting market. And in Europe, despite sales distortions due to the WLTP change and an overall declining market, we were able to maintain sales at the same high level as the previous year.
We also deliberately cut production, to avoid fuelling price wars.
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SOURCE: BMW Group