Statement Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, conference call interim report to 31 March 2020

The current situation is extremely challenging, which makes it even more important to have a clear course, a firm stance and responsible leadership

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen!

The current situation is extremely challenging, which makes it even more important to have a clear course, a firm stance and responsible leadership.

This includes balancing business decisions – between short-term impact and long-term perspective – intelligently and effectively: On the one hand, we have measures to combat the massive impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our business and the way we work. On the other hand, we have future projects we plan to continue.

The BMW Group is in a strong position and well prepared to handle the challenges on both sides.

  • We have intensified and accelerated our Performance > NEXT program, through which we have tapped considerable potential on both the cost and the performance side since 2017.
  • We continue to electrify our product portfolio and are bringing new models onto the market at the right time.
  • We are using the time to make our supply chain even more sustainable.

All of this helps us to balance business, environmental and societal challenges equally. Responsibility is and will remain the foundation of everything we do.

I have three points to underscore this:

  1. We are guiding the company through the coronavirus pandemic with flexibility and sound judgement.
  2. We remain committed to meeting our climate protection targets.
  3. We remain focused on investing to enhance our future success.

Let’s turn to the first topic:

No one can reliably predict how the global economy and, specifically, auto markets worldwide will develop in the next few months. We are prepared for our business to be impacted for a long period. Our decisions and how we steer the company are based on customer demand. The BMW Group is located in over 150 countries. As you know, business conditions are different across the globe, and the situation is constantly changing as a result of coronavirus pandemic. At the beginning of March, the sale of vehicles was only restricted in China and parts of Asia. In all other markets, retail outlets were still able to go about their business as usual.

Five weeks later – by the second week of April – sales had come to a complete halt: nearly everywhere in Europe, in Central and South America, Russia, South Africa, India and parts of Asia. Sales were also restricted at that time in the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and several Asian countries. The only retailers open at that time without any restrictions were in Korea, Japan, Australia and in China once again. Under these circumstances, our first-quarter sales were impacted above all by the economic fallout of the pandemic in China and Asia.

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