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Strong unit sales to drive BMW third-quarter results

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Strong unit sales to drive BMW third-quarter results

September 16, 2010 15:46 CET

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- Strong unit sales will power BMW AG's third-quarter results, Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner said, adding that a seasonal slowdown it was expecting was not as strong as it had forecast.

"We expect our sales performance to drive our results in the third quarter," Eichiner said Thursday in the text of a speech prepared for the company's capital markets day in Beijing.

"Should these trends continue through September, we will not see the magnitude of the seasonal slowdown in the third quarter which we indicated in the (second quarter) conference call," he said.

BMW's car sales volume was set to rise by some 10 percent to more than 1.4 million units for the full year, Eichiner said.

"We also forecast a full-year EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) margin of more than 5 percent for the automobiles segment," he added.

BMW aims to become the strongest premium brand in China, especially in terms of brand awareness and customer satisfaction, he said.

The BMW group is the number two premium manufacturer in the Chinese market, with a market share of 22 percent, Eichiner said, adding that the company would expand its vehicle portfolio in the coming years and intended to build smaller models there.

Volkswagen's Audi is the premium market leader in China, the world's biggest overall car market.

BMW planned to follow the same strategy in China as it had in the United States, increasing local production and sourcing and profiting from economies of scale, he said.

"We aim to extend our current network of around 100 local suppliers to more than 160 suppliers by 2012. For the new (BMW) 3 Series, which will be built in China from June 2012, 174 components will be locally produced," Eichiner said.

The Chinese government is pushing hard for electric mobility and BMW planned to bring its Megacity-Vehicle to China in 2014, Eichiner said.

BMW Financial Services China will start its own business activities by the end of the year, while wholesale and retail financing cooperation with Shenzhen Development Bank will continue, Eichiner said.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100916/ANE/309169964/1131#ixzz0zhoBK2JT

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