BMW sees demand declining further after Q1 sales plunge as coronavirus spreads

by SpeedLux
BMW 6 Series Coupe

BMW is expecting more decline in global demand as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, spokesman said after the German carmaker reported a 20.6% decline in first quarter sales to 477,111 vehicles.

BMW stated it had seen sales growth at the beginning of the year. Since then, the pandemic has pushed some companies, including automakers, to stop production at some sites and many governments across the world have introduced lockdown measures in a bid to reduce the spread of the virus.

“By February, the impact of the pandemic had already led to a major decline in sales in China. By March, the effects of the pandemic were clearly visible in sales figures in Europe and the U.S,” BMW stated.

BMW sales to China, where the outbreak originated, fell 30.9% in the January to March period. They fell by 18.3% in Europe and by 17.4% in the United States.

A production stoppage at BMW’s plants is being extended by two weeks until April 30, a spokesman stated, adding the time was being used to make changes to the factories – a task that is keeping several thousand workers busy.

The automaker is responding to an expected further decline in demand by planning ahead and adjusting production, a spokesman stated.

He added that while fundamental demand was still there, the closure of retail outlets meant consumers were not ordering and receiving cars like they do normally so it would take longer for markets show some recovery.

BMW stated around 80% of retail outlets in Europe and 70% in the United States were temporarily closed because of the pandemic.

Export expectations in Germany’s auto sector have dropped to their lowest level since March 2009.

About 1,920,918 people in the world have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed 119,686 people worldwide.

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