Tag Archive | "BMW"

Audi Edges Past BMW to Lead Luxury-Car Sales Race in April


Audi was the world’s biggest seller of luxury cars in April, edging out BMW AG’s namesake brand and fast-growing Mercedes-Benz, reported Bloomberg.

Bolstered by U.S. demand for the Audi Q5 and Q7 sport utility vehicles, the Volkswagen AG unit’s deliveries rose 2.5 percent to 152,850 cars last month, compared with BMW’s 5.6 percent increase to 148,896 autos. Daimler AG’s Mercedes remained the fastest growing of the world’s three biggest luxury-car brands, posting an 11 percent gain to 148,072 cars.

“We’re seeing growth at a good pace,” Audi Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler told reporters on Tuesday at a presentation of the revamped Q7 sport utility vehicle in Verbier, Switzerland. “We started the year with a very decent first quarter.”

BMW has vowed to defend its annual lead in global premium car sales, even as key models such as the 7-Series sedan age. The three German luxury-car brands are adding all-new models to widen their appeal and gain an edge over rivals. BMW is rolling out the van-like Gran Tourer this year, and Mercedes plans a pickup truck by the end of the decade.
Through the first four months of 2015, BMW held onto its No. 1 ranking, with sales up 5.5 percent to 600,473 cars. Audi’s deliveries increased 5.2 percent to 591,050 vehicles, while Mercedes demand jumped 14 percent to 577,674 autos.

Audi will expand its SUV offerings with the new subcompact Q1 next year and the full-size Q8 by 2019, Stadler said. The Ingolstadt-based carmaker expects SUVs to account for about 40 percent of total vehicle sales in 2020 compared with 32 percent now.

Those new additions could be critical. Competition in China, the manufacturer’s largest market, is set to intensify as growth moderates. Stadler forecast industrywide demand in the country to rise about 8 percent this year, which is still faster than many other major markets.

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ISS Recommends BMW Shareholders Vote Against Reithofer Appointment


Advisory firm ISS has recommended that BMW shareholders should vote against the appointment of outgoing chief executive Norbert Reithofer as chairman of the carmaker’s supervisory board, newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported, reported Reuters.

ISS said BMW would go against general corporate governance practice with the appointment as there will be no cooling off period between the two roles, the newspaper said in excerpts of an article to be published on Sunday.

Last year BMW said that Reithofer, who is close to the regular 60-year-old retirement age for top executives at BMW, will be succeeded by Harald Krueger, the company’s 49-year old production chief.

Fund manager Union Investment, which owns 0.7 percent of BMW shares, according to Thomson Reuters data, told the newspaper it would follow ISS’s advice and vote against the proposal during the carmaker’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.

Johanna Quandt, the widow of industrialist Herbert Quandt who is credited with transforming BMW, and her children Stefan Quandt and Susanne Klatten own almost 47 percent of BMW, according to BMW’s website.

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BMW Settles FTC Charges


WASHINGTON — BMW of North America has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that its MINI Division violated the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act by telling consumers that BMW would void their warranty unless they used MINI parts and MINI dealers to perform maintenance and repair work.

In an administrative complaint, the FTC alleged that BMW, through its MINI Division, violated a provision in the Warranty Act that prohibits companies from requiring that consumers — in order to maintain their warranties — use specific brands of parts or specified service centers, unless the part or service is provided to the consumer without charge.

“It’s against the law for a dealer to refuse to honor a warranty just because someone else did maintenance or repairs on the car,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “As a result of this order, BMW will change its practices and give MINI owners information about their rights.”

The proposed order settling the FTC’s complaint prohibits BMW from violating the Warranty Act and the FTC Act in connection with any MINI Division good or service. The settlement also bars the automaker, in connection with the sale of any MINI Division good or service, from representing that, to ensure a vehicle’s safe operation or maintain its value, owners must have routine maintenance performed only by MINI dealers or MINI centers — unless the representation is true and BMW can substantiate it with reliable scientific evidence. Also, the settlement requires BMW to provide affected MINI owners with information about their right to use third-party parts and service without voiding warranty coverage, unless BMW provides such parts or services for free.

The FTC vote to accept the consent agreement package containing the proposed consent order for public comment was 5-0. The FTC will publish a description of the consent agreement package in the Federal Register shortly. The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning March 19 and continuing through April 20, 2015, after which the FTC will decide whether to issue the order on a final basis.

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Mercedes-Benz, BMW See Boost from Super Bowl Ads, Edmunds Reports


SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Mercedes-Benz and BMW saw the most significant traffic spikes on Edmunds.com after ads from the two companies ran during the Super Bowl, according to a real-time analysis from Edmunds.com.

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT saw the biggest cumulative spike in traffic during the game, with a 2,189% jump over average Sunday numbers on Edmunds.com. The BMW i3 had the second biggest Super Bowl boost with a 583% traffic spike.

“Even though these two advertised vehicles are likely to be sold in small volume to niche audiences, the BMW and Mercedes brands will enjoy the overall buzz they have generated,” said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at Edmunds.com. “Both brands will be quite happy that the millions of dollars they invested had the desired effect.”

The Lexus RC 350 was the third most popular car shown during the Super Bowl, generating a 568% spike in traffic. Other brands seeing traffic increases from Super Bowl advertising were Fiat, MINI, Chevrolet, Jeep and Kia.

“All the automakers who advertised during the Super Bowl succeeded in getting the attention of car shoppers during this big game,” said Caldwell. “But it’s a lot easier to create a big bang than it is to sustain the momentum and that will be the big challenge going forward.”

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BMW Retakes U.S. Luxury Auto Sales Crown from Mercedes-Benz


BMW on Monday regained bragging rights as the top-selling luxury brand in the United States, ending the one-year reign of German rival Mercedes, reported Reuters.

BMW ended with a lead last year of more than 9,000 vehicles over Mercedes-Benz, which in 2013 seized a title BMW had held for the previous two years.

The BMW brand sold 339,738 vehicles in the U.S. market last year, a 9.8 percent jump from 2013. BMW’s sales growth outpaced the overall U.S. auto market’s 5.9 percent increase. Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz brand showed an increase of 5.7 percent to 330,391 vehicles.

Last year, Mercedes-Benz outsold BMW by about 3,000 vehicles. BMW won the sales crown in 2011 and 2012.

Toyota Motor Corp’s Lexus brand narrowed the gap on the two German brands, but remained in third last year with 311,389 vehicles, up 13.7 percent.

From 2000 to 2010, Lexus was the luxury sales leader, but the two German brands jumped the Japanese brand in 2011 when a damaging earthquake and tsunami struck Japan.

Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand overtook General Motors Co’s Cadillac for fourth place. Audi’s sales of 182,011 were up 15.2 percent while Cadillac sales fell 6.5 percent to 170,750 vehicles.

Honda Motor Co’s Acura brand showed a 1.5 percent gain in the year to 167,843 vehicles, followed by Nissan Motor Co’s Infiniti at 117,300 vehicles, up 0.8 percent.

In eighth place but gaining was Lincoln, the Ford Motor Co luxury brand that a couple of decades ago was the luxury market leader. Lincoln’s sales rose 15.6 percent in the year to 94,474 vehicles.

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BMW Not Interested in Buying Stake in Tesla


Germany’s BMW is not interested in buying a stake in U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Motors, German weekly WirtschaftsWoche reported on Friday, citing a BMW statement, reported Reuters.

Earlier this week, a Tesla spokeswoman said there had been informal talks between the companies, but there were no plans to set up an alliance.

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