Fleet News

BMW price hike warnings not aimed at UK

BMW has moved to reassure UK car buyers that warnings over price hikes and volume cuts were aimed mostly at the US.

The German carmaker issued a profit warning earlier this month due to a sharp slowdown in US sales in the second quarter of this year.

Chief executive Norbert Reithofer warned that 2009 would be “a difficult year full of challenges”.

He blamed oil and raw material price rises, the weakness of the US dollar and economy and the impact of the international financial crisis.

But a spokesman for BMW’s UK operation said the situation in Britain was relatively strong.

He said: “There’s an obvious knock-on effect from the economy and there will always be annual increases in prices of cars.

“But we are up in a market that’s down.

“Our sales will be up for this year – I can’t see us selling less in the UK this year than we did last year.

“BMW sales in the US are down quite a bit, so the US will be taking the lion’s share of price rises and volume cuts.

The UK is stronger than the global market so UK consumers are in a much stronger position.”
 

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