BMW Q1 sales fall 6% on year, EV sales rise 28%

BMW Group delivered 596,907 vehicles to customers in the first quarter of 2022, down 6.2% from an all-time high in Q1 2021, due to limited availability of components and large-scale lockdowns in China, the German automaker said May 5.

BMW’s Q1 sales of electric vehicles surged 27.7% on the year to 89,669 units, with battery EV sales more than doubling on the year to 35,289 units.

Generally higher demand for EVs has boosted battery raw material prices. The Platts seaborne lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide assessments from S&P Global Commodity Insights surged 121.9% and 152.4%, respectively, since the start of 2022 to $75,000/mt CIF North Asia and $80,000/mt CIF North Asia on May 4.

BMW said the BMW iX3 and the MINI Cooper SE were the highest selling EVs in Q1, with sales at 11,200 and 8,925 units, respectively.

The company said its BMW i7 luxury sedan, the BMW iX1 and the BMW i3 would expand its BEV range in China in 2022.

The automaker said BEVs were on track to make up at least 10% of its sales volume in 2022.

BMW already has 15 fully electric models in production in 2022, covering around 90% of its current segments. The company aims to have more than 2 million BEVs on roads by 2025.

The automaker was upping the pace of its e-mobility ramp up and accelerating the transformation toward sustainable mobility, BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse said.

“And with our holistic approach to reducing CO2 emissions from our vehicles throughout the value chain, we are making an effective contribution to combatting climate change,” he said.

BMW’s sales in the Americas rose 2.9% year on year to 99,169 units in Q1, with sales in the US up 3.7% at 80,974 vehicles.

In Europe, the company’s sales fell 7.8% on the year to 220,393 units in the quarter, with sales in Germany, its largest market, down 4.1% at 60,098 vehicles.

Sales in Asia dropped 7.9% to 265,065 units, due to renewed COVID-19 restrictions in China, where sales declined 9.2% to 208,953 vehicles.

The BMW brand delivered 519,796 vehicles to customers in Q1, down 7.3% on the year. MINI Q1 sales rose 1.1% on the year to 75,487 vehicles, due to increased interest in the MINI Cooper SE EV and MINI Countryman plug-in hybrid models, which together accounted for over 17% of total MINI sales.

The group sold 1,624 Rolls-Royce motor cars in Q1, up 17.7% year on year, mainly due to growth in sales of the Ghost and Cullinan models.

— Jacqueline Holman