January 17, 2017 – The BMW Group is reflecting on another positive year in the Middle East, in which sales were heavily dominated by the successful launch of the all-new 7 series, which came to markets in October 2015. The brand’s flagship model crossed the 5,000-unit barrier for the first time, selling 5,098 cars, corresponding to a 69% increase over 2015 figures.
Commenting on another successful year for the brand, Johannes Seibert, Managing Director for BMW Group Middle East, said “2016 was the year of the 7 Series. It was the best year ever for our flagship model, and feedback from media and customers has been overwhelmingly positive. Customers appreciate the combination of sportiness, quality, finesse and refinement, along with an ample array of innovative features. Also, several top hotels, airlines and airports have also decided to choose the 7 Series for their VIP shuttle services.”
Overall, the BMW brand increased its market share within the premium segment in 2016 to 29%. Figures showed a 3% increase in share across the region compared to 2015 as well as segment gains for the brand across most individual markets – the UAE performed the best with a 5% growth, followed by Oman and Lebanon with 2% increases respectively.
“The past year has been challenging for several reasons, not just for the automotive sector but for business overall,” Seibert commented. “However, building on our strong brands, attractive and innovative products, and with the excellent retail services and ongoing investment into our brands by our importer partners, we have been able to strengthen our position within the premium segment in the Middle East throughout 2016. Our performance underlines the unwavering confidence that customers have in our brands. We will continue to be innovative, dynamic and stylish and build long-term solid partnerships in order to achieve sustainable success.”
The brand’s top-end models continue to be in demand, with the BMW X model family once again playing a key role in the brand’s growth, collectively accounting for 60% of BMW’s total sales. Now in its third generation, the BMW X5 alone sold 9,133 cars and was the most sought-after model in the Middle East. Another top seller, not only for the range but for BMW overall, was the BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe, with 3,271cars delivered to customers across the region last year. Other models in the range that helped fuel the brand’s growth included the X4 and BMW X1. The BMW X4 increased its sales by 66% on last year’s figures, while the BMW X1 grew by 268%, strongly driven by the new generation model that arrived in the last quarter of 2015.
It was also a particularly positive year for the BMW M range, thanks in large part to the launch of the BMW M2 Coupe. A unique experience for the passionate driver, the newest member of the family has been so successful that it has outstripped supply across the region.
MINI also experienced a strong year in the Middle East, with the MINI Hatch contributing to 43% of overall sales. Meanwhile, the MINI Countryman – the first MINI with optional ALL4 All-wheel drive making it ideal for tackling both urban and off-road terrains – made up almost a quarter of total sales at 22% as the second best-seller. The all-new MINI Clubman, which arrived in markets in the first quarter of 2016, saw an uplift of 69% in sales compared to the launch year of its predecessor, and accounted for 8% of the brand’s total sales. MINI’s sporting sub-brand John Cooper Works represented 15% of the overall volume in the Middle East, one of the best performance worldwide for JCW models.
A key milestone in 2016 was the celebration of BMW Group’s 100-year anniversary which was marked with a global BMW Individual Edition 7 Series Centennial Edition THE NEXT 100 YEARS, which was limited to only 100 models worldwide and offered highly exclusive equipment options. 11 out of globally 100 units were allocated to the Middle East, demonstrating the demand for highly individualized BMW vehicles in the region.
Looking ahead to 2017, customers are set to experience the highly anticipated all-new BMW 5 Series when itarrivesin markets during the first quarter. “It is a car that embodies what many customers in the Middle East region have come to expect from a luxury sedan,” said Seibert.“Its exterior design is modern and elegant, while inside it’s spacious, luxurious and quiet. The new car combines sportiness with a high level of quality, comfort and functionality. It also has an impressive line-up of stunning new technology features, including the fifth-generation iDrive system, as well as various driver-assist systems. These are in addition to several new services and BMW ConnectedDrive features that further enhance convenience and safety. Essentially, it has all the features it needs to continue the remarkable success that its predecessors have achieved: around 7.9 million BMW 5 Series cars have been sold across its first six generations.”
The all-new MINI Countryman will also arrive at the beginning of this year. This will be the biggest MINI that the brand has ever built as well as the most technologically advanced and versatile MINI of the entire product line-up. The MINI Countryman has received excellent feedback from customers and media across the region since its launch in 2010 which is set to continue with the new generation.