The 2014 BMW X3 Is Posting Big Sales Gains

The compact luxury SUV is leading BMW's global sales growth so far this year.

Mar 13, 2014 at 8:15PM


The 2014 BMW X3 has posted strong sales gains around the world. Photo credit: BMW.

BMW (NASDAQOTH:BAMXF) said this week that its global sales in February set a record.

Combined sales for BMW's three automotive brands -- BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce -- were up 5.6% on the month, giving BMW its best February sales result ever and setting a record sales pace through the first two months of 2014.

It's another sign that luxury vehicles continue to enjoy surprising strength in markets around the world -- strength that has pushed BMW's profits up as well.

Strong global sales as BMW rides key trends
Global sales of BMW-brand vehicles were up 8.6% in February -- even while the brand's U.S. sales were up just 3.3% -- and are up 8.9% year to date. That's a strong result given the continued weakness in Europe, where recessions in many countries continue to hold down new-vehicle sales.

So what's working for BMW? SUVs. That's another story we've heard before: Rival Audi has made big gains recently with its Q5 and Q7 SUVs, powering strong profits for parent Volkswagen (NASDAQOTH:VLKAY), and Ford (NYSE:F) is moving to capitalize on this trend with its upcoming Lincoln MKC. Compact luxury SUVs have been especially hot in China, but they've enjoyed good strength in other markets as well.

BMW is making hay on this trend. The company said that sales of its compact X3 SUV were up 15.5% through the first two months of 2014.


The BMW 5-Series continues to be a backbone of the company's global lineup. Sales have been rising in 2014. Photo credit: BMW.

BMW's stalwart 5-Series has been another source of strength: Through the first two months of 2014, sales of the midsize luxury sedan are up 11.4%.

"Balanced growth" with an emphasis on China
BMW says that it's seeking "balanced growth worldwide" for its mass-market BMW and Mini brands. But some areas produced more growth than others: Combined sales of the two are down slightly in the U.S. and Europe so far this year, but sales in China were up 29% last month.

BMW has the second-largest share of China's luxury-vehicle market, behind Audi, and it's investing big to keep pace. 

That's part of a larger push that BMW is making to hang on to its global luxury lead. Both Audi and Daimler's (NASDAQOTH:DDAIF) Mercedes-Benz have said that they plan to overtake BMW in total global sales by 2020. Meanwhile, well-funded efforts by General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Nissan (NASDAQOTH:NSANY) to grab luxury market share in the U.S. and China pose a threat to BMW's dominance as well.

But BMW continues to roll out strong products. As long as that continues, the company should find the growth it needs to keep pace.

BMW is doing well in China, but these 2 automakers are positioned to do better
U.S. automakers boomed after WWII, but the coming boom in the Chinese auto market will put that surge to shame! As Chinese consumers grow richer, savvy investors can take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the help from this brand-new Motley Fool report that identifies two automakers to buy for a surging Chinese market. It's completely free -- just click here to gain access.

John Rosevear owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends BMW and General Motors. It recommends and owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information