FILE PHOTO: The logo of German car manufacturer BMW is seen on the company headquarters in Munich, Germany, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD
FILE PHOTO: The logo of German car manufacturer BMW is seen on the company headquarters in Munich, Germany, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD

(dpa) – German carmaker BMW has sold more cars than before the coronavirus crisis in the first quarter of this year due to rising demand in Asian markets, the firm announced on Thursday.

Between January and the end of March, BMW sold 636,600 cars worldwide of its brands BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce – 5 per cent more than in the first quarter of 2019, and a 33.5-per-cent increase on the same period in 2020.

“This record turnover underlines our ambitious growth objectives for this year,” BMW head of sales Pieter Nota said.

The increase in sales was driven by rising demand in Asia. BMW sold about 230,000 cars in China, around 60,000 more than in the first quarter of 2019. The carmaker sold a record 237,000 vehicles in Asia overall.

In Europe, BMW delivered 239,000 cars, fewer than before the crisis but 8 per cent more than in the first quarter of 2020. Coronavirus restrictions were introduced in March last year in Europe, forcing factories and retailers to close.

In the United States, the carmaker sold 78,000 vehicles in the first quarter, 17 per cent more than during the same period last year, though sales were still not at pre-crisis levels.

Compared to last year, BMW managed to double its sales of e-powered vehicles, with 70,2000 hybrid an electric cars sold. “With this we’re are on track to sell more than 100,000 fully electric vehicles by the end of the year and have in total at least 1 million electrified vehicles on the road,” said Nota.

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