Good Oil: How BMW M skidded right around Covid-19
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BMW Group sales fell by 8.4 per cent worldwide in 2020, thanks mostly to Covid-19. But the company’s high-performance M division clearly has no time for pandemics and actually recorded a sales record of 144,218 globally, exceeding the previous best year by 5.9 per cent.
In contrast, arch rival Mercedes-AMG declined by 5.3 per cent compared with 2019, to 125,129.
This is even more remarkable when you consider than some of BMW M’s most highly regarded models like the M2 and M3/4 were at the end of their life cycles in 2020 and not available in many markets as the year marched on.
As so often seems to be the case, it was SUVs to the rescue. High demand for the new X5 M and X6 M models helped drive growth, especially in the US where they like ’em large and loud.
The M Performance sub-category (think M340i, X3 M40i or M850i) is also growing fast. Are they real “M cars” or are they not? You can decide, but they are still counted in the sales numbers.
And of course there are some important new M-models coming for 2021, including the all-new M3/4 (with AWD for the first time). Yes, they have that grille… but both are expected to outsell the previous generation by some margin.