Bmw Malaysian Sales Expected to Rise

by : Anthony Fontanelle

The German car brand BMW is known the world over for its high performance vehicles and this fact has led to an increasing global market for the company. While the company is doing well in the European car market, its United States sales are questionable as of late. Increasing housing problems has led to the reduced sales for car companies in the United States last month.

In other parts of the world though, BMW is enjoying success in the auto market. In Malaysia, BMW expects that they will be posting an increase in sale for this year as compared to last year. The company is hopeful that their good start for the year will continue through the rest of the fiscal year.

BMW Malaysia Sdn Bhd Managing Director Wolfgang Schlimme said that: "We have started well in 2007, with sales growing 37% quarter on quarter to hit 535 units in the first quarter." The Malaysian auto market is increasing in its size as the country's economy experiences a boost. Schlimme pointed out that that the company has been doing well in the Asian country for the past few years. "We have been growing for the last four years. Overall sales growth since 2003, when we sold 2,176 vehicles, was about 60," says Schlimme.

The company posted their best ever sales in the country by selling 3,472 vehicles in the mentioned auto market. Of that number 3,302 vehicles are of the BMW brand while the remaining 170 units are MINIs units.

With last year setting a benchmark in terms of annual sales for the German-based car manufacturer and a good start to this year, Schlimme stated that the company is once again on the right track. He also pointed out the reasons for their continuing success in the country. "We are going in the right direction and setting our priorities in terms of model line-up, availability and pricing," says Schlimme. "These are the reasons we are different from others. This has led us to continue growing in the past few years against the trend in the auto industry," he added further.

Another reason for BMW's success not only in Malaysia but around the world is their development of advanced features for their vehicles. BMW models are known to be loaded with technologically advanced features such as the night vision system and an advanced navigational system. In Malaysia, Schlimme credited their dealer network for the company's success in promoting these technologically advanced BMW vehicles. "A key decisive factor for our success here is our dealer network. At the end of the day, it is not our team in Cyberjaya but our service advisers, sales representatives and management of BMW dealers that provide first impressions and create long-lasting customer relationships for us. The biggest sales success for BMW is contributed by our dealers," says the general manager.

To date, BMW Malaysia has already a dealer network consisting of 13 dealerships. This number is set to increase as BMW is already on the latter stages of opening a new dealership located in Damansara in the country's Klang Valley. Schlimme pointed out why their dealerships are amassing great success in the country. "Our dealer network is one of our priorities in the day-to-day business. Our dealers are consistently upgrading their existing facilities, capacities and competence for customer convenience," he said. He also explained the company's involvement in the development of their dealerships. "We are in the background, supporting and making the dealers' sales and after sales capabilities as strong, competent and credible as possible. This is how it should be," he further states.

Aside from empowering dealerships across Malaysia, BMW is also exerting effort on supporting their parts distribution centers in the country. "We are enlarging our training offerings at the centre, which services 14 markets," says Schlimme. "Our group data centre provides information technology structure support to BMW organizations globally. It also serves the group's worldwide network for specific competences, for example, in the global plant logistics system," he added.

To increase their sales for the year, BMW Malaysia has added new BMW models to their lineup. New additions are the 325i Sports, 3 Series Coupe, Z4 M Coupe, X3 and the new MINI. In other BMW news, their plant producing the Z4 M Coupe will be canceling tours as vehicle production is set to go underway. The plant is located in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Robert Hitt, the Department Manager for Public Affairs, has this to say about the closing of the plant to tours: "This is standard operating procedure, and is the same action we took when we began working on the Z4 Roadster and the X5 Sports Activity Vehicle."