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Euro Economic Crisis Has BMW Shifting Inventory To The U.S.

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Filed under Automotive, BMW, News

BMW 3 Series sedans – image: BMW

As bad as the economy in the United States is these days, it’s nowhere near as bad as the economy in Europe. Automakers have slashed European sales forecasts, and even China, once seen as the land of unlimited opportunity, seems to be cooling to luxury car purchases.

That leaves the United States as the last best hope for BMW to pull out a halfway decent year in 2012. To that end, Automotive News (subscription required) tells us that BMW is switching “tens of thousands” of models once destined for European or Asian markets to U.S. dealers.

While Europe is looking at its largest single-year new car sales decline in nearly two decades, BMWs sales globally remain strong. Through September, BMW’s sales are up by 8.6-percent over last year, though some of that reflects strong early-year demand in China. Unless something dramatic happens in the next sixty days, BMW will likely finish 2012 with higher sales than 2011.

That begs the question, “what about 2013?” No one expects the European economy to recover overnight, and there are no signs that Chinese consumers will return to the conspicuous consumption days of 2010 and 2011. If the U.S. economy takes a turn for the worse, sales could drop here as well.

If that’s the dark cloud, here’s the silver lining: if U.S. BMW dealers have more inventory than the market wants, the company could turn to discounts and incentives to move product.


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