BMW Sales Hurt by Diesel Bans, Upcoming Tariff Cuts

June 12, 2018 at 4:08 PM

BMW AG reports its global sales in May slipped 2% to 204,000 units as skittish consumers delayed purchases.

The company says registrations in Germany plunged 14% last month as would-be buyers wait to determine how many cities will ban diesels.

Sales also fell in China, largely because consumers expect prices will drop when import tariffs fall from 25% to 15% on July 1. A shift in production of the hot-selling BMW X3 small crossover from the U.S. to China contributed by disrupting supplies.

BMW group sales in May dropped in Europe (-1% to 92,500) and Asia (-8% to 65,900). But deliveries rose in the U.S. (+3% to 30,900 vehicles), South Korea (+1% to 6,400) and South America (+16% to 4,600).

The company notes that its group sales topped 1 million in January-May— led by strong demand for its array of SUV/crossover vehicle—for the first time ever. Those models now account for 35% of all BMW brand sales. The company says it remains on track to sell 140,000 plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles this year.