The German manufacturer of BMWs, Minis and Rolls-Royces said sales had started to recover during the latest three-month period, including a 17% jump in deliveries in China, but the rebound would not fully make up for sales lost to COVID-19.
As a result of the sales slide, and higher costs for developing low-emission cars, BMW posted a pretax loss of 498 million euros, its first in over 11 years, and an operating loss of 666 million euros ($790 million) for the quarter.
Shares in BMW fell 3% following the results, with some analysts saying they had not expected such a big loss in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT).
“What matters now is how robust this upward trend is and when individual markets will follow suit,” said Chief Executive Oliver Zipse, adding that its overall cars sales in July were higher than last year.
BMW said, however, that its outlook did not factor in the potential impact of a second wave of COVID-19 infections, nor the prospect of a more sustained or deeper recession than expected in its key markets.
Zipse said on a call that developments in the United States, which has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths worldwide, were “extremely worrying”.
Sales in the United States made up 12.6% of deliveries in the first half of 2020, down from 15.2% in 2020. Overall, BMW said it expected global demand for luxury cars to fall by a fifth this year.