The BMW Group, the world's largest premium carmaker, held its annual Accounts Press Conference in Munich on Tuesday, where it forecast unchanged 2013 pretax profit, mainly due to lower sales in Europe and the costs for new model launches, boosting capacity and spending on new fuel-efficient technologies, despite aiming to sell more cars overall.
"We are aiming to achieve a further rise in unit sales in the current year and hence a new sales volume record", stated BMW Chief Executive, Norbert Reithofer. "Due to high levels of expenditure for new technologies and models as well as investment in the production network, we expect to report Group profit before tax on a similar scale to the year 2012", he added.
Reithofer said by the end of 2014, some 25 new models will have been added to the automaker's range, ten of them completely new models, including the X6's smaller brother, the X4.
"We created the premium Sports Activity Vehicle segment. Until then there were no all-wheel drive cars on the roads that were so sporty," said Reithofer, who we assume meant SUVs, as we can think of a dozen or so sporty AWD sedans and coupes that were on the market before the first X5 arrived in 1999.
Reithofer continued: "From the late 1990s to date, we have sold over 2.7 million BMW X models. Next year we will expand our offering in this segment with the BMW X4."
Previously, the BMW executive had said that the X4 will measure around 4.65 meters long and use a mix of four- and six-cylinder diesel and gasoline engines from the X3, with which it shares its platform.
In his speech, Reithofer also mentioned that the first pre-production BMW i3s, the company's high-tech electric mini, rolled off the assembly line in Leipzig in January.
"This is a clear signal to anyone who may still have had any doubts: The BMW i3 is definitely coming onto the market. It will be a reality by late 2013," he said. "Several hundred advance orders have already been received for the BMW i3", added Reithofer.