BMW sold 20.6% fewer cars in the first quarter of this year than last year, with the coronavirus pandemic leading sales to tumble in China, Europe and the United States, the German carmaker said Monday.
"Around 80% of all retail outlets in Europe and 70% of those in the U.S. are currently closed due to the coronavirus," BMW said in a statement.
The company is "flexibly adapting" its production volumes to demand, BMW board of management member Pieter Nota said.
"In China, we are seeing the first signs of recovery with a strong order intake," he noted.
Safeguarding the health of employees, the company's liquidity and its long-term success are now key, BMW said.
In the first quarter, which goes from January to the end of March, the carmaker only sold 477,111 cars of the BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands. In China, sales caved in by 31%, while they fell by 18% in Europe and 17% in the U.S.
The business expectations of the entire German car industry for the coming months have nosedived because of the coronavirus epidemic, with an index compiled by the Ifo research institute dropping by 14 points to minus 33.7 points.
Export expectations also fell to minus 42.7 points, the lowest point since March 2009, Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe said Monday.