2013 F30 BMW 316i 23

BMW has announced that it has managed its best ever first half of the year sales-wise – the group sold 1.099 million cars globally in the first half of 2015 and reported that both BMW and MINI brands achieved new all-time highs.

Europe was the automaker’s largest sales region with 488,000 vehicles delivered, which was an increase of 9.5 % over 2014. The brand experienced strong growth in markets such as Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland.

In the Americas, sales also climbed by 9.5%, and in North America the brand sold 242,300 cars, an increase of 9.6% over the same period in 2014. Meanwhile, Asia chipped in with 337,000 units, an increase of 4.4 percent year-on-year. As for China, the automaker sold over 230,700 cars in the first six months of 2015, up 2.3% from the previous year’s six-month figure.

Munich also reported that it sold 12,500 electrically powered BMW i3 electric and i8 plug-in hybrid cars in the first half of the year, and also delivered over 30,500 BMW M and M Performance models to customers.

These figures were revealed in a statement by Harald Krüger, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, issued earlier today. The company also added that in some BRIKT (Brazil, Russia, India, South Korea and Turkey) markets there was a mixed trend in sales – in particular, sales in Russia have taken a downturn.

There was also mention of its global production network, which currently consists of 30 production sites in 14 countries. Primary news concerns the US plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which is set to be expanded, with an investment of US$1 billion set to be injected in until 2016. By the end of 2016, Munich says it will be able to produce over 450,000 vehicles per year at the site, making the facility the largest plant in its global production network.

bmw-x7-render

The statement also mentioned the F17 (or G07, if you will) X7 again; the announcement that the SUV – which is set to go up against the likes of the Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class – would be built at Spartanburg had already been made last year, and the latest report back from March indicated it’s set to make its debut sometime in 2017.

The range-topping X7 (as seen in the render by Theophilus Chin above), when it does arrive, will join X3, X4, X5 and X6 production in Spartanburg. The company’s San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico, meanwhile, is scheduled to start production in 2019, and will have a planned capacity of 150,000 units annually.

In all, BMW and MINI are due to launch 15 new models and model revisions this year, almost as many as in 2014, which was the automaker’s record launch year. Among the new offerings are the F48 X1, F15 X5 eDrive40e, F30 3 Series LCI and G11/G12 7 Series.

The acquisition of Nokia’s mapping and location services business, Here, by BMW – together with Audi and Mercedes-Benz – was also touched upon in the statement. The automaker said the purchase is intended to secure the long-term availability of Here’s products and services as an open, independent and value creating platform for cloud-based maps and other mobility services.

It reiterated that the platform is and will be accessible to all customers from the automotive industry and other sectors. News reports indicated that the the deal, which is reported to be worth €2.8 billion (RM11.8 billion), is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.