Mégane R.S. Trophy 250 (2)2012 Hyundai Veloster  (3)BMW i8 Spyder concept (1)BMW 5 seriesimage82361_a2012 nissan Altima (1)Kia K9 (2)

Weekly News:

Veloster Bringing New Customers to Hyundai

In a month that saw 79,097 vehicles sold nationally, Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) finished in fourth position overall with 7,017 sales, an increase of +2.3% over April 2011, achieving a total market share of 8.9% whilst recording its 13th consecutive month of year-on-year growth.

In passenger car sales, Hyundai ranked third for the month with 5,223 vehicles sold and a market share of 12.9%.

For the third consecutive month since its launch the Veloster topped the Sports segment with 297 sales and a segment share of 19.3%. The iLoad remains the van of choice for small business operators placing first with 569 sales and a segment share of 40.6% in the Vans/CC 2.5-3.5t segment; and the ix35 placed first in the SUV Small segment with 971 sales and a 21.4% segment share.

Hyundai was first in the Light segment with a combined segment share of 14% for i20 and Accent models, and second in the Small segment with a combined segment share of 17.2% for the i30 and Elantra models. The new Elantra posted its best monthly sales result since launch with a total of 824 units sold.

“With four models in the range achieving top three segment results, including three segment leaders, April has given us a solid start to the second sales quarter of the year,” said Damien Meredith, Director of Sales, Hyundai Motor Company Australia. “In particular, the new Veloster is continuing to introduce new customers to the brand.”

In the U.S., Hyundai Motor America (HMA) announced an all-time April sales record of 62,264 units, up +1% over April 2011. April is the second best monthly sales result in HMA’s history behind the March 2012 result.

Hyundai Motor Company has seen an overall increase in global sales of +7.9% rising from 344,231 units in April 2011 to 371,597 units in April 2012.

Hyundai’s Australian highlights include:

  • Veloster ranked first in the Sports segment, posting a sales result of 297 units and a 19.3% segment share.
  • iMax ranked second in the People Mover segment, achieving 146 vehicle sales and a segment share of 17.4%.
  • ix35 ranked first in the SUV Small segment, posting a sales result of 971 units and a 21.4% segment share.
  • iLoad ranked first the Van/CC 2.5-3.5t segment, achieving 569 vehicle sales and a segment share of 40.6%.

Renault –Nissan Alliance and Russian Technologies Agree to Create Joint Venture to Acquire a Majority Stake in Avtovaz

  • Renault-Nissan and state corporation Russian Technologies will form joint venture to accelerate product launches and technology transfer to AVTOVAZ, Russia’s largest carmaker.
  • Renault-Nissan will invest about US$750 million, and Russian Technologies will favorably restructure debt as they form a joint venture. 
  • Renault-Nissan will get a majority stake in the joint venture, which will control AVTOVAZ; transaction is expected to be complete in 2014.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and state corporation Russian Technologies have agreed to create a joint venture and give the Renault-Nissan Alliance an indirect majority stake in AVTOVAZ, according to a memorandum of understanding.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance, AVTOVAZ, Russian Technologies and Troika Dialog signed the non-binding agreement today in Paris. According to the memorandum, the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Russian Technologies will contribute their respective stakes in AVTOVAZ to a joint venture that will control AVTOVAZ, Russia’s largest car company and maker of the iconic Lada brand.

Renault-Nissan plans to invest about US$750 million, which will give the French-Japanese car group 67.13% of the joint venture in mid 2014. The joint venture will then hold 74.5% of AVTOVAZ. The transaction is expected to be complete by 2014.

Renault, which purchased 25% of AVTOVAZ in 2008 and then helped AVTOVAZ pilot an aggressive turnaround, will invest about US$300 million in the joint venture. Nissan, which does not currently own a stake in AVTOVAZ, will invest about US$450 million. Renault and Nissan will make periodic payments through 2014.

Russian Technologies has agreed to restructure its outstanding loans with AVTOVAZ with approximately RUB7 billion (US$238 million) proceeds from the anticipated sale of AVTOVAZ’s non-core assets being used to repay part of Russian Technologies’ loans. The remainder of circa RUB46 billion (US$1.56 billion) of interest-free debt is being extended well beyond its current maturity date. This gives AVTOVAZ a strong balance sheet with no liquidity constraints.

Chrysler Australia Group Continues to Break Records in April

  • Best April on record
  • Continued strong sales on Grand Cherokee, Compass and Patriot

Chrysler Australia Group achieved an absolutely outstanding sales result for the month of April with a total of 1,488 vehicles sold across the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands.

The strength of April 2012 has seen the Chrysler Australia Group almost triple its sales results year on year with the Jeep Grand Cherokee as the star performer. These sales have placed the company in strong stead for year ahead, up over 90 percent year to date.

Recently named the world’s most awarded SUV ever, the Jeep Grand Cherokee was delivered to 635 happy customers in April. In addition, the introduction of the Jeep Patriot in 2WD saw sales skyrocket more than 200 percent for the month.

Managing Director of Chrysler Australia, Clyde Campbell, said that April was a brilliant result for the group’s network.

“With each month continuing to break sales records, the momentum within the dealer network continues to grow.

“Once again, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has displayed fantastic strength for the company, and we anticipate this will grow even even further with the impending arrival of the SRT8 model,” said Mr. Campbell.

The outlook for 2012 looks equally impressive with the planned arrival of key products to further shape the product and brand portfolio. Highlights include the release of the all-new Chrysler 300 and various SRT8 vehicles.

With an ever growing dealer network, and more recently the exciting acquisition of Fiat and Alfa Romeo distribution in Australia, the company is in great shape to continue soaring in 2012.

BMW Group Reports Record Figures for First Quarter

Best first-quarter performance in corporate history
Profit before financial result rises to € 2.13 billion
Profit before tax up to € 2.07 billion
Automotive segment EBIT climbs to € 1.87 billion
Targets for financial year 2012 reaffirmed

The BMW Group has had a successful start in the new financial year. “We have recorded the best first-quarter figures ever — for sales volume, revenues and earnings — in the BMW Group’s corporate history”, said Norbert Reithofer, the Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG on Thursday in Munich. The main reasons for this positive performance are the strong demand worldwide for the BMW Group’s attractive vehicles, the strength of the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands as well as improvements in efficiency.

First-quarter group revenues rose by 14.1% to € 18,293 million (Q1 2011: € 16,037 million). Profit before financial result (EBIT) rose by 18.8% to € 2,132 million (Q1 2011: € 1,795 million), while profit before tax (EBT) climbed by 21.8% to € 2,076 million (Q1 2011: € 1,705 million). Group net profit increased by 18.1% and reached € 1,349 million (Q1 2011: € 1,142 million).

First-quarter EBIT margin of 11.6% for Automotive Segment
The number of vehicles sold by the BMW Group during the first quarter 2012 rose by 11.2% to 425,528 units (Q1 2011: 382,758 units), with the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands all recording new sales volume highs.

Revenues and earnings in the Automotive segment increased accordingly: segment revenues rose by 12.4% to € 16,159 million (Q1 2012: € 14,373 million). EBIT increased by 10.0% to reach € 1,878 million (Q1 2011: € 1,708 million), resulting in an EBIT margin for the Automotive segment of 11.6%. Profit before tax increased to € 1,820 million (Q1 2011: € 1,605 million; +13.4%). This strong performance enabled the Automotive segment to generate a free cash flow of € 1,635 million during the first quarter (Q1 2011: € 1,624 million).

The BMW brand recorded worldwide growth of 11.0% in the first quarter with sales of 356,548 units (Q1 2011: 321,175 units). Sharp growth was recorded for the new BMW 1 Series, sales of which increased by 20.2% to 54,160 units (Q1 2011: 45,075 units). The new BMW 3 Series Sedan, which has been on the market since February, also got off to a strong start with first-quarter sales up by 13.6%. The total number of BMW 3 Series vehicles handed over to customers during the reporting period increased by 3.9% to 91,189 units (Q1 2011: 87,762 units).

Sales of the new BMW 6 Series jumped to 4,651 units (Q1 2011: 789 units). The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé — the first four-door Coupé in the brand’s history — will become available in June and provide further impetus. The BMW 7 Series recorded a first-quarter sales volume of 17,786 units (Q1 2011: 14,817 units), an increase of 20.0%.

The various models of the X Series continue to perform well. First-quarter sales of the BMW X1 rose by 8.4% to 29,532 units (Q1 2011: 27,238 units). The new BMW X3 registered strong growth, with worldwide sales surging by 55.3% to 35,248 units (Q1 2011: 22,693 units). The BMW X5 maintained its position as segment leader thanks to a 14.7% increase in sales volume to 26,563 units (Q1 2011: 23,149 units). Sales of the BMW X6 during the period went up by 13.7% to 11,048 units (Q1 2011: 9,715).

The MINI brand also achieved a new sales volume record, with sales up in the first quarter by 12.1% to 68,210 units (Q1 2011: 60,860 units). The launch of new models gave a boost to the MINI sales performance; for example the MINI Coupé was handed over to 3,029 customers during the three-month period, while the Roadster — which was first launched in March 2012 — had already gained 980 customers by the end of the quarter. Sales of the MINI Countryman grew strongly by 36.8% to 22,001 units (Q1 2011:16,078 units). The MINI brand continues to generate a very high-value sales product mix: during the quarter under report 19.6% of customers opted for the MINI One, 44.3% for the MINI Cooper and 36.1% for the MINI Cooper S.

The Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ success story within the super-luxury segment continued with the brand registering its best first-quarter sales performance ever with 770 units sold (Q1 2011: 723 units; +6.5%). The Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II was presented at the Geneva Motor Show at the beginning of March and will be launched in the markets during the second half of the year.

The BMW Group increased first-quarter sales volumes in almost all of the world’s regions. Sales in Europe edged up by 0.5% to 201,063 units. New sales volume highs were recorded in both North America and Asia. In total, 83,177 vehicles were handed over to customers in North America during the period under report, 16.7% more than in the corresponding quarter last year. Sales in the USA rose by 16.5% to 75,931 units.

The BMW Group continued to register strong growth in Asia, selling 118,880 units (+31.9%) during the period from January to March. A total of 80,218 units (+36.6%) were sold in China. In Japan, the number of cars sold rose by 44.4% to 13,994 units.

Higher sales volume, revenues and earnings for Motorcycles segment
Also in the Motorcycles segment, first-quarter sales volume, revenues and earnings were all higher than in the previous year. Segment revenues increased by 12.8% to € 448 million (Q1 2011: € 397 million). EBIT improved by 19.4% to € 37 million (Q1 2011: € 31 million) and profit before tax by 23.3% to € 37 million (Q1 2011: € 30 million). First-quarter motorcycle sales picked up by 7.8% to reach 27,015 units (Q1 2011: 25,049 units). This included 24,373 BMW brand motorcycles (Q1 2011: 23,109 units; +5.5%), the best first-quarter sales performance in the company’s history. Husqvarna motorcycle sales jumped by 36.2% to 2,642 units (Q1 2011: 1,940 units).

Successful first quarter for Financial Services segment
The Financial Services segment also started the year well. Segment revenues totalled € 4,800 million (Q1 2011: € 4,183 million), 14.8% ahead of the previous year’s first quarter. The profit before tax edged up by 1.2% to € 434 million (Q1 2011: € 429 million).

The number of lease and financing contracts in place with dealers and retail customers at the end of the reporting period grew by 12.8% to 3,646,111 contracts. This figure includes 260,038 contracts of the ING Car Lease (ICL) Group, which was acquired in 2011. The number of new financing and lease contracts signed in the period from January to March rose by 10.5% to 305,984 contracts, 22,367 of which are attributable to the ICL Group. Leasing business grew by 24.9%, credit financing by 4.3%.

Workforce size increased
The BMW Group’s workforce also increased in the period to 31 March 2012. The number of employees worldwide went up by 5.4% to 101,260 at the end of the reporting period (Q1 2011: 96,045). One of the reasons for the increase was the acquisition of the ICL Group. In addition, skilled workers and engineers continue to be recruited in order to keep pace with persistently strong demand for BMW Group vehicles, to push innovations and to focus on the development of new technologies.

BMW Group reaffirms targets for full year
In view of record sales volume figures in the first quarter, a strong order-book, the fresh and attractive model range as well as the successful launch of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, the BMW Group is confident about its prospects for the current year. The targets set for the full year remain in place: “We are still aiming to achieve new record figures for sales volume and pre-tax earnings in 2012”, stated Reithofer. “The BMW Group plans to grow faster than the market as a whole in the current year and expects to achieve new sales volume records for its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands”, continued Reithofer.

The BMW Group continues to target an EBIT margin between 8 and 10% in the Automotive segment. Provided that the global economic climate does not take a turn for the worse, the BMW Group forecasts an EBIT margin for 2012 at the upper end of this corridor. Investment in new technologies and the expansion of the production network will result in higher expenditure for the financial year 2012.

The Financial Services segment continues to target a return on equity of at least 18% in the Financial Services segment for the financial year 2012. The forecasts for the current year are based on the assumption that worldwide economic conditions remain stable.

With its Strategy Number ONE, the BMW Group has set the course for a successful future. This is also reflected in the positive development of sales volume, revenues and earnings. Profitable growth will be achieved by launching new products in all vehicle segments and by engaging in new markets. The BMW Group is targeting a worldwide sales volume of more than two million vehicles in 2016.

The BMW Group – an overview

1st quarter

1st quarter

in %

Deliveries to customers





BMW units




MINI units




Rolls-Royce units




Motorcycles units




BMW units




Husqvarna units








Revenues € million




Automotive € million




Motorcycles € million




Financial Services € million




Other entities € million



Eliminations € million




Operating cash flow2 € million




Profit before financial result € million




Automotive € million




Motorcycles € million




Financial Services € million




Other entities € million




Eliminations € million




Profit before tax € million




Automotive € million




Motorcycles € million




Financial Services € million




Other entities € million




Eliminations € million




Profit before tax € million




Net profit € million




Earnings per share3 €




* Q1 2011 figures partially adjusted for change in accounting policy for leased products
1 Figures exclude dormant employment contracts, employees in the work and non-work phases of pre-retirement part-time arrangements and low wage earners
2 Automotive segment
3 Earnings per share of common stock/preferred stock

Kia Maintains Record Pace

Kia’s bold projection of strong annual double-digit growth is right on track with the year-to-date growth hitting 22.7 per cent in a market that saw a softening of sales in April, according to new car sales figures released by the Federal Chamber Of Automotive Industries today.

Monthly sales were up 24.4 per cent over April last year and those figures are supported across the Kia range with SUV sales up by an impressive 30.4 per cent and passenger sales increased by 23.8 per cent in a market that was down by 2.5 per cent compared to April 2011.

Leading the charge in the passenger segment is the stunning Kia Optima up a massive 190.7 per cent jump compared to April 2011. The Optima’s slice of market share in the ‘Medium under $60,000’ segment also increased significantly jumping from 1.2 per cent to 3.5 per cent.

“This is a very rewarding result for Kia,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow.

“Our continuing strong sales in what was a very soft month signifies Kia is right on track, no matter what, to reach its aggressive sales growth target in 2012. Once again, one of the most pleasing aspects of the month was that sales remained strong across the model range.

”With several of those models, such as Sorento and Cerato, late in their model cycles it is a good indication that buyers are looking past badge snobbery and purchasing on quality and value.”

Kia’s SUV figures were lifted by a very strong sales month for Sorento with the Large SUV jumping 71.3 per cent when compared to the same month last year.

Kia Motors Australia is re-launching the Sorento later in the year with a significant facelift.