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BMW remains cautious: a permanent upswing is a long way off

BMW remains cautious
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B MW remains only cautiously optimistic for 2010 despite significantly better figures in the past few months.

Reithofer: 'It's burning again in Europe'

The real economy is beginning to recover. 'Nevertheless, we are far from a permanent upswing,' said CEO Norbert Reithofer on Tuesday (May 18) at the automaker's general meeting. 'It's burning again in Europe.' Debt threatened to crush states, the euro must be saved with a gigantic aid package. 'The crisis is not over yet,' warned Reithofer.

At the same time, Reithofer reaffirmed the Group's annual targets. BMW wants to sell more than 1.3 million cars worldwide this year and, on balance, earn more than in the weak previous year. 'We are consistently working towards these goals,' said Reithofer. In the first three months, the Munich-based company earned more money than in the entire previous year: Between January and March BMW made a profit of 324 million euros - in 2009 it was a total of 210 million euros.

Scrapping bonus has blocked BMW opportunities

The company was also able to increase sales significantly compared to the weak prior-year period. The Munich-based company is still a long way from the success of 2007 with a profit of 3.1 billion euros and around 1.5 million vehicles sold. Despite all the difficulties, BMW got through the severe industry crisis well, Reithofer said. 'We focused on our strengths, on our stamina - and not called for the state,' he said. BMW has certainly benefited from regulations such as short-time work, but at the same time had to endure the scrapping bonus. 'It blocked our chances,' said the CEO.

Reithofer calls for subsidies for electric cars

Reithofer again called for greater commitment from the state in promoting electric cars and alternative drives. 'Those who finance scrapping premiums can also invest in a green future.' So far, the industry is still waiting for the right incentives. So far, BMW has used an electric test fleet from its British subsidiary Mini. In 2011, test vehicles of the BMW brand with electric drive are to follow. In 2013 the so-called 'Megacity Vehicle' will be the first BMW series vehicle with a purely electric drive to hit the market.

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