BMW aims to retain premium crown

BMW aims to retain premium crown

CEO GENEVA - BMW aims to remain the top-selling luxury carmaker ahead of Mercedes-Benz and Audi, Chief Executive Harald Krueger said at the Geneva auto show on Tuesday.

"Our aim is to be number one," he said, adding that he expected slight sales growth this year thanks to growth in China and Europe.

The introduction of a BMW X1 long wheelbase version in China should help boost sales there in the second half of the year, resulting in a low single-digit percentage growth rate in China for 2016 as a whole, Krueger said.

Deliveries in Europe will increase by a high single-digit percentage, he added.

New emissions rules in Europe will force BMW to make large investments in the triple-digit million euro range, Krueger also said.

BMW is in constructive talks with the German government about how to improve sales of electric cars, Krueger said, adding that the next stage of negotiations would happen between March and April.

Asked what an exit of Britain from the European Union would mean for BMW, Krueger said, "I would regret a departure."

"Generally speaking we do not like to make investments in uncertain circumstances," Krueger said, adding that it would be pure speculation to infer what this meant for BMW's strategy in the United Kingdom.

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