BMW posts $790 million loss as COVID-19 pummels auto sales


BMW on Wednesday reported a quarterly loss of $790 million, fueled by a staggering 25-percent sales drop as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pummel the auto industry.

The German auto giant — which also owns Mini and Rolls-Royce — said sales have started to recover during the latest quarter, including a 17-percent jump in deliveries in China, but that the rebound was not nearly enough to make up for what it has already lost.

Shares of BMW dropped 4 percent in Wednesday trading.

“What matters now is how robust this upward trend is and when individual markets will follow suit,” said Chief Executive Oliver Zipse, adding that its overall cars sales in July were higher than last year.

The automaker, however, warned that its outlook did not factor in a potential second wave of virus infections, nor the possibility of a more sustained or deeper recession than what is already expected in key markets.

Zipse said on a call that developments in the US, which has the highest number of cases and deaths worldwide, were “extremely worrying”.

Sales in the United States made up 12.6 percent of deliveries in the first half of 2020, down from 15.2 percent in 2019. Overall, BMW said it expected global demand for luxury cars to fall by a fifth this year.

With Post wires. 

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