BMW was recently crowned the best-selling luxury automaker in the world for a tenth consecutive year, finishing above national rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz. The company sold a record 1.81m cars worldwide in 2014. This was mostly thanks to the growing interest in China, which overtook the company’s homeland of Germany to become its second most lucrative market after the U.S.A.
When compared with industry leaders Toyota, however, whose numbers are closer to 10m, BMW’s figures might look small in comparison. While Toyota has become known as a manufacturer for the everyman, though, BMW have created a brand known for luxury.
What Makes Them Different
BMW set out with a simple mission statement to become the most successful premium car manufacturer in the car industry. However, in recent decades the company has diversified its portfolio, as seen with the acquisition of the MINI brand from the Rover Group in 1994. While staying true to the MINI’s original iconic design, BMW aimed to create a premium, yet competitively priced, compact car. Unlike some of their competitors, BMW has attempted to broaden its demographic without sacrificing on quality.
The company has also been a pioneer in environmental awareness. BMW is a charter member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s National Environmental Achievement Track, which recognizes companies for their environmental stewardship and performance. In 2012, BMW was named the world’s most sustainable automotive company for the eighth consecutive year by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, although it has last this status in the last two years to rival manufacturer Volkswagen, maker of the luxury brand Audi.
What Are Your Options
If you’re interested in investing in a BMW—but don’t have the immediate funds—there are still options available to you. Contract hire, or leasing, has long been a popular way for American professionals to make sure there were always projecting the right corporate image. The main benefit to this is that at the end of the contract you can then look to lease a different vehicle rather than end up stuck with something you’re not completely satisfied with. Leasing works by a paying fixed monthly fee, usually over a period of two-to-four years, based on your annual mileage. Ever exceeding this limit will result in paying for extra mileage so make sure you give yourself some manoeuvrability over your average. Check out LeaseCar for some great examples.
If you can’t decide which model to go for, take a look at our reviews of the latest BMW models.