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BMW Cites Production as Offesetting Europe Market Decline

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), the world’s biggest maker of luxury cars, said its success amid Europe’s auto-market contraction shows the importance of setting up production and sales that can weather an economic crisis.

“Instead of making forecasts that don’t materialize after all, companies should create robust systems that get stronger, not weaker through chance, change and stress,” Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer said today in the text of a speech at a conference in Stuttgart, Germany.

“I view our strategy as such a robust, anti-fragile system,” Reithofer said at the conference hosted by Auto, Motor & Sport magazine. “It led us through the time of economic crisis and laid the basis for our current success.”

BMW overtook Italian volume producer Fiat SpA (F) as Europe’s sixth-largest carmaker in 2012 as the region’s market shrank for a fifth consecutive year. The Munich-based carmaker has a labor agreement at its German plants allowing it to react quickly to shifts in demand for vehicles.

The company widened its luxury-auto sales lead over Audi AG last month as it won customers with the 3-Series sedan and X1 sport-utility vehicle.

Reithofer also said German industry leaders need to overcome reservations about electric vehicles and take a more active role in preparing for eventual growth in demand for battery powered and plug-in hybrid cars.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Stuttgart at crauwald@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net

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