BMW Says Abenomics Boosting Japan Demand Amid Slump in EuropeAnna Mukai and Yuki Hagiwara
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s biggest maker of luxury cars, said it expects deliveries in Japan to expand for a fourth year, as consumers regain confidence and demand increases for its diesel models.
The automaker will see “double-digit growth” in Japan this year, following a 20 percent gain in 2012, said Alan Harris, president of BMW Japan. Registrations of BMW models rose 7.5 percent in the first four months of this year, according to the Japan Automobile Importers Association.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda are using monetary stimulus and fiscal spending in an attempt to revive the world’s third-largest economy. The policies have sent the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average surging 30 percent this year and boosted demand for luxury vehicles from Fiat SpA’s Ferrari to McLaren Automotive Ltd.
“Clearly the Abenomics policies have created a greater level of confidence in the markets,” Harris said in an interview yesterday in Tokyo, where the automaker was introducing the BMW 3 series Gran Turismo. The demand in Japan stands “in contrast to Europe, for example, which has a lot more difficulties.”
The Gran Turismo, which went on sale yesterday, starts from 4.94 million yen ($49,000), according to the company. BMW has also introduced the M6 Gran Coupe and the Z4 this year, and plans to make available the 4 series coupe in the second half.
Unprecedented monetary easing by the Bank of Japan has weakened the yen 14 percent versus the dollar since the start of the year, helping exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp.
BMW, which imports all of its vehicles for sale in Japan, has no plans to raise the price of its products there despite the weaker yen, said Harris.
The automaker sold 41,102 vehicles in the world’s third-biggest car market last year, the highest level since 2007, according to the auto importers group. In Europe, car sales are sliding to a 20-year low as a recession stemming from the debt crisis hurts demand.
Besides Japan, BMW also sees growth opportunities in the U.S., China, Russia, India, and Turkey, Harris said.