BMW has achieved sales increases in the US for 16 straight years, but that impressive streak is going to end in 2008. BMW USA CEO Jim O'Donnell has decided to stop shipment of 44,000 vehicles destined for the States by the end of this year. The move was made to prevent pushing increased sales in a down market because too many incentives were needed to entice consumers. The weakness of the US Dollar vs. the euro makes high incentives unprofitable. Some vehicles, like the X3, are coming to the US in smaller numbers even though they are selling well without incentives. Leases are also a cause of concern, with 63% of its vehicles leaving BMW showrooms with a down-payment and a mileage limit. O'Donnell wants to cut that number by 10% or more, and in August, leases were down to 50% of sales.
The German automaker is also looking to cut expenses in the U.S, with plants to slash 90 jobs in the States, along with reducing marketing expenditures. The largest short-term change is that BMW will not end December with a high incentive sales blowout, which means if you're waiting for the big Bimmer sales event, it probably won't happen.

[Source: Automotive News - subs req'd]


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