BMW is doing much better than the luxury carmaker had forecast. Speaking at the company's annual meeting, CEO Helmut Panke (right) revealed that the company will reach its 2008 target of 1.4 million in annual car sales a full year ahead of schedule, in 2007. He is now targeting 1.6 million units by 2010 - almost twice the company's unit sales in 2000.

Even without the windfall profits from the sale of the Rolls-Royce aircraft engine business earlier this year, BMW will book a record pretax profit of about $5.15 billion in 2006, driven by strong sales growth (up 13.9 percent in the first quarter) and efficiency improvements. All this despite the drag of a strong euro (vs. a weak dollar) and the rising cost of raw materials.

Now that's the kind of news a CEO likes to take to the annual meeting...

[Source: BMW]

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