Investors have concerns that rivals are closing in. While BMW is in first place, it's not a commanding lead. For example, the German was first in the US luxury market last year with 346,023 deliveries. However, a Polk study found that Lexus actually earned the high-end crown in the US after looking at vehicle registrations rather than sales.
BMW performed well last year, including delivering a strong 2.25 million vehicles. Net profits also jumped 10 percent to $7.05 billion, and revenue grew 15 percent, according to the WSJ. However, the shareholders wanted larger dividends after the successful year. The automaker paid out based on a percentage of earnings, but the investors expected more.
BMW CEO Harald Krüger has an opportunity to get stockholders back on his side next week when he announces the automaker's new strategy. Expect technology to play a major role in that discussion, including electric vehicles and digital services. We might even see the i5 debut there, according to the WSJ. To be the automotive tech leader of the future, BMW plans to make computer programmers half of its research and development staff. The goal is to develop the most intelligent car on the road.