bmw reithofer 2012.automotiveIT

CEO Reithofer says BMW has had a good start to 2012 (Photo: Arjen Bongard)

BMW is confident it will achieve European CO2 targets for 2015, but to meet longer-term goals, it plans to step up r&d developments.

"We are totally confident we will meet the target set for the BMW Group" for 2015, said BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer. He said the group's more efficient drivetrain technology will help it meet the European fleet-wide target of 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer for 2015.

But the EU is planning a target of 95 grams/km for 2020. "This is a significant challenge," Reithofer said at a press conference where the company announced its full-year 2011 results. He also noted tough new CO2 targets the US has set for 2025.

The BMW CEO reaffirmed the company's commitment to the premium segment, pledging to continue to offer a mix of large and small cars with various modes of propulsion.

"We need new technologies to complement the fleet," Reithofer said. He added that the group's new i brand and other full electric and hybrid-electric models will play a major role in cutting fleet-wide CO2 emissions.

Reithofer also cited light-weight construction as a major part of BMW's CO2 reduction strategy.

The Munich-based carmaker reported full-year 2011 net profit of4.91 billion euros, up 51.3 pc. Group sales rose 13.8 pc to 68,82 billion euros as the company sold more BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce models worldwide.

The BMW group boosted unit sales 14,2 to 1,668,982 units and Reithofer said his goal was to sell more than 2 million cars by 2016.

"Our clear vision for 2020 remains:to be the leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility," Reithofer said.

Citing the launch of 12 new models before the summer, the BMW chief said he expected a new sales record and a new pretax profit record for this year.

Said Reithofer: "We are off to a promising start. This is the best start to any year we have had."

-By Arjen Bongard