Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport worked hard for WEC points in Portugal.
Munich. The BMW Motorrad Motorsport team's second stop on the '08 World Enduro Championship tour saw team riders Anders Eriksson, Simo Kirssi, Jeff Goblet and Bert Meyer compete in the GP of Portugal - an event that proved to be anything but easy due to an extremely challenging course, three demanding special tests and heavy rain on day two. With Eriksson having narrowly missed a podium result at the opening round of the series in Sweden, the Portuguese event marked the first international enduro competition in which Eriksson would compete, outside of Sweden, aboard his BMW.
Hopeful of challenging for a podium finish in the Enduro 3 class things didn't go as planned for Anders on day one as he failed to finish due to a clutch problem. Re-starting day two the experienced Swede was unable to perform at his best in the extremely wet and difficult conditions and placed ninth in the highly competitive E3 class. Despite being forced to retire on day one, Anders finished the harder second day's competition without problems.
In the Enduro 2 class BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Simo Kirssi overcame his lack of World Enduro Championship experience to claim a solid top 10 result on day two having enjoyed the slippery and difficult conditions. Competing in only his second ever WEC event Simo was disappointingly unable to finish day one as on the penultimate special test he badly damaged his front wheel, which resulted in his retirement. On day two Kirssi finished comfortably inside the top 10 having ridden consistently all day. Finishing as high as fourth in class, and only twice placing outside the top 10 of the E2 class during the day's nine special tests, Kirssi finished just 11 seconds behind the E2 class's sixth placed rider.
For Kirssi's E2 class team-mate Jeff Goblet the GP of Portugal proved to be a difficult one with the Belgian finishing in 12th on day one and 13th on day two. Performing at his best on the technical extreme test on day one, on day two Goblet suffered bad luck as his chain twice came off in the extreme test while he struggled to perform at his best in the muddy motocross test. In the Enduro Junior class Bert Meyer finished on day one as tenth but placed ninth on day two.
Simo Kirssi - Enduro 2:
"The first day ended disappointingly for me. Things had been going ok but in the final motocross test I landed from one of the many drop-off jumps and I heard a strange metallic sound. I was able to continue but I had damaged many of the spokes in my front wheel, which meant that I had to retire from the day. Day two was much better - I really enjoyed the conditions although on the motocross test it was really, really muddy. I learned a lot from the race. It was my first world championship race in normal conditions, and it was every bit as difficult as I expected it to be."
Jeff Goblet - Enduro 2:
"I had some really good times in the extreme and enduro tests on day one but I really struggled in the muddy conditions on day two. With this season being my first on a four-stroke I knew it would take me some time to adjust to competing in muddy conditions. In the enduro test, which was dry, I was able to put in some good test times. But in the motocross and extreme test I struggled.
Also, my chain came off twice in the extreme test. I need more time on the bike in these types of conditions, and then I am sure my results will improve."
Anders Eriksson - Enduro 3:
"Not being able to finish the first day was a big disappointment, but I came into this season knowing that these things can happen. We learn more and more every day we spend time on the bike. I had a problem with the clutch, which was very strange. I didn't ride that well, but I'm happy that I was able to finish the second day. Day two was extremely tough and my bike ran perfectly all day, which was good. It was the first time that I'd ridden the bike in such muddy conditions and although I wasn't overly happy with my riding the bike performed really well."
Wolfgang Fischer - BMW Motorrad Motorsport Team Manager:
"It was good to see all riders finish on day two, especially Simo as this was his first real world championship enduro race. Finishing seventh in the Enduro 2 class is very encouraging. Day one was a little disappointing as Anders Eriksson had a problem with his clutch. We're not 100 per cent sure why he had the problem that he did but he finished day two without any troubles at all. The conditions were about as difficult as they get in world championship competition. It's the first real mud race that the team has faced this year and despite the few problems on day one the fact that all riders completed the hardest day - day two, without problems was great.
Results Grand Prix of Portugal - Day 1
1. Johnny Aubert (Yamaha) 49:13.71; 2. Juha Salminen (KTM) 49:14.30; 3. Joakim Ljunggren (Husaberg) 51:18.58; 4. Alessandro Belometti (KTM) 51:20.26; 5. Fabio Mossini (Honda) 51:51.68; 6. Nicolas Paganon (Aprilia) 52:0.71; 7. Fabrizio Dini (Yamaha) 52:08.31; 8. Rodrig Thain (TM) 52:12.27; 9. Jari Mattila (Honda) 52:13.81; 10. Nicolas Deparrois (Gas Gas) 52:36.47; 11. Alessandro Zanni (Honda) 52:48.87; 12. Jean Francois Goblet (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 53:14.12; 13. Valtteri Salonen (Husaberg) 53:16.09; 14. Andrea Belotti (KTM) 53:42.12; 15. Helder Rodrigues (Honda) 53:50.42; 16. Rudy Cotton (Honda) 55:34.78; 17. Felipe Zanol (Yamaha) 57:25.53; 18. Mario Patrao (Suzuki) 58:00.25
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BMW GROUP (USA) REPORTS MARCH SALES
BMW Group (BMW and MINI combined) sales down by 5.4 percent in March as expected, stronger increase in the second half of the year anticipated.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - April 1, 2008... The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) today reported March vehicle sales of 27,404, down 5.4 percent from the 28,980 vehicles sold in the same month of 2007. For the first quarter of 2008, BMW Group sales are down 9.2 percent, to 68,529 vehicles versus the 75,433 sold in the first three months of 2007.
The results reflect BMW Group's expectations for the month. As planned and already communicated, BMW of North America expects a stronger increase in sales in the second half of the year. Sales will be driven by new products coming to market this year. Among others, this year sees the introduction of the BMW 1 Series Coupe and Convertible; BMW's X6 Sports Activity Coupe; BMW M3 Coupe, Sedan and Convertible; and the new twin-turbo charged Advanced Diesel engines for the 3 Series and the X5. MINI continues its success story in the U.S. with the launch of its third variant - the all new MINI Clubman - which hit showrooms just last month.
BMW Brand Sales
BMW brand sales were down 8.7 percent, to 23,115 vehicles compared to 25,325 vehicles sold during March 2007. Year-to-date, BMW reported sales of 58,365 vehicles compared to the 67,360 reported in the same period a year ago, a decrease of 13.4 percent.
BMW Automobile Sales
Monthly sales of BMW brand automobiles increased 2.6 percent in March, to 19,231 versus 18,746 in 2007. During the first quarter of 2008, BMW automobile sales are down 10.6 percent to 46,153 versus 51,616 reported in the same period last year.
BMW Sports Activity Vehicles
Sales of BMW Sports Activity Vehicles were down 41 percent for the month, to 3,884 vehicles compared to the 6,579 reported in March 2007. Year-to-date, BMW SAV sales are down 22.4 percent to 12,212 vehicles from 15,744 in 2007.
MINI Brand Sales
MINI USA reported a 17.3 percent increase in March sales, to 4,289 cars compared to 3,655 cars sold in the same period a year ago. MINI USA also reported sales of 10,164 for the first quarter of 2008, an increase of 25.9 percent over the 8,073 sold in the same period a year ago.
Table: Sales BMW of North America, LLC, March 2008
BMW passenger cars
BMW light trucks
BMW Certified Pre-Owned
CPO sales were up 22.5 percent in March, to 9,600 over the 7,838 reported in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date, the division reported sales of 25,224 automobiles, an increase of 32.7 percent, compared to the 19,008 vehicles reported in the first three months of 2007.
BMW Group Canada announces March sales.
Whitby, Ontario. BMW Group Canada reported today March sales of 1,880 BMW and MINI vehicles, a decrease of 23.3% over March 2007 sales. Year-to-date BMW and MINI sales are 4,532 units, a decrease of 13.1% over the same period last year.
The BMW brand retailed 1,584 units in March 2008, a decrease of 25.6% over March 2007. BMW year-to-date sales are 3,835 units, down 15.1% compared to last year.
Year-to-date BMW Certified Pre-Owned sales are up 6.4% to 1,449 compared to the same period last year. Total year-to-date Pre-Owned sales are 1,726 units, down 3.6%. BMW Certified Series Pre-Owned sales in March were 552 units, a decrease of 5.32% compared to March 2007. Total Pre-Owned BMW sales were 644 units in March, down 14.2%.
BMW Motorrad Canada March sales were 75 units, a decrease of 50.0%. Year-to-date, Motorrad has retailed 99 units, down 53.3% from last year.
MINI Canada sales were 296 units in March, down 8.4% from the March the previous year. MINI has retailed 697 units in Canada year-to-date, a minimal decrease of 0.1% compared to the same period last year.
MINI Canada Pre-Owned division celebrated best ever March sales. MINI Next Certified Pre-Owned sales were 44 units in March, up 22.2% from March 2007. Total MINI Pre-Owned sales were 59 units for March, an increase of 5.4%. Year-to-date, MINI Next Certified Pre-Owned saw a 22.6% increase in sales to 103 units. Year-to-date total MINI Pre-Owned sales are 154 MINIs, up 22.2% compared to the same period last year.
ÔÇ£We expect a strong increase in sales in the coming months with the introduction of many new models and sales incentives. New models for 2008 include the MINI Clubman, BMW 1 Series, BMW M3, BMW X6 Sports Activity Coup?®, BMW 335d Advanced Diesel and X5 35d Advanced Diesel,ÔÇØ said Lindsay Duffield, President & CEO, BMW Group Canada. ÔÇ£Beginning today we are offering attractive lease and finance rates as low as 2% or $4,000 alternate cash back on many of our high volume models like the 335i and 335xi Sedan.ÔÇØ
BMW Group Canada, based in Whitby, Ontario, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW AG and is responsible for the distribution of BMW luxury performance automobiles, Sports Activity Vehicles, Motorcycles, and MINI. BMW Group Financial Services Canada is a division of BMW Group Canada and offers retail financing and leasing programs on new and pre-owned BMW and MINI automobiles, as well as retail financing for new and pre-owned BMW Motorcycles. A total network of 40 BMW automobile retail centres, 18 BMW motorcycle retailers, and 24 MINI retailers represents the BMW Group across the country.
BMW GROUP FINANCIAL SERVICES ANNOUNCES FIVE EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENTS
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - March 31, 2008... BMW Group Financial Services of North America has announced a number of new executive appointments. These changes follow several years of asset growth, product portfolio expansion and continued market diversification.
"BMW Group Financial Services continues to contribute significantly to the company's broader growth strategy and financial success," said Edward A. Robinson, President and CEO. "In just the past year, we've crossed the threshold of $25 billion in serviced assets; celebrated the first anniversary of Alphera Financial Services and launched up2drive.com. Our new executive team, with a wealth of automotive financial experience, will support our continued and successful growth, and that of our dealer partners, while delivering premium service to our customer base."
The following changes take effect on April 1, 2008:
Martin Stremplat has been appointed Chief Financial Officer of BMW Financial Services for the Americas Region, overseeing financial services functions in North and Central America. Stremplat joined the BMW Group in 1998 in the Corporate Audit department and was most recently in charge of accounting and controlling at BMW Financial Services Germany, based in Munich. He held a wide range of international positions supporting several international operations including the Americas Region, Asia, and Europe. Before joining BMW Group, Stremplat was in the Audit department at Deloitte in Munich, working with clients in the financial services industry. He holds an MBA and Doctorate Degree from the University of Augsburg in Germany, and received his masters in Economics from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
Kerstin Zerbst has been appointed as the Chief Operations Officer as Vice President, Operations at BMW Financial Service's office in Hilliard, Ohio, near Columbus. Zerbst joined BMW Financial Services in June 2005 as CFO after working in the BMW Group since 1999. Prior to coming to the US in her current role, Zerbst was the CFO in Austria for Financial Services. Before joining BMW, Zerbst's professional experience included sales and marketing positions with Siemens Finance & Leasing in Munich, GVD Finance S.p.A. in Milan, Italy, and Nixdorf Computer Leasing.
Shaun Bugbee will assume the role of Vice President, Sales Operations. Bugbee has served in a variety of roles since joining BMW Financial Services in February 1997; his most recent position was President, Alphera Financial Services. In addition to strong dealer relationships, Bugbee's background includes five years of experience with Toyota Motor Credit Corporation and Lexus Financial Services and over five years of experience at Ford Motor Credit Corporation.
Dan DeChristopher has been appointed Vice President, Sales and Marketing. DeChristopher joined BMW Financial Services in August 1996 as the Asset Servicing Manager at the company's operations base in Ohio; he later served as General Manager, Retailer Services and General Manager, Sales and Marketing for the Central Region before moving to a role with BMW of North America as Manager of Marketing and Planning for the BMW Motorrad USA. In February 2004, he rejoined Financial Services as General Manager, Sales Operations and was appointed to Vice President, Sales Operations in September 2006. Prior to his career with BMW Financial Services, DeChristopher held executive management positions as both Harley-Davidson Financial Services and Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp.
Fred Isele has been promoted to President, Alphera Financial Services. Isele began his career at BMW Group in 1990 as a Regional Sales and Marketing Manager in the Central Region. He left BMW North America in 1996 to assume senior management positions at Bank of America's Auto Group and later Outboard Marine Corporation. He rejoined BMW Financial Services in 2001 as General Manager, Eastern Region. Most recently, he was General Manager of Sales and Marketing for Alphera. He holds a BS in engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Oklahoma City University.
About BMW Group Financial Services
BMW Group Financial Services was established in the U.S. in 1992 to support the sales and marketing efforts of BMW of North America. Since then, the group has expanded to provide service to markets in multiple countries and continues to evolve beyond its role as a captive finance unit.
BMW Group Financial Services offers a wide range of leasing, retail and commercial financing and banking products tailored to meet the needs of the BMW customer. The group also provides financing to BMW dealers for expanding dealership capabilities and enhancing overall operations. With more than $26 billion in serviced assets and 700,000 automotive lending customers, BMW Group Financial Services finances over half of the BMWs sold or leased in the United States. BMW Group Financial Services employs nearly 1,000 people, including consultants and temporary workers, most of whom are located in the Hilliard, Ohio Customer Service Center.
In 2001, the MINI Financial Services division was established to provide support for the brand's dealer and customer networks by offering various financing and leasing options. Alphera Financial Services was established in 2006 to provide financial services to dealers who are not part of the BMW and MINI networks.
BMW Group Financial Services also offers credit card products through its subsidiary, the BMW Bank of North America. up2drive.com is a division of BMW Bank of North America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW Financial Services NA, LLC. BWW Insurance Agency, Inc., a property and casualty producer, is also part of BMW Group Financial Services
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