November 4, 2008

BMW cancels production version of Concept CS sedan

In a statement today, BMW CEO Norbert Riethofer said the company will not produce a production version of the Concept CS sedan concept first seen at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show.

"Difficult business conditions and the volatile climate on the market mean that it is as good as impossible from today's perspective to make a reliable prediction of the earnings outcome for 2008," CEO Norbert Reithofer said in a statement.

The production version of the Concept CS would have competed in a small and high-priced market. It's primary competitors would have been the Mercedes-Benz CLS, Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte.

Production would have been limited, and with sales tanking industry wide, the Concept CS failed to make a case for itself.

"At the moment we do not need that kind of brand shaper",
said Reithofer.

The decision was made after a very grim third quarter sales report. The German automaker's return on sales fell below 1.3 percent, forcing the company to focus intently on maintaining a profitable model range.

BMW abandons 2008 profit target

Following today's announcement, the automaker
said it could not guarantee its earlier 2008 profit forecast in light of the troubled auto sales market.

Earnings before interest and taxes fell to 387M euros in the third quarter, well below industry analyst's earlier estimate of 574M euros.

The company said it would make additional production cuts to maintain profitability, reducing output by at least another 40,000 units on top of the 25,000 the company cut earlier this year.

To date, the automaker has made a five percent cut in production compared to 2007.


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