In an uncertain 2009, BMWs sales boss Ian Robertson pledges to hold or boost the brands global share of the premium market.
BMW today unveiled the redesigned Z4 roadster with a powered convertible roof that retracts within 20 seconds. BMW is moving production of the Z4 to Germany, so the Spartanburg plant -- where the previous model was built -- can be expanded to produce the next generation of the X3 small SUV.
BMW Groups global sales last year fell 4 percent to 1.4 million units of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles. In the United States, BMW Group sales fell 9.7 percent last year to 303,604 vehicles.
Robertson said that despite the modest unit decline, BMW was able to boost its share of what it describes as the premium segment 0.4 share points to 15.1 percent in a declining worldwide market. BMWs U.S. market share rose to 2.3 percent from 2.1 percent.
Robertson declined to set a specific global or U.S. sales goal.
The new Z4 will help, especially in North America, which is where BMW expects the roadster to sell best.
The U.S. market will continue to be BMWs single largest market, Robertson said, citing the $1 billion investment to expand U.S. production at Spartanburg.
He said: This is our second home, and it is our biggest market.