BMW reported a 27 percent drop in third-quarter operating profit to 1.75 billion euros ($2 billion) amid currency headwinds, trade tensions and higher research and development expenses.
Earnings were hit by higher raw material prices, currency effects, higher provisions for goodwill and warranty measures, tariffs between China and the U.S. and a price war in Europe.
Despite a slight rise in vehicle deliveries, operating return on sales for the automotive division narrowed to 4.4 percent from 8.6 percent a year earlier, well below its targeted range of 8 to 10 percent, BMW said.
BMW will seek additional savings to bring down costs to offset higher spending on the launch of new electric and conventional cars this year, Peter said.
In addition to prioritizing more quickly, they also decided on a number of short and long-term measures in recent months.
Last month BMW, warned its pretax profit would fall this year, against earlier expectations for a flat outcome. The company cut its profit margin guidance for cars, blaming intense price competition.
Automakers are battling on multiple fronts. Already under pressure from record investment demands for electrification, the past few months have seen trade tensions intensify and new emissions testing rules in the EU distort the market.
While BMW was ready to meet the new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure standard, known as WLTP, in Europe, the likes of Volkswagen rushed to register cars before a September deadline, leading to a glut of vehicles, supply distortions and heavy discounting in some markets.
During the quarter, BMW also had to set aside more funds to deal with recalls of fire-prone vehicles and other warranty claims. A global campaign to exchange certain engine modules contributed to a boost in provisions by 679 million euros ($777 million).
The automaker said trade tensions, higher provisions and pricing pressure will persist into year end.
Given BMW has had fewer issues meeting the new European Union emissions testing regime than its competitors we would have expected the company to show some relative strength – which it hasn’t.