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BMW sales fall 8.4% in 2020 as coronavirus takes toll

·1-min read
A logo of BMW is seen outside a BMW car dealer, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Brussels

BERLIN (Reuters) - BMW said it saw a 8.4% drop in vehicles sales in 2020 as the outbreak of coronavirus took its toll and many retail outlets around the world were closed for months.

However, customer demand picked up in the fourth quarter, rising 3.2% year-on-year, BMW said on Tuesday.

"We succeeded in concluding the year with a strong fourth quarter and once again we lead the premium segment worldwide," BMW board member Pieter Nota said in a statement.

In total, the Munich-headquartered company sold 2,324,809 vehicles last year. In Europe, 2020 sales were down 15.7% and in the United States 18%.

In China, where the pandemic started and where it was brought under control faster than elsewhere, 2020 sales bucked the trend and increased 7.4%.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa, editing by Louise Heavens)