During this turbulent period, car sales have dropped significantly, as Gross Domestic Product per capita (GDP) has fallen for several quarters, real oil prices have increased and the financial crisis has lead to credit markets freezing globally. Research by Haugh et al (2010) shows that, in the United Kingdom, the tightening of finance has influenced car sales but only with a time lag. (Haugh et al, 2010) The higher cost of credit and the inability to obtain affordable financing options, as well as the uncertainty in the economy has forced buyers to postpone their purchases to the future.
BMW Group has managed to record positive earnings for the financial year 2009. Net profit for the year stood at â‚¬210 million. Which, although 36.4% lower than the previous year, has still enabled the group to payout dividends of â‚¬0.30 per share. BMW Group's cost management and efficiency improvement programmes which began just prior to the crisis have had a positive impact on profit. A total of 1, 068, 770 BMW brand cars were sold globally, of which 98, 683 cars were sold by BMW UK in 2009. This has enabled BMW Group to retain its position as the world's leading premium car manufacturer.