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BMW records first quarterly loss since 2009 on coronavirus impact

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Harald Krueger, Chief Executive of German luxury carmaker BMW, addresses the company's annual news conference in Munich, Germany, March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Michael Dalder - RC15BA3F50E0

BMW AG’s loss-making automotive division dragged the company into the red for the first time in more than a decade, rounding out a dismal quarter for European carmakers hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The German manufacturer lost 666 million euros ($787 million) before interest and taxes between April and June, its first quarterly deficit since the financial crisis in 2009.

The company’s auto business, which recorded a bigger-than-expected Ebit loss, was mainly to blame after deliveries tanked due to pandemic-related shutdowns of dealerships and factories, the company said Wednesday in a statement.

BMW is the final German manufacturer to report after what has been a difficult quarter for carmakers. VW lost 2.4 billion euros and cut its dividend, while Daimler AG argued it had weathered the worst but still needs to slash tens of thousands of jobs.

Renault SA’s alliance with Nissan Motor Co. came under strain as the Japanese partner was mostly to blame for the French carmaker’s record $8.6 billion loss.

A bright spot for BMW came from China, which started to recover from April and registered volume growth during the three months through June compared to the year earlier-period. BMW will start producing the iX3 electric car in China this year, where it will also be first sold to customers.

Despite the loss, BMW stuck to a prediction for an automotive Ebit margin of between 0% and 3%, after lowering it from 2% to 4% in May.

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