BMW said on Monday that group sales dropped by 20.6 per cent to 477,111 vehicles in the first quarter as the outbreak of coronavirus took its toll and many retail outlets temporarily closed.
BMW said it had seen sales growth at the start of the year but added: "By February, the impact of the pandemic had already led to a significant decrease in sales in China. By March, the effects of the pandemic were clearly visible in sales figures in Europe and the U.S."
It said around 80% of retail outlets in Europe and 70 per cent in the United States were temporarily shut due to the pandemic.
BMW sales to China, where the outbreak started, were down 30.9 per cent in the January to March period. They dropped by 18.3 per cent in Europe and by 17.4 per cent in the United States.
Shares in BMW were up 6.2 per cent at 0711 GMT.
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