The Quandt family, who control the world’s best-selling luxury carmaker BMW, will be buoyed by the news that the German automobile company reported record sales for the first quarter of 2011, with operating profit rising four times to €1.9 billion.
In a statement on 5 May, Munich-based BMW said that revenues for the first quarter increased by 28.9% to €16.03 billion, up from €12.44 billion for the same quarter last year. Its operating profit also quadrupled, with record sales across all its brands.
The group attributed much of the growth to soaring sales in China, which saw a rise of around 71%. BMW said that the US market remained its largest, with sales rising by 18.2% to over 65,000 cars sold in the first quarter.
BMW’s strong performance will add to the wealth of the Quandt family, who are already billionaires and together own around 46% of the automobile maker. Stefan Quandt, son of the late Herbert Quandt who rescued BMW from bankruptcy, owns 17.4% of the carmaker, and is estimated to be worth around $5.7 billion according to Forbes.
His sister Susanne Klaten, who owns 12.6% of BMW, also featured on the Forbes billionaire list in 2010 with an estimated fortune of $11.1 billion. Their 83-year-old mother has an estimated wealth of $5 billion and owns 17% of BMW.
Also known for its Mini brand and Rolls-Royce cars, BMW was founded in 1916 by Franz Josef Popp. After a bout of financial difficulty in the 1950s, Herbert Quandt took over BMW in 1959 and was instrumental in the revival of the group.
The automobile maker had 2010 revenues of over €60 billion.