BMW remained profitable in 2020 with strong second half

BMW saw profits fall by 23% last year as the pandemic shuttered factories in the early part of the year

Operating profits for the second half of last year were 9.8% higher than the second half of 2019. The Munich-based company's sales were boosted by the early and strong economic recovery in China, where 2020 sales topped the year before by 7.4%.

Earnings were also supported by growth in the upper luxury segment including the large 7-Series sedan and the X7, which the company describes as an SAV, or sport activity vehicle. Those offerings carry higher profits per vehicle than smaller cars.

Sales of its Rolls-Royce luxury cars were off 26% to 3,756 during 2020, a fall attributed to a model change for the brand's best-selling model, the Ghost. The company said the order book for the Ghost is now full well into the second half of 2021.