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BMW to pare back car discounts in Germany: magazine

Norbert Reithofer, Chief Executive Officer of German luxury carmaker BMW addresses the company's annual news conference in Munich March 13,
Norbert Reithofer, Chief Executive Officer of German luxury carmaker BMW addresses the company's annual news conference in Munich March 13,

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - BMW will cut back on sales discounts in Germany and focus on maintaining profit margins rather than market share, Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer told German weekly WirtschaftsWoche.

"We have decided that this year in Germany we will not defend market share at any price, and that profitability must come first," Reithofer told the magazine.

The volume of discounts will therefore be pared back substantially. "We're not just talking 5,000 cars," Reithofer told the magazine.

Auto manufacturers in Germany often give large dealerships cash bonuses to "self register" a purchase by the dealership, rather than a real customer, as a way to flatter monthly sales figures.

Based on currently available statistics, BMW still holds the crown of being the world's biggest maker of premium cars, ahead of rivals Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

Separately, Reithofer said the premium auto maker needs to sell a "five digit number" of electric vehicles from 2020 onwards in order to comply with European Union emission rules to cut BMW's average carbon dioxide emission level to 101 grams per kilometer per vehicle.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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