Revenues have also fallen below market expectations, but the company is confident about reaching its original goal of a pretax profit of $5.1 billion for 2006. Sales were down because of some weakening demand for the company’s 6 and 7-series lineup, as well as a decline its X5 SUV, which is due to be replaced very soon.
BMW’s long-term objective is to sell 1.4 million cars worldwide in 2007 and 1.6 million cars by 2010, and adding a niche label to the brand does not fit in with this goal. Aston Martin is in the best shape it's been in the brands entire history, and the company’s set to expand even further with the introduction of the Rapide sedan. Sure, if BMW bought Aston Martin it would mean another British marque under control of ze Germans, but BMW is arguably the preeminent carmaker in the world and Aston would likely thrive under the German brand’s guidance.