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BMW Research & Development Expenditure

The research and development expenses of the BMW group increased by €325 million in 2022 compared to the prior year. BMW spent €6,624 million on research and development compared to €6,299 in the prior year.

Research and Development Costs of BMW 2004-2022

The table below shows the research and development costs of the BMW group starting 2004 to the latest fiscal year.

Amounts are in millions of Euros.

YearR&D Costs (€ Millions)
2021€ 6,299
2020€ 5,689
2019€ 5,952
2018€ 6,890
2017 € 6,108 
2016 € 5,164 
2015 € 5,169 
2014 € 4,566 
2013 € 4,793 
2012 € 3,952 
2011 € 3,373 
2010 € 2,773 
2009 € 2,448 
2008 € 2,864 

2021:  In fiscal 2021, BMW spent €6,299 million on research and development compared to €5,689 million in 2020. Its R&D expenses grew 10% in 2021 compared to the last year. Its total costs of sales increased 4.5% in 2021 compared to 2020. BMW’s total cost of sales amounted to €89,253 million in 2021 compared to €85,408 million in the previous year. 

BMW research and development expenses in 2020

The research and development expenses of the BMW group were down 4.4% in 2020 compared to the previous year. The company spent 5,689 million Euros on research and development in 2020 compared to 5,952 million Euros in 2019. Its R&D expenses remained 5.7% of the net revenues of the company for both the years. However, the R&D expenditure ratio was down to 6.2% in 2020 compared to 6.3% in 2019.

BMW Research and Development Expenses 2018 versus 2017.

In 2018, research and development expenses of BMW rose significantly compared to last year. Total research and development expenditure grew to €6,890 million in 2018 compared to €6,108 million in 2017. Year on year, net growth in Research and Development expediture was that of 12.8%. Research and development expenditure ratio was 7.1% in 2018 compared to 6.2% in 2017.

About BMW Group:

The BMW Group was founded on 7 March, 1916. The full form of BMW AG is ‘Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’. Today BMW is one of the leading manufacturers of premium cars and motorcycles. It owns four brands – BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad.

The BMW group has 31 production and assembly facilities in 15 countries and a global sales network. The number of employees working for the group in 2020 was 120,726. BMW delivered more than 2.3 million (2,325,179 total) passenger vehicles during 2020 and sold more than 169,000 (169,272 total) motorcycles worldwide.

The net revenue of the company for 2020 was € 98,990 million, having declined by 5% compared to the previous year. The group generated a net profit of 3.86 billion Euros in 2020, down 23% compared to the last year.

Research and development expenses have become a critical investment in the automotive industry. It is because of the increased competition and the influx of new technologies in the 21st century. From autonomous driving to AI and other new technologies, brands are investing in every area to remain their customers’ favorite and to retain old as well as attract new customers.  BMW’s success strongly depends on its  consistent focus on the future. Its R&D investment was up significantly in 2017 nearly by 1 Billion over the previous years. In 2017 it invested 6108 million Euros in R&D compared to 5164 million Euros in 2016. BMW’s global research and innovation network spanned 16 locations in five countries. It employed 14047 people in R&D. However, BMW’s success also rests on its expertise in  engineering and innovation. Check out the table for the amounts it has continued to spend on R&D from 2007 to 2017 and how it has ket increasing its R&D investment which is now past 6 Billion Euros.


Data sourced from the annual reports of BMW available on its investors website.