In total, the business concluded around 466,000 new financing and leasing contracts with retail customers, with Dr. Nicolas Peter, BMW board member for finance, reporting that growth was led by increased interest in financing among Chinese customers.

At the end of March, BMWFS managed a total portfolio of almost 4.8 million customer contracts.

In total, 49.2% of new BMW Group vehicles were financed or leased by BMWFS in Q1 2017, up 3.1% on the same period last year.

Its pre-tax earnings for the segment reached €595 million, up 4.4% on the same period last year.

The net credit loss ratio of 0.33% remained close to last year’s level.

Peter said used car prices worldwide, with the exception of Asia, had decreased slightly, driven by seasonal factors, but the company has made “comprehensive provisions” to cover existing and potential risks in the financial services business, including monitoring the performance of diesel values.

He said: “From today’s perspective, we are well protected against residual value and credit risks.”

Overall, BMW Group revenues reached €23.45 billion in Q1, up 12.4% year-on-year. Group pre-tax earnings totalled €3.01 billion, up 26%, with the rise partly caused by investors acquiring a stake in the mapping service HERE.