This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, January 2, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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TERRY KEENAN, GUEST HOST: The luxury tax from automobiles is now history. The 10 percent tax disappeared at the start of the new year. That means you can now buy that Hummer or Beamer that you always wanted. The tax was imposed on luxury vehicles costing more than $30,000. It is expected to lift sales of high-end models this year. Well, that's certainly good news for this guy, Tom Purves is the CEO of BMW North America. And he joins us now from Los Angeles.
And welcome. Happy new year to you.
TOM PURVES, CEO, BMW NORTH AMERICA: Happy new year, Terry.
KEENAN: And happy repeal of this tax. How do you think it will affect your sales this year?
PURVES: Of course, we hope positively. But we are here in Los Angeles for the opening of the auto show here, celebrating the best year ever for BMW. On a worldwide basis we have sold over a million cars last year. And our U.S. sales numbers, which will be finalized tomorrow, should give us an all-time record year. So, we are in great form anyway, and this benefit in terms of the luxury tax reduction, could only be positive for us.
KEENAN: Two-thousand-and-two was a tough year for a lot of luxury goods makers, whether it was cars or apparel makers and the like. Why do you think your sales continue to grow?
PURVES: I believe that if you have a product like an automobile which has good residual values, then customers are looking at it from long-term perspective. And the quality shines through. And if you take the perspective that luxury auto sales have always tracked more closely to property values than to share values, then you will understand why luxury sales in total actually held fairly stable last year. And BMW was able to increase its market share.
KEENAN: Yeah. And that would certainly explain it if those two tracked the same. Now, you would like to grab more market share here in the U.S., so that it mirrors Europe, perhaps, where you have about a 7 percent share. How are you going to try to grow sales here going forward in the U.S.?
PURVES: Well, we anticipate being able to sell more than 300,000 cars here in relatively short period of time. I mean, it's only 10 years ago that our total sales in the states were just 53,000 units, and this year they will be probably over 230,000. That is quadruple growth in 10-year period. We are adding to our model range. In the coming 18 months we'll have a new five series, a new sports activity vehicle, an X3. We'll have a new 6-series coup and convertible. So there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to achieve that 300,000 units. And this will still give us a relatively small market share here in the States.
KEENAN: OK. Well, we will look for those new vehicles on the roads. Thanks for joining us today.
PURVES: Thank you, Terry.
KEENAN: Tom Purves of BMW.
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