BMW says its M division set a new sales record in 2020 despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Munich-based firm, sales of models in its performance division increased some 5,9 percent to 144 218 units in 2020.

So, which vehicles led the charge for BMW M GmbH? Well, while the German company hasn’t disclosed individual model sales figures, it does reveal the record numbers were “predominantly” driven by the M Performance variants of the 3 Series and 4 Series.

The company is referring specifically to the M340i xDrive and M340d xDrive (in sedan and Touring body styles) as well as the M440i xDrive and M440d xDrive (in coupé and convertible guises). In addition, BMW says the new X5 M and X6 M (including the Competition derivatives) played a “further” role in the sales increase, while adding the M2 CS “also received a positive response”.

“The fact that we were able to conclude this exceptionally challenging year with yet a further record is great validation of our consistent growth strategy,” said BMW M boss Markus Flasch.

“We can be particularly proud of the fact that we were able not only to defend our market dominance as the most successful provider of performance and high-performances automobiles, but also to have even expanded it.”

So, what’s coming in 2021? Well, BMW has confirmed the new M5 CS will be revealed later in January 2021, offering “outstanding performance and exclusive motorsport characteristics”. In March 2021, the new M3 and M4 will hit initial markets.

“It is remarkable that it was possible to achieve the new sales record even before the launch of our most important models. The new BMW M3 and BMW M4 generation offers us the promise of dynamic growth in 2021 as well,” said Flasch.

In addition, 2021 will see BMW M present an “electrically powered performance automobile for the first time”. The year 2022, meanwhile, will see BMW M turn 50 years old, with Flasch suggesting we can expect all sorts of special-edition vehicles.

“If I mention the keyword ‘special-edition models’, it should be clear what our customers can look forward to during the anniversary year,” he said.