BMW posts worse-than-expected 2008 results

Audi may have posted record numbers for 2008, but cross-country rival BMW had a much rougher go of it last year. BMW's profits have declined nearly 90 percent over the last 12 months, leading to worse-than-expected financial results for 2008.

BMW's U.S. sales dropped by 37 percent last year - equaling a 28-year low - while European sales trailed off by 27 percent. BMW's global sales - including the company's Rolls-Royce and MINI brands - totaled 1,439,918 units in 2008.

Thanks to that sales decline, BMW's revenue dropped 5 percent in 2008 to â,¬53.2 billion. The German automaker still posted a profit of â,¬330 million, but that figure is well off the â,¬1.02 billion analysts were predicting.

In response to the collapsing market, BMW has initiated a new program called "˜Number One' aimed at reducing global costs. Under the new plan BMW has reduced its workforce by about 7 percent and continues to focus on profits rather than volume in the U.S. market.