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BMW on a product roll

Coming soon: BMW's X5 and X6 M performance twins will arrive in the second quarter ahead of a raft of new and updated models later in the year.

New-model onslaught hits high gear as BMW sales lift

6 Mar 2015

BMW'S extensive launch program that includes 60 new or facelifted models in three years is in full swing, with an all-new front-drive X1 SUV and heavily revised 1 Series on the way.

The German car-maker's Australian arm said the program is now at its half-way point and is hitting its targets.

BMW this week launched its 2 Series Convertible range and is now poised to roll out its performance SUVs, X6 M and X5 M, then a third-quarter facelift for the 6 Series, before the Mini-based X1 SUV and the new 7 Series limo later in the year.

The flagship 7 Series expands its in-cabin technology to include gesture-activated control of the car’s communication system and it will use wireless charging for mobile devices.

There is a significant revision to the 1 Series hatch range in the middle of the year, but it will remain a rear-drive model and continue with its existing, albeit tweaked drivetrains.

The next-generation 1 Series will be underpinned by BMW Group's UKL platform that already forms the basis of the Mini hatch and new 5-door, as well as the 2 Series Active Tourer.

BMW has already confirmed that UKL will underpin several new models from the brand, and the 1 Series range, that will include a sedan for the first time, should be one of the next cabs off the rank.

BMW Group Australia head of product and market planning Shawn Ticehurst told GoAuto that the next-gen 1 Series would not be coming “for quite some time”, acknowledging spy photographs in Europe of a front-drive 1 Series sedan.

“The mid-year change for the 1 Series is about halfway through its life, so we still have some time before a new model,” he said.

“The 2015 model is quite a significant upgrade to the current model.”

BMW's Australian sales are up 13.5 per cent for the first two months of the year compared with the same period in 2014, with 3544 units shifted so far.

While that increase is bigger than Audi's 11.9 per cent boost, in volume terms BMW is 80 units behind the four-ringed brand (3624) and about 1800 sales behind Mercedes-Benz (5338), however it should be noted that Benz's total includes commercial vehicles.

Mini's sales are up 29.4 per cent in January and February, and the BMW-owned British brand has a big year planned, including the local debut of the John Cooper Works performance variants in July for the first time in the current-generation car.

On two wheels, BMW’s motorcycle division Motorrad increased year-to-date sales by 19 per cent on top of a 23 per cent rise in 2014 over the previous year.

There has even been positive news from BMW’s foray into new technology, with demand for the i8 hybrid supercar straining supply.

BMW sold eight i8 cars this year, representing the first delivery batch since the pre-launch in late 2014.

The electric i3 hatch found 24 buyers this year, adding to the 33 sold in 2014 after its late-November release.

BMW general manager corporate communications Lenore Fletcher said strong demand in Europe for both cars had slowed deliveries.

“Australia is up against big demand in Europe where electric vehicles are supported by governments,” she said.

“We had 50 orders for the i3 in December and these are now being delivered.”

Mr Ticehurst said there were no immediate plans to expand the electric vehicle range, but hinted at potential new models down the track.

“There’s a lot of spare numbers between 3 and 8, so it’s certainly possible,” he said.

What's coming for BMW
2 Series ConvertibleMarch
X5 and X6 MQ2
1 Series faceliftMid-year
6 Series faceliftQ3
7 SeriesQ4

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