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XD3 to lift Alpina brand in Australia
Local appetite for SUVs to spur Alpina sales with upcoming XD3 mid-size SUV
25 Jul 2019
ALPINA Automobiles Australia believes its new XD3 mid-size SUV, which is due to arrive in local showrooms in the coming weeks, will help lift the brand’s sales to new heights due to the country’s appetite for high-riding wagons.
The XD3, based on the third-generation, G01-series BMW X3, is the first SUV from the niche German tuner to arrive on Australian shores since it launched locally in November 2016.
Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the B5 Touring, Alpina Automobiles CEO Andreas Bovensiepen said the XD3 will prove to be the brand’s most popular model Down Under.
“In Australia, I think (the best-selling model) will of course be the XD3 which we are right now starting, because your country is an SUV country,” he said.
“And of course we started with the B4 S, and I think the B4 S was the most sold so far, but now with the XD3, I think this will all change.”
When asked about volume aspirations for the brand, Mr Bovensiepen said it was too early to say what the niche manufacturer could achieve with the XD3 about to hit the market.
“I think we have to wait and be a little bit patient because XD3 right now is the first model which I think is very good for this market here, and then we will see what’s going on. It is a little bit difficult to make judgements,” he said.
Alpina Automobiles Australia sales manager Phil Jeffrey said that the XD3 will not make a major impact on sales volume in the overall market, although it has already made an impact compared to its stablemates.
“It’s always going to be a low-volume number for Australia based on the restrictions and limited availability, but again I’ll just point back to that every dealer in Australia has sold Alpina product, and every dealer is actively involved in looking forward to continuing to sell Alpina product,” he said.
“Three out of five of all Alpina dealers have taken forward orders on XD3 – we haven’t done that before, so that says to me there’s generally a much different take rate from our market on this car than before.
“Now where that number takes us, let’s have a really good crack at that and see where we end up. But right now, we certainly know that’s going to be the biggest one for us.”
The XD3 will compete with the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GLC43, BMW X3 M40i and Audi SQ5 with the differentiating factor of being offered with a turbo-diesel engine.
Priced at $109,900 plus on-roads, the XD3 is priced $10,000 above the Audi and BMW, but undercuts the AMG slightly, which checks in at $111,250.
While all of its competitors employ petrol engines, the XD3 makes use of a 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine producing 245kW/700Nm, with Alpina citing increased driving range as an advantage over the rest of the hot German SUVs.
Mr Jeffrey said the anticipated success of the XD3 should help raise the profile of the rest of the models in Alpina’s range and could provide a flow-on effect for sales.
“I have no doubt that the more successful the SUV is, the more successful the other sedans and Tourings will become, as well,” he said.
“Because they’ll all become a recognised product and it will become something that people want to learn more about.
“Whereas now we’re still growing, we’re still getting the name out there, we’re still getting the Australian market aware of what Alpina is all about, the XD3 will help with that as well.”
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