News - BMW

BMW puts faith in new models to close gap

More to come: BMW's new 5 Series will get a boost later this year with 520d diesel and Touring wagon variants arriving in showrooms.

Bavarian car-maker looks to hit the sales turbo as it fills gaps in its new line up

BMW logo19 Jul 2010

BMW Australia is counting on a second-half sales boost from newly-launched models to help it make up ground lost in the first half of this year to Germany prestige rivals Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

While Audi sales jumped 28.8 per cent and Mercedes-Benz volumes grew 16.7 per cent in the first six months of 2010, BMW’s climbed a more modest 9.5 per cent.

But BMW Australia public relations manager Piers Scott said the new 5 Series – launched in June – was still hitting its straps, with the diesel version still to come in September, along with the 5 Series Touring wagon in September or October.

“Ultimately the 520d will drive sales of the new 5 Series here and will be the volume seller,” Mr Scott said.

“It accounts for almost 80 per cent of 5 Series sales in the UK, although I don’t think we’ll see the same numbers here.” The 3 Series Coupe and Convertible will get a facelift next month, with fresh 35i twin-power and 20d engines, while the X1 compact SUV will be boosted by the arrival of the xDrive25i and two-wheel drive sDrive.

 center imageFrom top: BMW X1, BMW X5, BMW 3 Series Coupe.

Although sales of BMW’s top-selling 3 Series sedan are up 5.9 per cent this year, the popular mid-sizer hit a pothole in June, with sales falling 41.3 per cent compared with the same month last year.

It was comfortably out-pointed by fierce rival Mercedes-Benz C-class, 674 units to 431. Year to date, the C-class leads the luxury medium car segment, with 33 per cent, compared with the 3 Series 26.3 per cent.

Mr Scott indicated that part of the 3 Series misfortune in June could be the result of a drift of sales to BMW’s own new X1, which attracted similar buyers.

The X1 sDrive will provide a cheaper entry point to the X1 range from $43,500, putting it against top-line Asian compact SUVs.

The smallest ‘X’ model came on stream in June with 208 sales, just six fewer than the big X5 which was in run-out ahead of this month’s mid-life facelift that included major powertrain refinements.

The X range will be joined by the mid-sized but bigger second-generation X3 in early 2011 – too late to help reinforce sales in the race for 2010 bragging rights.

The biggest threat to BMW is Audi, which has been hauling in BMW’s sales lead consistently with a major model expansion.

With half the year gone, Audi is sitting 1060 units behind BMW – 8785 to 7725 – while Mercedes, with the aid of its commercial vehicle line-up, is up ahead on 10,966 units. Excluding light trucks, Mercedes still leads on 7476 units, ahead of BMW (6068) and Audi (5283).

Internationally, BMW retail sales are up 13.1 per cent on last year.

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