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BMW welcomes SAV rivals

“Bring it on”: BMW's CEO beckons competition for its pioneering SAV X6 and X4 range, such as the Mercedes GLE Coupe.

Competition prompts BMW to turn up the SUV-coupe wick

12 Oct 2015

BMW is open to competition for its X6 and X4 coupe-cum-SUV pairing, suggesting the recent Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and forthcoming GLC Coupe will inspire the German-car maker to improve offerings in the segment it invented.

Until the Mercedes large SUV coupe that arrived earlier this year, the X6 was unchallenged on Australian soil. When the GLC Coupe arrives later this year, the BMW X4 mid-sized version will also have a rival, but BMW says competition for its Sports Activity Vehicles (SAV) is a good thing.

Speaking at the 3 Series update launch, BMW CEO Marc Werner said he welcomed “copycat” models, and Mercedes' offering would push BMW SAVs to the next level.

“The fact that our competitors are desperately trying to imitate our success with copycat models is surely the biggest compliment we could receive,” he said.

“There have been a lot of comments from them about being late to the party. Well, let me tell you, we started the party and we are about to ramp it up another notch. We are looking forward to competition, so bring it on.” Mr Werner explained that with more experience in the segment, BMW would stay ahead of any competition, regardless of which manufacturers chose to offer a model in the niche category.

“The fact that BMW pioneered the SAV means that we have more experience in the segment, and we already have a wide range of existing customers,” he said. “We know what they want and we can give it to them.” Effectively reprofiled X5 and X3 models, the X6 and X4 models mimic much of the specification and performance of the SUV equivalents, including driving qualities, and Mr Werner was critical of newcomers to the space.

“We were the inventor of that segment,” he said. “In our opinion, an SAV should feel like an SAV and not like a truck.” Mr Werner did not say what the next step would be for BMW into the SAV pool, but its X1 is the only SUV in the stable to not yet spawn a coupe twin.

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