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More models, more sales for BMW

3 wishes: The facelifted 3 Series is set to launch in Australia later this year, marking a busy period for the brand which also has the new 7 Series and X1 launching in the second half.

BMW will not rest on its laurels, with key new models coming in the second half

17 Jun 2015

BMW Australia is confident it will break last year's sales record in 2015, spurred on by its continued new-model roll-out as well as increasing demand for some of its staple models.

The German brand finished last year with 22,722 sales, a 10 per cent improvement on 2013 thanks largely to increased model offerings – 4 Series variants among the key sales improvers – as well as continued strong sales of the X5 SUV and the recently replaced 1 Series compact hatch.

BMW Group Australia chief executive officer Marc Werner said he is confident that the brand's 13 per cent sales improvement so far this year – in an overall market that is up by just 2.5 per cent – has the car-maker on track for another record tally.

“We are well on our way for another record year,” he said. “Our sales are up by 13 per cent, we had supply struggles early in the year but that has freed up so we are in a much better position in the second half of the year to exploit the existing market potential.”

Being constrained by supply issues in the first quarter has failed to impede the progress toward a record, but the CEO is more concerned with taking its rightful place in the compact prestige segment with the 1 Series.

Mr Werner said at the launch of the 1 Series last week that he was hopeful the refreshed compact would draw buyers out of higher-spec versions of mainstream offerings, while the 125i was priced at a point to lure Volkswagen Golf GTI owners out of their hot hatch and into a BMW.

Before the end of the year, BMW will have launched new or refreshed versions of a number of high-volume models, including a facelifted 3 Series, the new front-wheel drive X1 crossover and the sixth-generation 7 Series.

Mr Werner said the brand also has more scope to capitalise on recently launched models, such as the 2 Series Active Tourer, 2 Series Convertible and the 1 Series hatch.

“These three in particular will help us in the second half, but there's more to come. The new 3 Series is a fantastic new car and will go in sale in October the new 7 Series will be here in October. In volume terms the all-new X1 will be an important car for Australia and it will be a major hit.”

he said.

The continued infatuation with SUVs has resulted in the brand confirming a seven-seat X7 is on the books for future production at BMW's American plant in Spartangburg, South Carolina, which produces the existing X family of SUVs.

“We are very happy about the X7. The board has decided to build the X7 which will certainly help us in our SUV range, and it is on the list for Australia absolutely, but there's no timetable on that yet,” Mr Werner said.

While the Australian boss is coy about a timetable for its plans for the X7 and when it might bring plug-in hybrids to Australia, others within BMW talk of the brand's range of plug-ins being led-off by the X5 xDrive40e version in the first half of next year, with the new 3 Series set to be the next plug-in hybrid model to grace our shores.

“BMW has decided on a full-scale plug-in hybrid strategy. We are yet to discuss when we will launch them here, it needs to fit the overall strategy. We have started with the 'i' range, the next step would be the plug-in hybrids but that remains to be seen when we will see the cars here,” Mr Werner said.

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