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New-model onslaught to lift sales: BMW

X-Up: BMW expects its X Series SUV range to account for over 60 per cent of its sales in 2019.

Wave of new BMW models breaks as premium market softens

10 Dec 2018

BMW Australia says it is about to ramp up its new-model onslaught, with plans for at least seven new models or variants that are set to land between now and the end of the second half of 2019.
 
Following the recent launch of the all-new fourth-generation X5 large SUV, BMW will kick off the fresh product rollout in the first quarter of next year with the updated i3 electric hatch, the X2 M35i crossover and the 8 Series M850i Coupe and Convertible.
 
The Z4 drop-top sportster will then arrive in quarter two, as well as the new-generation 3 Series sedan, and the M-fettled X3 and X4 performance SUV pair.
 
The premium market has seen a sales decline in recent months, with the German luxury trio – BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz – recording year-to-date sales dips of 3.4, 10.7 and 12.0 per cent respectively.
 
BMW Group Australia’s recently appointed chief executive officer Vikram Pawah said he attributed the softening to a number of factors, including a nervous market that has been impacted by falling housing prices, but he added that new models would excite customers.
 
“Something that affects consumers is confidence – what will happen in the future?
 
“Uncertainty with what has been happening with the economy, what is happening with house prices, what is going to happen in the election, these are the things that may be causing the decline,” he told GoAuto.
 
“But still people get excited by new models, making them want to come in (to the dealership) and have a look and hopefully make a purchase.”
 
BMW’s ‘X’ SUV line has taken up 58.5 per cent of its total sales from the start of 2018 to November, and with new variants as well as the all-new X7 upper-large SUV to join the line-up, Mr Pawah said he expected that figure to climb even higher.
 
“Our 3 Series will arrive next year, which may balance sales a bit,” he said.
 
“But I think 60 to 65 per cent of (X Series) sales is a reasonable number to aim for when you consider the way the market is going.”
 
The X5 large SUV has been the best-selling model in its segment for nearly a decade, and the X1 small SUV and X3 medium SUV have both had bouts of market dominance this year.
 
When the hulking X7 arrives in Q2 of 2019, it will be the seventh and largest model in BMW’s SUV line-up, putting the brand directly in contention with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Lexus LX, Infiniti QX80 and Range Rover.

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