BMW Touts New X7 And M Performance Models
Curiously, no mention was made of the flagship 8 Seriesby Kirby Garlitos, on
BMW is in the process of shifting its entire brand strategy towards bringing in a new era for the German automaker. In one of the most comprehensive press releases you’ll ever see, BMW CEO Harald Kruger laid out the company’s plans in setting new profit goals and strengthening its position as a market leader in the premium segment, among other things.
The latter of those two strategies will include a extensive product expansion, which will include the introduction of the BMW X7, which could serve as the brand’s full-size, flagship SUV that will sit above the current X6 coupe-SUV. The introduction of the X7 has been rumored for some time, dating back to 2011. But this is the first indication from BMW itself that the production of the range-topping SUV will proceed. Kruger also added that the company plans to look at “broadening” the SUV segment, which could potentially mean the addition of different variants across the entire range. He didn’t elaborate on those statements, but it could be a reference to a possible expansions of incumbent models like the X1, X3, X4, X5, and X6, as well as additional versions of the upcoming X2 and X7 models.
The other important item about BMW’s aggressive new strategy is its plan for the M Performance division. Again, the company didn’t elaborate on the specifics of its plans, opting only to say that it’s looking into “expanding” the entire range of M Performance models, specifically within the higher volume segments. The phrase “higher volume segments” suggests that BMW is talking about the lower- to mid-ranges of its produce lineup, one that includes the 2, 3, 4, and 5 Series families, as well as the X1, X3, and X4 SUVs. Taking some of these buzzwords into the equation, it appears that the German automaker is looking at introducing new M variants for models in these families, opening the door for the possible return of the M3 Coupe, the introduction of an M4 Sedan, and more M-badged crossovers and SUVs in the future. The BMW M7 is also another model that’ll likely come out from this new business strategy as BMW continues to fill up the M Performance division.
One model that didn’t get a specific mention was the 8 Series. Recent rumors indicate that Kruger himself has been keen on adding a true flagship model that can directly compete against the Mercedes S-Class and the Bentley Continental. AutoCar even reported last month that initial plans for the 8 Series have already made their way to Kruger.
Whatever comes out of this new business strategy, it’s clear that BMW is taking a proactive approach in cultivating a strong foundation for its own future
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Why it matters
Was it just me or were there so many buzzwords in that press release? I’m probably not the only who had to sift through all the information, but BMW’s goal to expand its entire lineup is significant for a number of reasons. The biggest takeaway is that the German automaker doesn’t appear to be too concerned about flooding the market with new models. It’s not worried about saturating itself either, which points to the confidence coming from Bavaria that customers will continue to buy BMWs. It’s a bold move to make and one that I think comes with some risk. But you don’t get to be a market leader in the premium segment without taking risks so in some ways, I can’t fault BMW for moving forward with its model expansion. Fans of the industry don’t necessarily concern themselves with things like this. If there’s a new model, there will be a lot of interest in that vehicle. BMW is relying on that to give new models like the X7 some serious sales run.
To some extent, the same holds true with the M Performance division. Granted, this is a relatively smaller market made up of loyalists and performance enthusiasts so expanding the division comes with a slightly bigger risk. But again, BMW doesn’t have any reason considering how impressive its sales numbers have been to be dissuaded by the possibility that it’s releasing one too many models for its customers. The company believes that the market will be able to sustain it, and given the success models like the M3 and M4 have had in recent years, it’s hard to blame BMW from diving head first with the introduction of new M models and the expansion of existing ones.
There’s a saying that these kinds of problems are good problems to have because it’s coming from a position of strength and success. Over the last few years, there’s no doubt that BMW has been hugely successful with its business. It’s had its fair share of misses, but by and large, the company’s business is as healthy as it’s ever been. CEO Harald Kruger knows that, which is why the aggressive tone of the company’s new business strategy shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who can see that the German automaker is playing the long game here and is banking on its sustained excellence to see it through.
Read our full review on the BMW X7 here.