Don’t be surprised if you see an SUV from BMW that’s even larger and more luxurious than the X7.
Speaking to Autocar, BMW sales and marketing head Ian Robertson confirmed more luxury models are on their way. Currently, the German automaker is getting ready to launch several new products, including the i8 Roadster that debuted at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show, 8 Series, M8, X7, and Z4. But it appears that’s just the beginning for the brand, as it may be focusing on large luxury cars to help fund the development of future autonomous, electrified, and connected technologies.
That means the idea of an SUV larger than the X7 isn’t entirely out of the question, which is in line with rumors that a BMW X8 is already under consideration. According to Robertson, the greater profits that luxury models generate was part of a long-term strategy for the brand, so it can fund development of the cars and technologies BMW sees as the future of automotive.
“We are intent on expanding our footprint in the luxury segment,” said Robertson. “We see it as a growth engine, and an ability to be more profitable. We need to generate new ideas for the business model, as we go through the transition to a technology business from a car company. It requires investment. Expanding the luxury segment is key to this strategy.”
As part of the strategy, BMW will launch more electric models in the coming years and the automaker has already trademarked every model name between i1 and i9, along with iX1 to iX9, and X1 to X9. But the focus will also be on larger SUVs, as BMW says it’s the only segment that is seeing growth in sales around the world. Eventually, BMW will introduce 25 electrified vehicles by 2025, with 12 of them being pure electric. One of those models will be a MINI, meaning 11 all-electric BMWs are in development. The first of those models will be an X3 EV due in 2020, that will also introduce BMW’s fifth-generation electric car technology that will eventually underpin all electric vehicles.
After that, a production version of the BMW iVision Dynamics Concept will follow in 2021, offering Level 3 autonomous technology to a BMW. It will also be future-proofed for Level 4 and Level 5 for when legislation allows.
The good news? Like Porsche, BMW plans on keeping a steering wheel in all its cars for the foreseeable future.
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