And its US dealers are explaining why.
If there's one specific body style automakers have (mostly) determined as no longer profitable in the US, it's the wagon. The only automaker currently having success with a wagon is Subaru. The Subaru Outback continues to be a hot seller despite the ever-growing list of new crossovers. It's currently facing some new - and more expensive - competition by way of the Audi A6 allroad. There's also the Volvo V90 Cross Country. Even Mercedes-Benz is rumored to be interested in raising the E-Class wagon's ride height a couple of inches.
But what about BMW? Over a year ago we learned the latest BMW 3 Series wagon is not US-bound. The BMW 5 Series wagon hasn't been available in the US since the E60. It turns out America's BMW dealerships want this to change.
Speaking to Automotive News, the BMW National Dealer Forum Chairman, Patrick Womack, believes such a vehicle is necessary once again in the US. "There is a place for a luxury wagon with great BMW performance in the US market. The Europeans get to enjoy that great product, and we need to compete with Audi and other brands that are in our marketplace," said Womack.
Although BMW may not be all that interested in an off-road-ish type wagon, a high-performance wagon is definitely a possibility. Remember, the Audi RS 6 Avant is now for sale following high demand. There's also the Mercedes-AMG E63 Wagon.
Yes, this is definitely a niche market, but it's a growing and highly competitive one. The fact that BMW is not competing here in the vital North American market isn't good. Fortunately, there is a wagon variant of the latest BMW 5 Series in Europe, dubbed the 5 Series Touring. Drop in the right engine, say the M5's 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with 591 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque and, well, BMW would be in business once again.
Hearing enthusiasts request such a vehicle type is nothing new for BMW, but if the head of its US dealer association is doing the same then the folks in Munich really ought to listen.