Get ready to say goodbye to the "other" 2 Series America never knew.
Did you know BMW makes minivans? If you answered "no,” that could be because it doesn't sell them here in America. And soon, it won't sell them anywhere.
The minivans to which we refer are the 2 Series Active Tourer and its extended counterpart, the 2 Series Gran Tourer. They share little but their name with the 2 Series coupe and convertible we get Stateside, and are much smaller vehicles than the US-market maxi-minivans like the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, and Chrysler Pacifica. In fact, they are closer in size and orientation to the Mercedes B-Class.
BMW rolled out the five-seat 2 Series Active Tourer in 2014 and the seven-seat Gran Tourer in 2015. Now after about five years on the (European) market, they're reportedly approaching the end of the road. The Bavarian automaker's product chief Peter Henrich, told Autocar that while the Active/Gran Tourers have "done an excellent job in bringing new customers to our brand,” they are "not at the center of what our brand today stands for.”
After ramping up production, BMW sold over 100,000 of them in Europe in 2016, but sales have dropped off in the years since.
Last year it sold fewer than 70,000 of them, and as of the end of April, had moved under 20,000. By comparison, it sold over 111,000 (mechanically related) X1 crossovers in Europe last year, and another ~36,500 X2s – and those are models sold in the lucrative American market, too.
So will BMW simply leave those (prospective and current) minivan customers twisting in the wind once the current model runs its course? Hardly. "We will see about moving Gran Tourer customers to our SUVs,” added Henrich, suggesting a subcompact crossover with seven seats could be in the works to take on the new Mercedes GLB.