Rumor

Does BMW Have Too Many Models?

Perhaps it's time to reevaluate the lineup.

If you have a few minutes, go the official BMW website and see how many models are currently on offer. By our count, there’s a total of 13, not including the M high performance versions of seven of those, in addition to a few convertible variants and a four-door version of the 6 Series, the Gran Coupe. Oh yeah, the X2 is also on its way. Make that 14. It’s a big lineup, especially for a premium luxury brand and BMW is all too aware of this. Speaking to Automotive News, BMW’s head of global sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, admitted "The checkerboard is getting quite full.

There are not many more concepts. And I think we are reaching the phase where we will start to take some (models) out – it’s too complicated, and there are too many. And there are products whose market has dropped and not recovered." Which specific products is he referring to? "The areas where recovery didn’t happen were places like roadsters and convertibles, so most manufacturers are extending the life span of those types of products or looking for joint venture partners." Asked straight up whether BMW is planning to cut any of its models, Robertson was vague but the writing is on the wall: "We will refine it, shall we say."

Based on Robertson's remarks, we wouldn't be surprised to see, say, the 2 or even the 4 Series Convertible receive the axe. Convertibles have long been a hard sell for automakers, and roadsters, like the now discontinued Z4, are even more challenging. So it makes complete sense that BMW and Toyota teamed up to build the Z5/Supra. Like Robertson said, "joint venture partners." In any case, the Z5 is on its way soon as is the next generation 6 Series, which we've seen testing as both a coupe and convertible.

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