BMW cancels plans for production version of Concept CS

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The cancellation of the Concept CS production car leaves BMW with no entry in the super-sedan arms race

The cancellation of the Concept CS production car leaves BMW with no entry in the super-sedan arms race

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On the back of weak financial results announced today, BMW has decided not to risk the launch of an expensive model like the production version of the Concept CS. The car had been conceived as a new range-topping super-sedan for the company, but its business case simply isn't convincing enough, according to CEO Norbert Reithofer.

The return on investment for such a car would only be about 1.3%, reports Automotive News, leaving too little profit for the investment required. As recently as September, reports of progress on the car's development at BMW's M Division were emerging, and it was expected the new car would wear the 8-series tag. Putting development of the car exclusively into the hands of the M Division was intended to help give the car the performance credentials it would need to compete with the likes of the Aston Martin Rapide, Porsche Panamera and Mercedes-Benz CLS.

Now that the car has been canceled, BMW will have no direct competitor to those vehicles, leaving it without an entry in what is perceived as an important new segment. The car was already behind the game, not due to arrive until 2010 at the very earliest. Ludwig Willisch, M Division president, said it would take "a couple of years to get the CS to market", meaning its arrival as a 2011 or 2012 model would have been most likely - and that much delay would have put the car at a severe disadvantage.

Reithofer said of the cancellation, "At the moment we do not need that kind of brand shaper." Instead BMW is now concerned with pushing its Efficient Dynamics program, enhancing efficiency and cutting costs. "The next step will be a mega city car with two different drivetrain options - one with electric powertrain and one with a highly efficient combustion engine," said Reithofer.
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