BMW Rules Out New 5-Series Touring For U.S., Considers Sub 1-Series Model

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Following the announcement that Volvo will no longer be offering its V70 wagon in the U.S. after the 2010 model year comes news that BMW has ruled out selling its recently revealed 5-Series Touring in local showrooms as well.

While the new 2011 BMW 5-Series Sedan will go on sale this May, the automaker has decided not to offer the Touring model because of slow sales of the previous generation model. There’s also the issue of the new Touring cannibalizing sales of the pricier 5-Series GT crossover that was introduced last year.

The smaller 3-Series Touring, however, will remain on sale.

This is in stark contrast to the strategy of closest rival Mercedes-Benz, which just last week showed off its svelte E-Class Estate wagon at the 2010 New York Auto Show. Mercedes-Benz also sells a vehicle similar to the 5-Series GT, the new R-Class, but the automaker predicts that the two vehicles will appeal to different customer bases. There is one catch, however. The E-Class Estate will be offered in one guise only, the E350 4Matic. Sales of this model will commence in June.

Meanwhile, BMW is reportedly considering selling its future front-wheel drive sub 1-Series model in the U.S. Though production isn’t expected to start for several years, tougher fuel economy and emissions regulations coming into play in the U.S. will almost certainly see automakers move towards smaller vehicles.

Speaking with Automotive News, BMW’s U.S. chief, Jim O'Donnell, said the vehicle is in the final round of discussions and if given the green light for the U.S. could establish a new price segment for the brand--one that would attract younger buyers.

[Automotive News, sub req’d]

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