Having lost the luxury car sales race to Mercedes-Benz in 2016, BMW is planning an aggressive roll-out of new products over the next two years to claw its way back to the top spot.
In a press conference held Tuesday in Munich, Germany to outline its financial results, BMW’s CEO Harald Krüger revealed that up to 40 new or updated models will be launched by the end of 2018. The models are for the entire BMW Group and thus represent not only the BMW brand but Mini and Rolls-Royce as well.
Among the new models mentioned by Krüger are a redesigned X3 plus all-new X2 and X7 models. The X3 will arrive in late 2017 while the X2 and X7 will arrive in 2018. Also confirmed by Krüger are a long-wheelbase 5-Series for the Chinese market and a high-performance M5; they both debut in 2017.
BMW press conference in Munich, Germany - March 21, 2017
And for fans that prefer vehicles with two wheels, Krüger said the BMW Motorrad brand will see 14 new or updated models this year alone. BMW Motorrad will also be expanding its retail network in Asia and the United States.
Crucially, Krüger revealed BMW’s intentions to become a leader in the “upper luxury segment,” currently dominated by Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class range. More models in this segment are coming, like the aforementioned X7. We can also look forward to the return of an 8-Series as well as an i8 Spyder. Krüger said BMW will also be selectively using the BMW i and BMW M brands to expand its offerings in the upper luxury segment.
Speaking of BMW i, we’ll see an electric Mini in 2019 and an electric X3 in 2020. At the same time, BMW is also working on fuel cells. BMW plans to produce a low-volume fuel cell model in 2021 but doesn’t see the technology becoming mainstream any time before 2025—if at all. And also in 2021, BMW is committed to launching a fully self-driving car code-named the iNext.
Finally, Krüger mentioned that BMW in the coming years will expand its services into new areas. He pointed out that BMW has accumulated roughly 30 million customers almost exclusively through the traditional business of selling cars. By 2025 he wants to increase that pool to more than 100 million customers via new services such as ridesharing and digital services.