For the first time in over a decade, BMW has lost the volume game to Mercedes-Benz and sales of BMW cars also slipped to a six-year low.
In a rather surprising and ambitious announcement, the Bavarian giant said they would be unveiling 40 variants in the next two years, including the new BMW X2 and full-sized X7 crossover.
BMW CEO, Mr Harald Krueger said, “We are launching the biggest model offensive ever and have begun a transformation unlike anything our company has seen before.”
Apparently, reception of the all-new BMW 7 Series fell short of expectations and couldn’t challenge the Mercedes-Benz W222 S-Class. This lacklustre effect also trickled down to the much anticipated G30 BMW 5 Series. To combat this, Krueger plans on shifting the focus to profitability instead of sales. This will conserve resources for the costly transition into an era of self-driving cars, electric vehicles and the fully autonomous iNext in 2021.
BMW also said they would invest at a higher rate compared to the 5.16 billion euros (RM24.7 billion, and that’s just 5.5 percent of their revenue) they spent on R&D last year. Despite the increased cost, BMW projects a rise in profit and revenue in 2017, albeit by a small margin.
Besides the 40 new variants, there are also plans to expand the top-of-the-line luxury vehicles that will complement the 7 Series. The goal here, it seems, is to challenge Mercedes-Benz and make BMW the strongest brand in this segment and significantly increase sales volumes and revenues by 2020.
Throughout 2016, BMW sold 2 million cars (up by 5.2 percent over 2015) whereas Mercedes-Benz sold 2.08 million vehicles (up by 11 percent over 2015).