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      04-08-2020, 02:13 AM   #1
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BMW Still Dedicated to Sedans Despite Increased Crossover Sales

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BMW Optimistic About Future of Sedans Even as Crossovers Lead in Sales
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BMW, a brand that owes its modern success to sports sedans, is now selling more crossovers (SAVs) than it's traditional bread-and-butter sedans.

With some 60% of sales now made up of SAVs, the average BMW on the road has grown in both height and ground clearance in recent years. Even so, we don't expect a funeral for the BMW sedan because unlike Ford, BMW is not ditching sedans anytime soon.

According to an interview by Autoblog, which recently spoke to BMW head of design, Domagoj Dukec, the sedan will remain relevant in BMW's portfolio.
But fans of BMW sedans should expect some changes in design, changes that may challenge the definition of a traditional three-box sedan.

"The 40-60 or 50-50 [sedan-SUV] split will remain, so yes, sedans will stay relevant," Dukec affirms.

"There also has to be a certain modernization, or evolution, of the body style. It can't just be the classic three-box [silhouette]."



Dukec explains that through market research, BMW have identified two primary design trends or characteristics: "casual" and "elegant" where parallels can be drawn to interior design.

"Casual", can be likened to a modern open living space, where the kitchen, living room, and dining areas sort of blend together into one open space.
"Elegant" design is on the other end of the spectrum, where there is clear distinction and separation of the kitchen, living room, and [formal] dining room.

Dukec says that those who prefer the former (i.e., "casual" aesthetics) are more inclined to be SAV buyers while those who prefer the latter (i.e., "elegant" aesthetics) would be more inclined to pick a sedan.



Incidentally, the preferences differ depending on the target audience.
While Dukec doesn't cite hard numbers, opting for the more abstract and philosophical thought experiment instead, he implies that sedans may be more popular in other markets outside of the US.

"We see that, in China, they're asking for more elegance, maybe something like a two-and-a-half-box. This is something we are looking at."

Challenging the classic three-box architecture with a two-and-a-half-box sounds a lot like the approach taken by some of the Gran Coupés.

One way to interpret this is that BMW will seek creative approaches to take desirable elements of crossover design and infuse them into future sedans.
We take it to mean that we should expect silhouettes such as the F44 2 Series Gran Coupe to be a reference point for future BMW sedans in terms of design and aesthetic form.





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      04-08-2020, 08:01 AM   #2
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What I'd love to see happen is BMW offer coupes/sedans as M-only versions and leave the standard/luxury trims for the SUVs. The exception here would be the 7 series, which should, IMO, maintain it's primary luxury role vs only being available on M trim.
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      04-08-2020, 09:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Law View Post
Even so, we don't expect a funeral for the BMW sedan because unlike Ford, BMW is not ditching sedans anytime soon.
Not just Ford, but Chevrolet and Buick too. Dodge and Chrysler have a single sedan each, and the latter model may not be around much longer.

Quote:
"The 40-60 or 50-50 [sedan-SUV] split will remain, so yes, sedans will stay relevant," Dukec affirms.
That mix is likely to be 30-70 in the next few years.

BMW currently has seven sedans (or quasi-sedan lift-backs):

F52 1er
F44 2GC
G20 3er
F36 4GC (soon G26)
G30 5er
G12 7er
G15 8GC

And they also have seven SUVs with two more on the way. Surely they are eager to pare down the lineup, and the SUVs obviously aren’t going anywhere.

Over the next couple decades, I think we'll see sedans evolve into increasingly smaller niche segments across the industry, somewhat occupying the space that coupes had traditionally covered. Coupes (and convertibles) will no doubt continue to shrink even further in numbers and survive purely as enthusiast toys.

It will be intriguing to see how this unfolds.
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      04-08-2020, 10:23 AM   #4
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Sedans are classic and timeless in style.
We as a family also have the "family SUV".
However, personally, I find SUVs of any kind or brand as bulky and ugly. The classic 2 door coupe will always be aesthetically beautiful.
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      04-08-2020, 10:47 AM   #5
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I like the increased ground clearance of the SUV form factor, but I don't like the bouncy ride that seems to come with the increased load capacity. Having gone the X5 route, I'm back to the 5 sedan for just this reason. Is the bouncy ride a design/marketing choice or is it a necessary component of the extra ground clearance? I'm not carrying loads of bricks, so I really don't care about any more load carrying capacity than I have in my 530e.
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      04-08-2020, 12:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ted99 View Post
Is the bouncy ride a design/marketing choice ...?
yes it's absolutely on purpose.

I see them keeping sedans around for heritage and they still sell in enough numbers to justify (plus they will be an inexpensive way to keep mileage for the fleet up), but you'll see far fewer trims and hardly any customization choices besides color. They will just be optioned based on what has historically been popular and maybe an 'ultimate' package.

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      04-08-2020, 01:41 PM   #7
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I don't understand the US manufacturers. Yes...the percentage of sedans vs. SUVs has been and is dropping. But there are still substantial numbers of sedans sold every year and GM, Ford and Chrysler are leaving that space to Toyota, Nissan, Subaru and Honda. Once a customer moves to another manufacturer, if that experience is positive, the customer may become one for life. The US Big three are being very shortsighted.
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      04-08-2020, 04:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
I don't understand the US manufacturers. Yes...the percentage of sedans vs. SUVs has been and is dropping. But there are still substantial numbers of sedans sold every year and GM, Ford and Chrysler are leaving that space to Toyota, Nissan, Subaru and Honda. Once a customer moves to another manufacturer, if that experience is positive, the customer may become one for life. The US Big three are being very shortsighted.
On the other hand, I don't understand the US consumer. Essentially made the SUV the go-to vehicle and BMW and other manufacturers all chased the money. Made car enthusiasts pretty pissed
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      04-08-2020, 06:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pseto View Post
On the other hand, I don't understand the US consumer. Essentially made the SUV the go-to vehicle and BMW and other manufacturers all chased the money. Made car enthusiasts pretty pissed
US consumers are relatively wealthy, and just as US consumers generally want larger homes when they can afford them, they like larger vehicles too. Then there's that "heavier vehicle wins in an accident" theory too.
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      04-08-2020, 06:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New2Roundel View Post
What I'd love to see happen is BMW offer coupes/sedans as M-only versions and leave the standard/luxury trims for the SUVs. The exception here would be the 7 series, which should, IMO, maintain it's primary luxury role vs only being available on M trim.
Sounds like a plan for selling far less sedans and coupes. Not sure that's the goal.
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      04-08-2020, 10:48 PM   #11
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The sedan market isn't going to contract forever, it will still be a significant money maker for automakers. But given how the segment has contracted only the strongest players will survive, as evidenced by Detroit nearly dropping out entirely.

On a side note, I feel in the compact luxury saloon market some players are going to have to go. The Infiniti Q50, Cadillac ATS/CT4, Jag XE, Alfa Giulia, Acura TLX, and even Lexus IS are all non-competitive players in this segment. The Germans have a strong hold and with new competition in the G70 and strong selling Tesla Model 3 in it I don't know how much longer some of these low-volume models can sustain. At least Lexus has capital and heritage with the IS, the other brands I mentioned are just struggling to keep the lights on as it is.
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      04-08-2020, 10:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
I don't understand the US manufacturers. Yes...the percentage of sedans vs. SUVs has been and is dropping. But there are still substantial numbers of sedans sold every year and GM, Ford and Chrysler are leaving that space to Toyota, Nissan, Subaru and Honda. Once a customer moves to another manufacturer, if that experience is positive, the customer may become one for life. The US Big three are being very shortsighted.
That's how Detroit has always operated; thinking about next quarter's earnings. Ford has had a musical chairs of CEOs lately and they're all desperate for their terrible stock price to grow (which it hasn't). Sure they sold a lot of Focuses and Fusions but continuing to allocate resources to those cars wasn't going to save their jobs.

The Japanese and Koreans are loving it.
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      04-08-2020, 11:52 PM   #13
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Sorry to go on about a design rant here, but... they literally said sedan buyers want "elegant" design. I don't think BMW's current designers understand what elegance means.
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      04-09-2020, 02:40 AM   #14
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Not once have I seen "sporty design" in the article.
What happened to the sporty sedan philosophy on which BMW built itself?

BMW is in an identity crisis.
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      04-09-2020, 09:36 AM   #15
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"Recent' history (last 30 years) has had a "not my mother's car" effect. Station wagons were rejected. Mini-vans were rejected. Will Gen Z reject SUV's? I think they are already doing this. What will be their go-to vehicle? No vehicle?
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      04-09-2020, 09:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ted99 View Post
What will be their go-to vehicle? No vehicle?
Actually, yes. I don't know if your comment was meant as a joke, but the reality is, they will be interested in no vehicle and use ride-sharing services or they will be interested in autonomous vehicles. Those autonomous vehicles will look a lot like the living room on wheel concepts we have seen. Perhaps we are 10 years out from that? Maybe 5?
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      04-09-2020, 09:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ted99 View Post
What will be their go-to vehicle? No vehicle?
I'm honestly not sure. I know that my son and a lot of his grade (high school seniors) mostly have gotten SUV's for first cars. They are growing up with them, but I feel the next couple of generations will be less enthusiastic about cars in general. I would say a lot of younger people also find an appeal for Tesla and electric cars, it is the "it car" that people aspire to have and has a lot of badge appeal to younger generations. Sadly this makes me see a future of electric SUV's as the norm.
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      04-09-2020, 10:11 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by kyrix1st View Post
Not once have I seen "sporty design" in the article.
What happened to the sporty sedan philosophy on which BMW built itself?

BMW is in an identity crisis.
market has moved on...
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      04-09-2020, 05:10 PM   #19
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60% are SUVs. What is the matter with people?

What happened to centre of gravity and drag coefficient, not to mention what it's like to drive.

Statistically, although cars have gotten more economical, on average they are using more fuel because of the higher percentage of people choosing SUVs.

It makes me want to 😢
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      04-09-2020, 05:44 PM   #20
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I'm glad.
I have more pleasure with driving my 4 years old m235 than my wife's brand new x7.
Looking forward to the new m4/m3
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      04-09-2020, 05:54 PM   #21
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This is good news. Since many other car manufacturers are ditching sedans, that just means more market share globally for BMW. I love sport sedans.
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      04-09-2020, 05:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Sorry to go on about a design rant here, but... they literally said sedan buyers want "elegant" design. I don't think BMW's current designers understand what elegance means.
Loll that's simply corporate speak for "our cars are now designed for the Chinese first."
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