Over the years we’ve been used to BMW continually slicing the pie thinner and thinner with model variants. However that may be about to change. In an interview with Automotive News Ian Robertson, head of global sales and marketing, said: “The checkerboard is getting quite full. There are not many more concepts. And I think we are reaching the phase where we will start to take some out — it’s too complicated, and there are too many. And there are products whose market has dropped and not recovered.”
Our immediate thought goes to wagons. And yes, we have heard that the lone wagon in the US market will be dead when the current F31 ceases production. But outside the US they still sell in volume. So where does he see opportunity to contract?
“The areas where recovery didn’t happen were places like roadsters and convertibles, so most manufacturers are extending the life span of those types of products or looking for joint venture partners.”
Will BMW reduce the number of body styles? “We will refine it, shall we say,” Robertson said.
Immediately what comes to mind is BMW’s upcoming join venture with Toyota that will spawn the successor the Z4 roadster. Additionally we’ve seen the MINI Roadster (and coupe) get axed with no replacement in sight. But we do know that BMW is planning on continuing the large convertible with the ultra luxurious 8 Series coming to market in the coming year. So further model “refinement” might include other fixed room models.