World War...SUV. Part One.

Discussion in 'SCOTT27's Info Channel' started by SCOTT27, May 6, 2012.

  1. SCOTT27

    SCOTT27 Well-Known Member Contributing Member

    World War...SUV. Part One.

    Why the future of the luxury car is the SUV.

    Established luxury brands are getting ready to fight a new battle in the luxury segment that comes not only from their competition, but also from the enemy within...
    That enemy being their equivalent luxury SUV.

    Over the past few months we have seen "elite" SUV's such as from established luxury marques such as Bentley - which if you look beyond the design, you can understand why.
    Lamborghini's URUS concept is actually quite striking in real life - it actually works from a design angle as well as a business proposition. The new Mercedes-Benz GL-Klasse is now thankfully more S-Klasse than ML-KlasseXL and we will soon be seeing an all new Range Rover.
    Some are quick to make the assumption that their will be a Rolls-Royce SUV but BMW feel that a sportier X7 fills that high-end SAV role better than a RR. To make his point a photograph of a Cadillac Escalade with a Phantom front end was sent through BMW to show how illconceived it would be.

    Industry analysts have predicted that the future for the luxury segment is within SUVs and
    "Downsized" luxury cars. At last weeks Beijing Autoshow the onus was on the declining western market for large luxury sedans and rising market within China. But one factor was significant in both markets... The rise of the SUV.
    One thing noticed is that a single luxury concept is no longer sustainable in this case, The BMW 7er can no longer stand as BMWs only high-end luxury offering.
    In China at least if we take the 7er into consideration the car achieves 52% of global sales , having dislodged the US from the no 1 position. The average age of a 7er owner in China is 28, nine out of ten 7ers sold in China are fully specified via BMW individual , and around five out of ten or thereabouts are the flagship 760Li .
    When everything is taken into consideration - The 7er does make a lot of profit for BMW.
    The Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse also offers similiar contributions but with sales in China at 40%.
    Apply this to potential SUVs and you can see why the "elite"SUV is the next big thing. Current SUVs are now just under 60%.

    A refreshed Life cycle Impulse of the 7er is due in a few weeks , although BMW did unveil the car to a selected audience in Beijing taken into consideration its now largest market and customer base,
    BMW have expanded the attributes to appeal to that demographic by even offering exclusive BMW Individual finishes such as Moonstone as a Matte paint option.

    Although the 7er stands at the top , BMW have had previous attempts to sustain the car in the luxury segment with both the 8er coupe and illfated CS Concept car which if you take the 6er Gran Coupe, is the phoenix that arose from the CS's wreckage.
    To further sustain the car and increase profitability in the high end luxury segment , BMW are investigating several concepts that can help sustain the 7er and BMW's presence within the luxury market.
    Here we look at each tabled idea and probablility.

    BMW 7er XLi
    Probability : Medium
    The 7er XLi is reusing the idea of the previous E38 but is specifically aimed at China. Using an extended wheelbase made easy by the next generation modular matrix which can be stretched to accomodate. The XLi is seen as the car that (in China) at least if they cannot stretch to the Rolls-Royce brand this would be the next available choice. The car could also follow the 3erLi and 5erLi and be built in mainland China.

    BMW X7
    Probablity : High
    The X7 is very much progressing ahead even further than two previous incarnations.
    The SUV in elite form is the next growth segment . The recent Bentley and Lamborghini concepts were no fluke and despite the appearance (Bentley) they point to a new segment , something the current Range Rover investigated to a surprise success. Given the delicate history of the Rolls-Royce brand , both BMW's CEO and RR CEO are not convinced that the SUV should be added to the RR brand. The next choice of course is BMW.
    The concept of an X7 is not new at BMW , both were virtually conceived under the previous E53 X5 and current E70 as potential ideas incorporating the original BMW vision for the Range Rover - unsurpassed luxury , space and even with a V12 engine.
    The proposed X7 is not just a super-sized X5 , some designs equal a car with a more progressively sloping roofline which enhances its luxury credentials aswell as a more luxury inspired interior. An X7 being based off the X5 and using 7er technology in both material and drivetrain would be a profitable choice for BMW , protecting the RR brand and offering customers the ultimate BMW SAV in a position to take a signicant advantage out of the high end luxury SUV segment.
    Given the importantance of the SUV within any segment. By 2017 - BMW's entire series line wil contain an SAV/SAC model. With lower designated SAC models offering the choice of 3dr and 5dr.
    These models are highly profitable to BMW both in the present and the future.

    BMW Large Coupe and Cabrio
    Probability - Low
    A larger coupe and cabrio is not effectively needed. Thanks to the 6er covering all bases,
    The CS Concept car was conceived to fill this niche with something the competition could not do at the time.

    BMW CS II
    Probablility - High
    The BMW board loved the CS , so did the designers and the engineers. Under Gerhard Richter the car promised much in terms of engineering and overall scope. It was a sad day when the car was cancelled due to the economic crisis. The CS was conceived to distance the BMW brand further from the competition and build that bridge to Rolls-Royce. Competitors only offered 2dr Coupes at that time in that luxury segment, BMW were aiming to be the first with the ultimate high end luxury performance Coupe. CS was even going to be an M.
    The CS was consumed by the economic crisis which lead to a lazarus effect with the 6er Gran Coupe which incorporates many CS proposals such as BMW Individual interiors and unique passenger arrangements.
    A proposal for a second generation CS to sit on top of the BMW 7er is well into conception. With the next 7er allowing flexibility for CFRP use in the cars body and under structure.
    The CS II will be well advanced in taking advantage of BMW's lightweight philosophy.
    Both X7 and CS II would be considerable sustainment to the 7er and both be highly profitable.

    BMW X8
    Probablility - Medium.
    An X8 is possible if it follows the same philosophy as the X6 and forthcoming X4 by being based on the equivalent model. Given the success of the X6 , an X8 is certainly an interesting proposition, however this car could actually be re-invented within the BMWi brand as the BMW i6 which is undergoing conception in Munich. i6 is effectively an SAC utilising the BMWi design language which in some cases , it can be mistaken for a raised and detail enhanced i8.

    In Part Two.
    We will look at the next challenge of the SUV and its dominance in all key segments and how by 2017 , not only BMW , but also Mercedes-Benz and Audi will have all segments lined up with profitable SUV's and similar concepts.
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  2. Wunderkind

    Wunderkind Well-Known Member

    CS II please!!!!!! The concept looked good and I hope the years past will have matured the concept even future.

    I don't care much about these luxo-SUV's. In Asia, the Toyota Alphard and Nissan Elgrand are the vehicles of choice for long-haul travel. They have two individual reclining seats in the back and ample leg room. The rear bench behind is not that bad either.
  3. chonkoa

    chonkoa Well-Known Member

    X7 makes sense but X8 is senseless.
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  4. EMpower

    EMpower Well-Known Member

  5. SKY

    SKY Well-Known Member

    Are we gonna seee any kind of concept preview for the CS II?
  6. klier

    klier Member Premium Member

    Another thread, another wave of made up stuff.
    • Like Like x 3
  7. Michael

    Michael Well-Known Member

    I always pictured BMW designing and making a larger SUV since the X5, while astonishingly beautiful, doesn't cut it when compared to the GL Class MB has. I think a line up starting with the X3 then X5 and finally an X7 would be wise. I am not too sure of that X1 they have, though.
  8. EnI

    EnI Well-Known Member GCF Guru Contributing Member

    X1 is an important sales volume, and even revenue & profit generator for BMW. In 2011 the X1 was the best selling BMW SUV (in 2012 X3 seems to be #1). The next generation of X1, based on FWD UKL platform, will be even even more attractive for customers since UKL platform brings more interior space, and better exterior proportions (no more shoe-like silhouette).
  9. Michael

    Michael Well-Known Member

    Eni, is the X1 cannibalizing X3 sales? I only have a hunch and no data, but wouldn't a potential X3 purchaser be interested in the X1 as well and vice versa? I do not see that really happening with the X5, per se, but mostly with an X1 vs X3 purchase.
  10. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Well-Known Member GCF Guru Contributing Member

    As Car Owners Downsize, the Market Is Strong for Their Used S.U.V.’s
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/08/business/used-full-size-suvs-are-making-a-comeback.html
  11. SKY

    SKY Well-Known Member

    SCOTT, will the CS II mean a hole departure of the original and perfect design, or rather an evolution of the original idea adapting it to the new design language?.

    Any news on the Z9 front?
  12. EnI

    EnI Well-Known Member GCF Guru Contributing Member

    It doesn't seem so. It's more the opposite, perhaps: X3 cannibalizing X1 sales. Perhaps. Let's check some facts & figures:

    E83 X3 sales were relatively low since the car was really dated in its last years of lifecycle (especially when compared to Q5 and GLK). X1 hit the markets in the very last year of the X3's lifecycle.

    After X3 F25 introduction in late 2010 the X3 sales have surged.
    X1 sales remained very high in 2011 (best year for X1), yet sales growth in Q1 2012 was lower - and in some markets even negative. I guess mainly due the fact X1 LCI is coming in July 2012, perhaps even since X1 is losing sales to X3, or the new direct rivals (Audi Q3) started to cannibalize X1 sales. It's not that clear. I guess all 3 factors are the reasons, yet I don't know their particular significance & influence on X1 sales.

    Eg.
    X1 global sales in 2011: 126,429 (+26.4%)
    X3 global sales in 2011: 117,944 (+156%)

    X1 global sales in Q1 2012: 29,532 (+8.4%)
    X3 global sales in Q1 2012: 35,248 (+55.3%)

    Since X3 is a hit in US, and X1 isn't sold there let's just check the German market figures - as an indicator for EU markets, where both X1 E84 & X3 F25 are available:

    X1 German sales in 2011: 33,480 (+25.7%)
    X3 German sales in 2011: 20.863 (+99.8%)

    X1 German sales in Q1 2012: 6,637 (-8.7%)
    X1 German sales in Q1 2012: 6,168 (+114,8%)

    X3 F25 has been available in German market since November 20, 2010. While X1 E84 since October 24, 2009.

    X1 is definitely not cannibalizing X3 sales, since X3 F25 sales are about 20% better in its first year of sales than the sales of X3 E83 were in the same period of its lifecycle. Even more: best selling year for X3 E83 was 2006, when BMW sold 114,000 units of E83. As you can see F25 already passed that mark in its first year - and the 2012 result will be even better. OK, there are some differences: BRIC markets are more developed today then they were in the E83 times. Yet in 1st half of E83's lifecycle (2004-2007) the condition of global economy was much better than it is today, so ...

    F25 X3 is selling extremely good, despite of X1 availability. X1 sales growth is decreasing lately - but it's hard to say it's whether due F25 X3, or due to forthcoming facelift - and people are waiting for the LCI models, or perhaps the new competition (Q3) is the reason for lower sales / sales growth. That answer will be answered in January 2013 when sales figures for the whole 2012 will be available.

    Yet it seems the X1 global sales figures will nevertheless exceed the record ones from 2011 - due to LC, due to US availability, and due to availability to Chinese market - where X1 will be produced locally, therefore it will be quite attractive BMW model to purchase (just like 5er & the new LWB 3er which will also hit Chinese market in the next months). But I guess the sales growth will be lower than the one in 2011 when the sales grew 26.4% compared to 2010.

    Conclusion: X1 & X3 can coexist without effecting much on each other sales. It's the same relation between X1, X3 and X5 as it in the case 1er vs 3er vs 5er. Not much cross-shopping at all.
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  13. EMpower

    EMpower Well-Known Member

    Good article on popularity of BMW SUVs in middle-east and a case for why X7 will also succeed. 44% of BMWs sold in middle east are SAVs/SACs.
    http://www.drivearabia.com/news/2012/06/28/bmw-suvs-account-for-huge-chunk-of-gcc-sales/

    BMW SUVs account for huge chunk of GCC sales

    In other parts of the developed world, BMW’s best-sellers are the 1-Series, the 3-Series and the 5-Series. We already know that the BMW X6 and the BMW X5 take the second and third spots on BMW’s own sales charts in the GCC, behind the 7-Series.

    BMW says that BMW “X” SUV sales accounted for 33% of overall Middle East sales last year. This year, they account for 44% of overall sales so far. That includes the BMW X5 and X6, as well as newcomers X3 and X1, which may be stealing sales from the sedan range. The rest, including the 1-Series, 3-Series, 5-Series, 6-Series and 7-Series, battle it out among themselves, with their largest sedan winning out for whatever reasons, although we’ve heard some unconfirmed rumours of alleged re-exports and what not.
  14. Levi68

    Levi68 Banned

    If BMW is really considering an X7, will there be models like X7 xDrive60i or X7 M ?
  15. Deckhook

    Deckhook Well-Known Member

    Considering just how popular both BMW and SUVs are in the states it's a real surprise that they haven't thought of an even bigger variant to compete with the GL, Q7 and America's homegrown large SUVs.
  16. aleks_16

    aleks_16 Active Member

    SCOTT the part two and a update would be nice.
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  17. Levi68

    Levi68 Banned

    ^+1
  18. Cashmere

    Cashmere Well-Known Member

    Scott/Eni, do you know what happened to Gerhard Richter after the CS got axed? Which department is he now heading?
  19. Ultimate Car Guy

    Ultimate Car Guy Well-Known Member

    Retired.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  20. Human

    Human You. The Road. Nothing else. Premium Member

    They say, the only one to convince is yourself.;)

    I am not convinced at all in any BMW FWD coming our way. Call me grumpy, old fashioned or plain hard headed, I will never be convinced by a automobile carrying the BMW nameplate, a company that proud(ed) itself on RWD, even spend time & money to get that message across, now actually going FWD. Most fortunately and thank goodness I don't have to buy into the idea or product.:)
    • Agree Agree x 1
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