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BMW commits to entry-level model lines

BMW is committing to continue offering more affordable vehicles, even as it invests in a new line-up of electric vehicles.

“We are not leaving the lower market segment. Even if you consider yourself a premium manufacturer, it is wrong to leave the lower market segment – that will be the core of your business in the future,” said BMW CEO Oliver Zipse, in remarks reported by Reuters, at an event in Berlin organised by supplier Robert Bosch.

A third-generation BMW X1 was recently revealed and has spawned an electric iX1 variant, while an iX2 sibling has been spied testing.

Mr Zipse’s remarks appear to leave the door open for successors to the current 1 Series and 2 Series Gran Coupe, though it’s unclear if these models will also receive electric powertrains.

Neither is currently available in any market with a plug-in hybrid, either, unlike numerous BMW models like the new X1.

BMW also recently launched a second-generation 2 Series coupe without any plug-in hybrid or electric powertrains.

While small luxury-brand vehicles like the BMW 1 Series may not necessarily be as profitable as more expensive models, they can bring in new, younger buyers to a brand who may return to purchase more expensive vehicles in future.

In contrast to Mr Zipse’s remarks, arch-rival Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it will offer just four body styles on its upcoming MMA ‘Entry Luxury’ platform, with reports the B-Class and popular A-Class won’t see a new generation.

It currently offers seven so-called Entry Luxury vehicles, but is shifting to more profitable segments. Its realigned product strategy will see it allocate more than 75 per cent of its investments to these higher-margin segments.

It’s also been trimming its line-up of lower-volume models, such as coupes and convertibles, as it rolls out a range of electric vehicles on its new Electric Vehicle Architecture and plans to introduce three new EV architectures.

BMW is also making significant investments in EVs, with the new Neue Klasse platform to debut in 2025 on a 3 Series-sized vehicle. An SUV is expected to follow.

Like Mercedes-Benz, BMW is also rolling out electric versions of its combustion-powered vehicles such as the iX1 and i7.

But BMW hasn’t indicated yet whether it’ll trim its model range even as its existing model lines are supplemented with new EV-only lines like the iX and upcoming Neue Klasse cars.

BMW still sells lower-volume models like the 8 Series Gran Coupe, coupe and convertible, as well as the Z4 roadster. The 6 Series GT was axed locally but lives on in Europe.

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