By on July 23, 2011

When BMW launched its X6 a few years ago, it was widely considered an abomination and a deviation from the true BMW way. Justin Berkowitz, while still working for TTAC, called it the BMW Xcreable X6 and claimed it was conceived while “a BMW X5 went out drinking with a Scion tC. They had way too much Jose Cuervo and yada yada yada…”

As it happened so often, the opinions of the experts were ignored by the market, and the X6 turned into a runaway success. Audi supposedly can’t stand on the sidelines. Now, Daimler is rumored to line up an X6 fighter of its own.

Sources at Daimler told Automotive News Europe [sub] that the company will lay up a fifth model at its Alabama plant. According to ANE, “the model will be a coupe-styled variant of the Mercedes-Benz M class SUV, with production likely to start as soon as 2015.”

The SUV-Coupe is supposed to take buyers away from BMW’s X6 built in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It is supposed to be called MLC,


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31 Comments on “Daimler Has X6 In Its X-Hairs...”

  • avatar

    looks like the AMC Spirit was ahead of it’s time…

  • avatar

    Who knew we’d be watching BMW and Mercedes compete to design the most ridiculous vehicle in its class.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    I too have the X-6 in the crosshairs . . .of my Panzerschreck.

  • avatar

    Who would have thought that the Aztek would be the progenitor of such as these?

  • avatar

    I agree with Berkowitz. I think its a bloated pig. Aztek indeed! Or a popemobile.

    I see them occasionally, their drivers peering percariously over the huge hood as if on top of a constipated elephant.

  • avatar

    What’s amazing is how few sales it takes to constitute a “runaway success” in the eyes of German luxury car manufacturers. They sold 6,257 of these in the U.S. last year, and I cannot imagine they sell a huge number elsewhere in the world. Ditto the “success” of the Mercedes CLS, which has inspired so many similar four-door coupes. They sold 2,000 CLSs a month for the first year or so, after which sales dwindled. They sold 2,000 of them here last year.

    What’s apparent is that the Germans have figured out how to make money on small volumes. Big price tags probably help.

    • 0 avatar

      The days that the US was pretty much the only relevant market for cars like this are over though.

      I recalled reading earlier that the X6 had beaten sales expectations despite slightly disappointing US sales. It sells better than expected in Europe (I imagine they would have had low expectations) and it does really well in ‘the rest of the world’.

      A quick google search resulted in this:

      “Despite doubts about the sales potential at launch in 2008, the BMW X6 has proven a remarkable success globally. The latest figures provided by BMW reveal overall sales of 110,622 – some 43,322 of which were recorded in 2010, including 3082 X6Ms.

      Which, if both these numbers are correct would mean only 1 in 7 X6s was sold in the US last year.

      • 0 avatar

        This is a surprise–43k/year is about double what I expected. The U.S. certainly isn’t the predominate market it once was, but apparently we no longer account for the bulk of oversized, overweight, inefficient vehicle sales, either.

        I do wonder where they’ll selling all of these X6s. Bertel, do you have these stats?

        This said, 43k/year is not a very big pie to start carving up.

      • 0 avatar

        China must be a big market for these things, I see them all the time during my travels over there. The Chinese have a penchant for large vehicles (similar to their American counterparts) and are very brand oriented. Combine this with the amount of wealth being generated over there and the fact that it is a very immature market where private ownership of cars has become popular over only the last ten years, and you create a situation where affluent, unsophisticated buyers will literally buy anything from a brand with the proper amount of cachet. There is simple no discerning between good and bad on matters of aesthetics, ergonomics, haptics, features, etc. 5GTs are unfortunately very popular over there as well. It would be interesting to find out what luxury cars don’t sell well and why in the People’s Republic …

    • 0 avatar

      “They sold 2,000 CLSs a month for the first year or so”

      2k a month would be a USA sales figure of 24,000 CLS vehicles sold in the US. The total worldwide production was planned to be right around 30k with around 10k slated for the US market after the launch blitz.

      Total CLS sales in the US:

      14835 in 2005 (the CLS launch year)
      10763 in 2006
      7906 in 2007
      5775 in 2008
      2527 in 2009 (bad year for everybody)
      2135 in 2010 (when the new 2011 W218 model was announced)

  • avatar

    My suspicion is that these vehicles have more to do with what manufacturers that don’t make true trucks must sell under CAFE rules in the U.S. than with any real demand.

    Has the Honda Crosstour been that popular? I’m probably the perfect demographic for it, and wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole.

    More perverse incentives.

  • avatar

    This is the only BMW I desire (apart from the 7er since I only go for flagships.) I have got to have one. Any Saudi royale willing to adopt me?

  • avatar

    Of course JLR will also be turning up to this party. JLR plan to make a larger Evoque and will also spin off a Jaguar Crossover…. The Jag will be an out an out sports vehicle, the bigger Evoque a more premium and authentic SUV. Market cornered?

    • 0 avatar

      JLR are a niche player at best – I doubt that they will be cornering any market any time soon.

      • 0 avatar

        JLR are actually not that small, heading for north of 250,000 cars. True they don’t make any cheap small cars like the 1 series, but they are a proper premium car maker. JLR have huge expansion plans under TATA. They are also extremely popular in China and India, where they are planning to open factories. Indeed BMW recently said that they see JLR as a bigger threat in India to their market lead than Daimler. Only a matter of time before JLR come out guns blazing….

        More interestingly I can’t wait to see how Jaguar approach their BMW X6. I’m thinking next to no offroad ability but a SUV made of Aluminium that is bonkers fast.

    • 0 avatar

      JLR will most likely make the Range-Rover Sport mark II with less Range-Rover and more sport.

      This would make sense if they want to differentiate their model line up.

    • 0 avatar

      I hope the pathetic British car industry turns around. They really do make the best-looking cars. Pity the engineering, though.

  • avatar

    MLC = Madonna Louise Ciccone

  • avatar

    I see one of these every so often (near where that skank Nancy Pfottenhauer lives) when commuting to work. Every time I see one I think: WTF?

    Seriously, what the frak is up with that slow, ungainly, vehicle? It’s tall, so it’ll require very stiff spring and wide tires to handle decently, which means that the ride will suck compared to a sedan. It has a sloping hatch, which means that cargo (and rear seat headroom?) sucks, and it acts as a greenhouse. Who in their right mind would buy one of these monstrosities over a 5-series w/AWD? OK, there are at least 6000 people that would buy a Hyundai with a Liberace chandelier ($$$$$), but other than $$$$, why does BMW even offer this? Seriously, it dilutes their brand.

    On a side note, yes, I drive a BMW sedan.

  • avatar

    “As it happened so often, the opinions of the experts were ignored by the market, and the X6 turned into a runaway success. Audi supposedly can’t stand on the sidelines. Now, Daimler is rumored to line up an X6 fighter of its own.”

    -Who are these so-called “experts” that expect their bad reviews to really make a difference to what real buyers want? It’s the same with the Jetta – the “experts” claim it’s junk yet the people with actual money have made up their minds by opening their wallets.

    What makes someone an “expert” in these case?

  • avatar

    Nobody wants to compare this to Crosstour yet?

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Or the Acura ZDX?

    • 0 avatar

      The Crosstour is more like the GT. The ZDX is the X6 “fighter.”

      In all honesty, the Crosstour (and GT) aren’t bad cars. Compared to the other two, they are much less ungainly. In a country where the average humanoid is too fat to both crawl into a “low” sedan seat and inhale air at the same time, they’re kind of the new standard height. While the ZDX and X6 are just plain silly any way you look at it. All the drawbacks of an SUV, with absolutely none of the advantages.

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