By on January 2, 2016


Speaking to Automotive News, BMW of North American CEO Ludwig Willisch said the company expects that nearly half of their 2016 sales will be of crossovers for 2016 — and it’ll only go up from there.

“In the first nine months (of 2015), across the board, we had too few X1, X3 and X5s,” he said.

For this year, BMW expects that 40 percent of its sales will be crossovers, up from 34 percent last year.

“In a couple of years when we have the X7, it will be even higher,” he added. BMW’s crossover lineup consists of the X1, X3, X4, X5, X6 and soon-to-arrive X2 and X7. Are there any numbers BMW can invent between 1 and 8?

Willisch’s revelation is hardly controversial: crossover sales are key to many automakers’ profitability, but BMW apparently has a plan to capitalize right away.

According to Automotive News, BMW will increase production at its Spartanburg, South Carolina facility by nearly 30 percent in the next year to capitalize on the demand in the U.S. and slowing demand in China.

That would seemingly be at odds with U.S. CAFE standards demanding better fuel economy from automakers’ fleets — unless the i5 is a crossover.

The good times can never end.

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48 Comments on “BMW Can’t Make Crossovers Fast Enough...”

  • avatar

    Crossovers give people more interior space (trading length for height), optional AWD and ground clearance.

    The industry seems to have given up on producing big cars with big engines – or at least engines adequate enough for their size.

    That’s why the handful of big cars with AWD a V6 or V8 and lots of interior room front and back still manage to sell so well.

  • avatar

    Look like a fat sedan to me.

  • avatar

    Well now that we have picked on Audi and BMW, what about MB?

  • avatar

    What you mean to say is: “BMW can’t make crossovers QUICKLY enough.”

    They probably can make them fast enough.

  • avatar

    Don’t hold your breath for the 5 series wagon to return.

  • avatar

    What do you expect? When a 4-banger 5-series can cost $80K – what the heck would lease if you wanted a BMW in your driveway?

  • avatar

    I know this is brought up from time to time – but the ads on TTAC make this site almost UNUSABLE at times.

    On Windows 10, Mozilla Firefox is a bloated, resource stealing mess. Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge don’t have full ad blockers so while TTAC fights with the built in ad blocking technology, the site appears to be frozen.

    On my iPad it’s better, but a pain in the ass to enter comments.

    I really wish Vertical Scope would fix this. I know it will improve when the AdBlock Plus plugin comes for Edge (and Mozilla optimizes Firefox for Win 10) but right now – it sucks.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m using Firefox with the free AdBlock version on XP and it’s fine.

      Maybe you’re too modern?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I do think it is more involved than that.

        TTAC is running fine for me today. But 80% of the time it’s a nightmare.

        I wonder how much traffic TTAC is losing because of this.

        I’m even finding that using different search engines impacts TTAC to a degree, as is the speed of your service provider.

        TTAC seems to bog down easily when there is a slight performance drop in your download speed.

        I’m using wireless broadband, it is highly variable in speed. I have complained to my service provider, but they want me to adopt their new fibre optic system we have. The fibre optic system was supposed to be one of the quickest or the quickest in the world. But, I can’t see the value unless I download gigs of data per minute. This new system is supposed to operate at 100 Mbit/s.

        I have also noticed the size of the articles has a lot to do with the speed and difficulty of TTAC. More images and comments the site runs slower. This appears to be expotential as well. This reminds me of past experiences with the TC Template system I described.

        I wonder if those silly icons for individuals have any affect? Are the images used by TTAC clean? I do think it has something to do with the way in which TTAC is using WordPress.

        • 0 avatar

          >> The fibre optic system was supposed to be one of the quickest or the quickest in the world.

          I live north of Boston and have an option for 500/500 Mbps, but only running 100 for now. I think the fastest in some areas is now 1 Gbps or higher.

          Inside, I have 1 Gbps wired (routers and switches) and most of my wireless devices, including phones, are 802.11ac now to match the new faster fiber(a new ONT as well). You have to upgrade equipment/devices to match the higher speeds.

      • 0 avatar

        You can’t even get security updates for XP. Surfing the net on XP is like doing a skanky ho’ without a condom.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      The other day I had similar issues, today TTAC is screaming for me.

      From my experience when working as a courseware designer we used a system of templates for graphics.

      We used MSWord (still don’t know why we didn’t use Publisher) with Corel Draw. This posed some serious issues along with the size of the Word files.

      The template we used was called TC Templates. This system allowed us to insert Corel graphics. It also had a system which formatted everything from Headers, page numbers, figure numbers for the graphics, paragraphs, notes/cautions/warnings and on and on.

      If we didn’t use TC Templates as advertised it caused some serious gremlims to appear.

      It could be that TTAC themselves are not proficient at using the WordPress template when producing and publishing.

      Some of these templates system are quite awkward to use.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Oh, we even had to convert all graphics, including images to Corel. Boy the system was a nightmare.

        I would produce a rather large precis with several volumes and I would print a complete volume set and what appears on the screen seldom printed out! It was a nightmare.

        But, I was given a handover/takeover on how to use the template and told to run with it. So what do they expect.

        It seems the problems with TTAC and WordPress have compounded since Steve has taken the helm here.

    • 0 avatar

      Since Edge is non-extensible, there will never be a plugin for AdBlock Plus. Or any other plugin.

    • 0 avatar

      the Firefox 43.0 update just wiped out all of my adblock, ghostery, https, etc extensions.

      I’m trying to get them back without having to reload them one at a time.

    • 0 avatar

      Internet Explorer with free Ad Block Plus on Windows 10 works just fine with TTAC.

      Sorry I am not providing any revenue, but the ads are just too obnoxious to deal with.

      Also, what is with this new crap of having to separately approve subscribing to the comments for each posting? THAT may be the final nail in the coffin for me being here.

  • avatar

    Willisch – that willisk or willishe?

  • avatar

    A family member just bought an X5 x40e.

    I noticed that my local BMW dealer had a parkibg lot full of new crossovers.

    The X5 a nice enough vehicle, and has a gathering of features that are hard to find all in one vehicle elsewhere at the moment. For instance, there aren’t many AWD plugin hybrid crossovers (13-20 mile electric range) with adjustable-length seats. But you can find most of those features on vehicles costing half as much.

    There was nothing wrong with the driving dynamics of the X5. The ride is both smooth and stiff, with good NVH — but it’s nothing to write home about. It drives like a car, despite (unnecessarily) weighing as much as an F-150.

    The MSRP for the X5 is around $70k, and the thing just is not optimized for any particular use case. If it were my money, I’d buy both a Nissan Leaf and a Highlander Hybrid (or an F-150) for the same money and far more utility. I wouldn’t buy an X5, because it’s just too expensive and too heavy for what it is.

    • 0 avatar

      Vendor I work with had an X5… really nice. Definitely felt worth every dollar it was charged. She got rear ended recently though. Sucked! After riding in that thing though I totally get it. If I had 70K to spend I would definitely get an X5 over a 5 series. The 5er is so off the plot the X5 makes it redundant.

      • 0 avatar

        The X5 is a niche vehicle (especially given the weight, MPG, and price compromises), and I’m just not in the niche.

        But, the niche may be bigger than the niche for luxury a performance sedans and coupes, so I bet this thing (and other vehicles in the X-series) will increase BMWs sales.

        The other thing is that, as someone who doesn’tcare about badges, a car that costs more than a Toyota needs to be more reliable than a Toyota in order to be a “no compromises” vehicle. The jury’s out on this particular vehicle, but I have no reason to believe it’s any betterbir worse than the BMW average.

        But, hey, this family member is exactly the guy that BMW built this vehicle for — and he’s very happy with it.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      I love my X5. It’s older, but low mileage and still looks and drives like new.

  • avatar

    I am looking forward to the inevitable return of “longer, lower, wider”. And windows.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t know about lower or wider. People like sitting up high, with beltlines to match. Wider adds weight, and cars are pretty hefty now. Windows? Not yet. Just look at the latest generation of the Forester, compared to the earlier ones. The windows are SHRINKING! Instead of being square, they’re tapering to a point, and the roof line is sagging in the rear to meet them.

      I think we have another generation of jagged gun slit side windows before somebody goes the other way, likely with an AWD tall greenhouse wagon marketed as a CUV. In the meantime, the family vehicles today are 4-door full size V-8 pickups with custom bed covers to provide usable trunk space: the 1968 Caprice for the 21st century!

  • avatar

    Wait, nine months of trouble giving birth to X’s? What sort of production tech do they use again?

  • avatar

    What sort of production tech?

    The answer is state of the art automation including the ability to make multiple models, as different from one another as the X series and the Z4, simultaneously on the same production line. BMW’s problem with the South Carolina plant where these X series are made is that despite multiple expansions since it opened in 1994, it’s again out of capacity. When the fifth expansion is complete in late 2016 this will be BMW’s largest factory, producing 450,000 vehicles a year, a 50% increase over the current level.

    If you’d ever seen a car plant you’d understand that expansions like this don’t happen overnight.

    • 0 avatar

      Toyota does all of that, and with exceptional consistency in their process.

      Beyond using parts optimized for luxury-performance (instead of parts optimized for consistency and cost), how exactly is BMW different?

      I understand the brand has its fans who think they make the most awesomest cars ever. Got it, and I acknowledge that BMW people love their BMWs. But I’m far more interested in business-process and technical information.

      • 0 avatar

        @Luke42 – that’s just the nature of any production oriented business. My company makes products small enough to put a billion of them in a UPS box, but it would take us some months to significantly ramp or reduce production.

        I’m a fan of Toyota too, but they’re at the mercy of the same sub-suppliers and distribution chain as BMW. They couldn’t do it any quicker. Plan better, maybe…

  • avatar

    Americans don’t like hatchbacks*

    *Unless they’re ungainly elephantine lumps that “give them a better view of the road” LOL.

  • avatar

    BMW needs something bigger than the X5. X5 isn’t very big, it’s a midsizer. They need something to take on the Mercedes GL.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    “Are there any numbers BMW can invent between 1 and 8?”

    Well, there are a couple of named irrational numbers they could use. How does BMW X∏ sound?

  • avatar
    C P

    I don’t get it, nor do I want it.

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