BMW's SUV Lineup Will Be Thoroughly Revamped And Expanded By Early 2019

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
bmw s suv lineup will be thoroughly revamped and expanded by early 2019

Little more than 18 months from now, BMW’s utility vehicle lineup will be dramatically altered, primed to absorb rising SUV demand in an increasingly anti-car market.

According to Australia’s Motoring, BMW will expand its entry-level utility vehicle lineup — BMW calls them SAVs — in early 2018 and the top end of the brand’s SAV lineup by late 2018.

The production BMW X2, due early next year, was previewed by the Concept X2 at 2016’s Paris auto show. BMW’s long-awaited Mercedes-Benz GLS challenger, the BMW X7, is a late-2018 arrival.

But the expansion of the BMW SAV lineup is only part of the story, as new versions of the SAVs currently sitting at the heart of BMW’s lineup will arrive in short order, as well.

Specific to the U.S. market, BMW’s largely South Carolina-built SAVs have proven to be vital components in difficult times for BMW. Through 2017’s first five months, BMW’s passenger car sales are down 15 percent, a loss of more than 11,000 sales. During the same period, however, the BMW X1, X3, X4, X5, and X6 have combined for 6,790 additional sales, a 14-percent year-over-year improvement.

BMW jumped into the SUV game with its first SAV, the X5, in 2000. The first BMW X3 arrived a little more than three years later.

According to Motoring, the third-generation BMW X3 will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show three months from now. The fourth-generation BMW X5 — the current iteration is now in its fourth model year — is due to arrive in early 2019, following the launch of the first BMW X7.

Motoring believes the X7, in some form, will also be revealed in Frankfurt later this year.

As the core elements of BMW’s SAV lineup, the X3 and X5 currently produce more than 70 percent of the brand’s U.S. SAV sales and one-third of total BMW USA sales.

Through the first five months of 2017, BMW has earned 12 percent market share in America’s luxury brand SUV/crossover market with five SAVs in the brand’s lineup. Among premium brands, only Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, both of which have seen their year-over-year SUV/crossover volume decline slightly in early 2017, sell more utility vehicles in America than BMW.

Mercedes-Benz currently has five nameplates in its SUV/crossover lineup, though the GLC and GLE have spawned one extra bodystyle each, for a total of seven Benz utility vehicles. Across two brands, Jaguar-Land Rover will also soon feature seven utility vehicle nameplates.

BMW’s CLAR platform, already the foundation for the 5 Series and 7 Series, will underpin the next generations of the X3, X4, X5, and X6, along with the first-generation BMW X7.

[Images: BMW Group]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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