Munich HQ has huge expectations for the third-generation BMW X3. The X3, after all, was the vehicle that ignited the compact luxury SUV craze, the vehicle that spawned competitors such as the Audi Q5, Acura RDX, Mercedes-Benz GLK/GLC, Volvo XC60, Lexus NX, and Porsche Macan. Surely the X3 has the power, the might, the capacity for sales domination, right?
“We created that segment,” BMW CEO Harald Krueger said in July. “The No. 1 approach and target I clearly have is, there shouldn’t be anyone besides us who is No. 1.”
“If somebody on my team is not performing to that, well, he has a problem,” Krueger says, making clear to BMW USA’s Bernhard Kuhnt that greater global production of the X3 will mean greater allocation, which had better mean greater U.S. sales.
BMW will not, however, seek to achieve the lofty sales goals by introducing the 2018 X3 with a price that undercuts its key rivals.
“We created that segment,” BMW CEO says of the sector in which the BMW X3 arrived before Acura, Audi, Infiniti, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volvo.
“The No.1 approach and target I clearly have is, there shouldn’t be anyone besides us who is No.1,” Krueger told Automotive News Europe.
In the U.S., where Krueger’s goals (expectations? demands?) for the South Carolina-built BMW X3 are lofty, the X3 ranked a distant fifth in the category in 2016.
But Krueger ain’t kiddin’ around.
BMW wasn’t supposed to issue the global reveal of the new X3 until next week, but it seems its official website in Hong Kong didn’t get the memo. Product details and photos have appeared a few days earlier than expected.
While easily recognizable as an X3, the updated SUV’s more sinister headlamps and gaping air inlets service a more aggressive forward appearance. However, the profile and overall shape has changed very little. With the exception of some gentle buffing of the bodywork, to smooth down the sharper edges and altered taillights, BMW doesn’t appear to have changed much on the exterior.