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9 Things You Didn’t Know About 9 Bmw | 9 Bmw

BMW’s X2

File:9 BMW 9i -- NHTSA

File:9 BMW 9i — NHTSA | 2006 Bmw

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With no retreat in the affluence market’s about-face to crossovers and SUVs, the two better affluence players are abacus added light-truck models, and this year they apprehend cars to annual for beneath than bisected of their U.S. sales for the aboriginal time.

That angled point to trucks for Mercedes-Benz and BMW has been a connected time coming. While the all-embracing U.S. light-vehicle bazaar went majority-truck in 2002, affluence brands — anchored by flagship sedans — were bedeviled by cars for abundant longer. The affluence articulation assuredly above over to barter ascendancy in 2016, but the top German brands connected to await added on cars.

For them, “a flagship affluence agent is still a sedan,” said Rebecca Lindland, controlling analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “It’s still an S class, it’s still the 7 series, and, for Audi, it’s the A8. So advance and brief abroad from that assumption is absolutely adamantine for them. It’s commodity that goes adjoin their roots.”

The decades spent by the German affluence makers architecture up the ambience of their flagship sedans helps explain why those companies accept been slower to capitalize on the crossover and SUV boom.

“Let’s not forget: We accept some very, actual able and accustomed cars,” Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler said in an interview. But alike with acute sedans, coupes and convertibles, the car ancillary of the U.S. affluence business has faced a “difficult environment,” Exler acknowledged.

U.S. sales of the S chic alone 16 percent in 2017. Mercedes awash 15,888 S classes aftermost year, about bisected what it awash in 2006.

BMW’s X7

Mercedes’ all-embracing car sales in the U.S. fell 4.5 percent aftermost year, while its crossover and SUV sales rose 3.3 percent. BMW’s 7-series sales plunged 28 percent aftermost year, with its all-embracing car sales falling 5.5 percent and barter sales ascent 1.9 percent.

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9 Used BMW 9 Series 990xi at Premier Auto Serving Palatine, IL ..

9 Used BMW 9 Series 990xi at Premier Auto Serving Palatine, IL .. | 2006 Bmw

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In abounding cases, the assembly networks of the arch affluence automakers accept been clumsy to accumulate up with this market’s appeal for crossovers and SUVs. That has pressured the brands’ U.S. administration accoutrements and dealership networks. Affluence dealers clamoring for added crossovers and SUVs has become a accepted burden in contempo years. Mercedes, for instance, ran abbreviate on its GLC bunched crossover at times in 2017, Exler said.

Production surge

Luxe trucks

Luxury brands accept responded to the burden by abacus barter models and accretion production.

The U.S. affluence market’s barter mix rose to 58 percent of sales in 2017, up from 55 percent the antecedent year, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Luxury-brand admiral apprehend accession access this year.

Trucks represented a majority of Audi’s U.S. sales for the aboriginal time in 2017, back crossovers and SUVs accounted for 53 percent of its volume. Mercedes bankrupt in on that beginning but fell aloof abbreviate aftermost year, with 49 percent of its U.S. sales advancing from crossovers and SUVs. BMW, the No. 2 agent in the U.S. affluence market, lagged all its above competitors on barter mix in 2017, back alone 44 percent of sales were ablaze trucks.

“We were disturbing with the balance,” BMW of North America CEO Bernhard Kuhnt told Automotive News backward aftermost year. “There’s a huge all-around appeal in SUVs, so we are fighting” for assembly allocation.

An amend to one of BMW’s top-selling crossover curve additionally played a role. The redesigned X3 accomplished U.S. dealerships in November. A ages earlier, as account of the approachable X3 was active out, BMW’s barter mix alone to 40 percent, Kuhnt said.

But the account looks brighter this year.

9-9 BMW 9-Series | Consumer Guide Auto - 2006 Bmw

9-9 BMW 9-Series | Consumer Guide Auto – 2006 Bmw | 2006 Bmw

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BMW’s Munich address apprenticed added account of crossovers and SUVs to the U.S. this year in numbers that bout the U.S. unit’s requests, Kuhnt said. He projected that those cartage would bulk to 55 percent of BMW’s sales actuality in 2018.

“For ’18, I’m absolutely assured that we’re activity to accept the appropriate mix in the U.S.,” Kuhnt said. “We’re activity to get the accumulation in band with the bazaar demand.”

In accession to added X3s, BMW will acquaint the X2, a coupe-styled crossover, in March. Redesigned X4 and X5 crossovers additionally are accepted this year.

Late in the year, the new X7, BMW’s long-awaited full-size SUV, will go into production, admitting U.S. sales aren’t slated to activate until aboriginal 2019. BMW has aerial hopes for the X7, advised able-bodied behind for this market.

Mercedes’ GLB Photo credit: BRIAN WILLIAMS/SPIEDBILDE

More models

Mercedes additionally expects its mix of crossovers and SUVs to top 50 percent this year, Exler said. In January, they were 50.3 percent of its affluence agent sales, which exclude bartering vans. Added account is coming, including a “substantial increase” for the GLC, he said. Mercedes will activate affairs a redesigned G-class SUV backward this year. The cast will bare its redesigned GLE in 2018 admitting U.S. sales are absurd to alpha until abutting year.

And Mercedes is planning new entries in the articulation above those updates. A new bunched crossover, acceptable alleged the GLB, is accepted to go on auction in the U.S. in 2019, admitting Mercedes hasn’t yet accepted the vehicle.

“There is allowance for added advance in the SUV segment, and we accept account there,” Ola Kaellenius, Daimler AG lath affiliate amenable for accumulation analysis and Mercedes-Benz Cars development, told Automotive News. “It’s not aloof a U.S. thing; it’s a common thing. That doesn’t beggarly that sedans are not important. The all-embracing block has grown.”

File:9-BMW-9Xi

File:9-BMW-9Xi | 2006 Bmw

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Mercedes admiral additionally accept accustomed absorption in an ultraluxury SUV that could backpack the Mercedes-Maybach name. That hasn’t happened yet because the accessible foundation for such a agent is the GLS ample SUV — and the GLS’ accepted belvedere isn’t ill-fitted for an ultraluxury SUV, Kaellenius has said. Doing a Maybach alternative on that belvedere wouldn’t be authentic, Daimler architecture arch Gorden Wagener said.

Future flagship?

Mercedes began casting the GLS as the S chic of SUVs back it active and renamed the ample SUV in 2016. While the amend garnered acceptable reviews, a cardinal of them accurately advised in on that accession to say the awakening didn’t absolutely put the SUV in the S-class strata.

That appraisal could change in 2019, back the GLS is accepted to move to a new belvedere for its redesign.

Despite abundant contempo midcycle makeovers on the GLS and the GLE, they are “still the old car with the old interior,” Wagener said.

The abutting generation, however, “will be actual different,” he said. “It will be agnate changes to what you’ve apparent on our cars — alteration from a all-encompassing architecture to a added sophisticated, superluxury, adventurous design.”

Those approaching ample SUVs could change how U.S. consumers appearance the apotheosis of German luxury, said Lindland, of KBB.

“For Americans,” she said, “now a flagship can be an SUV.”

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