BMW 5 Series GT sales disappointing – 3 Series Wagon might stay

s5 gt 09091 750x500 BMW 5 Series GT sales disappointing   3 Series Wagon might stay

According to Automotive News, BMW of North America has been disappointed by the sales of the 5 Series Gran Turismo. Introduced last year as a …

According to Automotive News, BMW of North America has been disappointed by the sales of the 5 Series Gran Turismo. Introduced last year as a replacement for the new 5 Series Wagon, the 5 GT has been one of the most criticized products in the past years.

With a design idea starting from inside the vehicle, the exterior was a combination between a crossover, like the X6, and a sports wagon. Based on initial studies conducted by BMW, the results showed that the 5 Series GT is a vehicle appealing to those that are looking for luxury, space and performance, but are not willing to spend money on a full 7 Series nor any SAV models. Adrian van Hooydonk confirmed that the study revealed an aging customer base who find the traditional seating position of the BMW 5 Series Sedan too sporty, but at the same time consider the elevated seating in the X5 or X6 too high.

s5 gt 09091 655x436 BMW 5 Series GT sales disappointing   3 Series Wagon might stay

The idea seem to have backfired. According to BMW of North America CEO Jim O’Donnell, the sales of the 5 GT in the U.S. have been lower than expected, and even more interesting, the 5 GT has stolen customers from the 7 Series family. O’Donnell said he expected the car to attract 5 Series Wagon buyers instead.

Furthermore, some of the 5 Series Wagon customers went with a competitor car from Mercedes-Benz.

“The disappointment I have is that I thought a lot of our 5-series station wagon customers would go with the GT,” O’Donnell says. “In point of fact, that is not happening. We have lost those customers to the competition — mainly to Mercedes-Benz.

“The GT has attracted 7- and 5-series customers and conquests,” he says, “but not the station wagon customer we had hoped.”

In Florida, 10 percent of BMW 7-series owners have replaced their cars with the 5-series GT, O’Donnell says.

US pricing for the 550i GT starts at $65,275, while the 740i sells for $71,525.

Auto News reports that BMW executives sales forecast for the 5 GT was 4,000 to 8,000 units annually. BMW sold 2,848 GTs in 2010 and just 720 in the first four months of 2011. Sales of the 5-series wagon peaked at 2,351 units in 2005.

For the enthusiasts, these might be good news. O’Donnell says he doesn’t want to lose wagon sales to Mercedes-Benz so BMW will keep the 3 Series wagon in its lineup. Past rumors said the new 3 Series Wagon will be replaced by a 3 Series Gran Turismo, a hypothesis that seem unlikely now.

“We are not giving up the 3-series wagon because if you give it up, they will go straight to the competition,” he says.

As for bringing back the 5 Series Wagon, O’Donnell says it may be too late for this generation.

[Source: Automotive News ]

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