Sales of trucks and crossovers is on the rise in the United States, with most premium automakers posting record sales in 2016, while sales of car units are declining. At the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, both BMW and Mercedes-Benz pledged to bring more crossovers in the near future.
Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW of North America, said that he would like to see an even split between crossovers and cars.
“In the part of the market that we’re in, obviously 50 percent would be a good place to be,” Willisch told Automotive News. “Right now we are a little over 40, so that gives you a clear indication where we need to be in the future.”
Last year, crossovers rose to 42 percent of BMW North America’s sales, up from 33 percent in 2015, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
BMW is already preparing to launch two new SUVs in 2018, the compact BMW X2 and the high-end X7. Another crossovers, like the X3 and X5 are soon due for a refresh, as well as the X4 in 2019. The M division is also preparing its fair share of sport crossovers with the alleged launch of the X3 M and X4 M.
Furthermore, BMW global sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson said the company is adding capacity, especially for the X3 compact crossover.
“The X3 in this generation has been supply-constrained,” Robertson said. “We are expanding capacity quite dramatically. So we’re localizing that car in China, we’re localizing it in South Africa, as well as increasing our capacity in Spartanburg for it. I think we’re going to see a good lift out of that.”
Mercedes-Benz has just launched the refreshed GLA in Detroit, following a successful year where sales of crossovers rose to 47 percent compared to 40 percent in 2015.