Can The New 7 Series Outsell The S Class?

7 Series | June 16th, 2015 by 31
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BMW’s big news lately is the brand-spankin new 7 Series. The Bavarians are very excited about it, and for good reason as this is BMW’s latest and greatest flagship car, the car designed to showcase the best of what BMW can do. So naturally, the folks in Munich are excited. However, they may also be a bit afraid of what comes next. See, as good as the new 7 Series may be, and how good all 7 Series’ have been in the past, BMW has almost always fallen to its Stuttgart rival, Mercedes-Benz.

Since the 7 Series inception, BMW has lost to Mercedes, in terms of sales, every single year with the exception of three. According to Wards Auto, 1997, 1998 and 2002 are the only years that Munich has topped Stuttgart in the full-size luxury car market. In fact, most years, BMW has trouble toppling the Lexus LS as well. And, until 1980, the 7 Series never sold more than the Jaguar XJ. Point is, despite how good the 7 Series may be, it has never really been the top seller. So, because of this history, BMW may be proud of its newest 7 Series, but it’s got to be feeling nervous as well.

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Regardless of all others though, the S Class is BMW’s biggest target. And this current battle might be BMW’s toughest. The current S Class has been getting nothing short of absolute praise from critics and customers alike. Mercedes also sold 25,276 S Classes in 2014, which is quite a bit more than BMW’s 9,744 7 Series models sold in the same year. Granted, the 7 Series was aging last year, while the big Benz was all-new, but the fact remains that the 7er has always faltered to the S Class.

BMW is trying desperately to take back the sales lead from Mercedes by offering a fresh take on the luxury car. Instead of just trying to coddle its passengers, like Mercedes does with the S Class (albeit very successfully), BMW is aiming to offer class-leading technology and performance. BMW went to great lengths to insure that the 7 Series was above and beyond its competition in terms of high-tech construction and innovative technology. BMW is also betting that people will be drawn to the fact that the new 7 won’t only be wonderful to ride in, but to drive as well.

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But proving to people that the 7 Series can handle better than the S Class, or that it has fancier technology, may not be enough. Because the 7 Series has always been the sharper, more driver oriented car of the two. And history has shown that, despite the 7 Series’ superior performance capabilities and technology, customers seem to want the S Class more. Customers are more drawn to the Bentley level of luxury in the S Class, especially this current model’s, rather than the technology and innovation that the 7er has always brought to the table.

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Will the 7 Series’ high-tech Carbon Core construction and remote parking capability be enough to sway customers away from the segment-favorite? We won’t know for another year or so. But what we do know is that BMW is betting on itself again, showing that it will make the 7 Series that it wants to make and not just an S Class clone. This new 7 Series is the car that BMW wanted to make and that its fans wanted to drive. If that’s good enough to take down the big Benz then great, but if not, maybe BMW is okay with its place in the sales as long as it gets to make the cars that it wants.

31 responses to “Can The New 7 Series Outsell The S Class?”

  1. Efoza says:

    Well said. This ultimate machine is exactly what BMW wanted to make. It is a compound of superb engineering and design. Who cares if more taxi drivers buy the S Class. I am glad BMW is now focusing on its own game and not Benz and it’s silly taxi business.

  2. Khaled Farhad says:

    Just look at that interior of the S-class, LUXURY! The 7-series looks like 3-series inside…what a pity!

    • mattbianco says:

      Funny. I see the interior of the S and I see a bunch of shapes and lines that are neither symmetric nor complimentary in any way. And, two huge screens that could be bank trading room screens, that are forced to fit into something they don’t belong.

      The rest of the S interior is superior but those contour lines, and the screens on the dash are hideous. The screens are not dissimilar to Tesla’s oversized screen with substandard graphics. Wasted real estate.

      • Kaisuke971 says:

        Dude come on i know we’re on a BMW forum but let’s face it… Even if the 7 series’ interior looks very futuristic, the S, and even on the basic models, looks a class ahead of the 7. I mean the 7’s interior does look very great but come on… The S-Class is way more luxurious, and i think when you put a certain amount of money, you might want the interior to feel more refined and more special than the other cars on the road, otherwise you’d buy something else. The more i look at it and the more i think Mercedes’ smooth lines do work better in this segment actually… Overall the 7 is maybe a bit well designed, imo, but the S-Class is the one that is really what buyers need.
        Is it a good competitor to the S ? Oh yes it is ! What a great car BMW came with honestly.
        Will it outsell it ? We’ll see, but it’s more unlikely.

        • mattbianco says:

          I suspect the 7 will be more fun to drive, and the S more comfortable to be in. At the end however there are just too many contours in the S for my taste, and in picture it looks like the right-most screen does not line up with anything. If you have many soft edges and lines, you need a way to connect them. The screens look like an afterthought to m. But…to each their own.

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            Everything looks smooth and sweet. While the BMW is actually a very geometrical and, in fact “conventional” car through the interior uses a more unusual soft approach. The lines seem to have been designed listening to some sweet Baroque music. The BMW however is something we’re more used to: in fact, it uses the basis of each BMW and makes it high-end.
            The criticism you use on the S-Class shows in facts major quality, which is to be executive, and different. As i’ve said many time here, the cars have two different approach. The 7 is modern, dynamic, and sporty. It’s done well in that direction in my opinion, especially for such a big car. The S-Class however is what i’ve listed upward: an executive, and very luxurious sedan. It looks like it, and it feels like it. When you’ve sat in an S-Class (almost) every other car looks like a piece of crap then. I think if you go from an S-Class to a 7, you might actually think that the 7 is more modern but just not as much executive… In that manner, the S-Class is just over the whole segment. It strangely seats between this one and the one of the Ghost and Flying Spur, matching and in fact maybe topping it in its Maybach version.

          • Hendra_Di says:

            So far, the modern design interior (spaceship design language, geomerical) doesn’t fit combined with luxury, for example Rolls Royce and Bentley. Which is why RR and Bentley will never apply the modern design in its latest series. And it is followed by S class design language. Even Aston Martin with a typical modern, still carry the classic language in the Rapide.

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            In person it does look great. I had an hard time letting my brain understand that it’s actually a car. Not used to that level of luxury in a rolling machine :’)

    • Senne says:

      IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A 3 SERIES AT ALL. The S Class on the contrary IS the C Class: same options, look-a-like S Class interior and almost exactly the same exterior!!!!

      • Khaled Farhad says:

        I’m sorry to say, but yes it does. The overall esthetic design is pretty much the same (The screen, the center piece with the buttons and the placement of the gear shifter, it’s lacking in luxury when compared to the S-class). There’s a very large esthetic difference in the interior between the S-class and C-class. Sure, the exterior bears resemblance.

        • Senne says:

          Gear shifter is the same in all BMW’s. I don’t know what is wrong with that? It’s very beautiful and ergonomic. And it’s the overall design, level of luxury and so on which makes it a beautiful and relaxing. I think the dash of the S Class is hidious… so I guess it’s just an opinion. But put a picture of the 3 Series next to this and you won’t see much resemblance anyway..

  3. 2sfhim says:

    The only 7-series which was the best selling was the stunningly beautiful E38… Theses last months I’ve seen maybe 30 7 series (E38,E65 and F01) but probably at least 200 S class. This is a rough but representative estimation. Outselling the S class will be extremely difficult.

  4. Srini says:

    BMW doesn’t deserve better sales if it wants to play safe.Despitte what BMW claims ,the new 7’s design is bland and a toyota level upgrade.There is no radical departure design wise.I don’t like the fact that all the recent designs have lost their could slap a Honda symbol on the 3 and get away with it.

    They can’t put such a stale design after they show the grand lusso concept and the future luxury concept.It might be a better drivers car for sure than the S class but the majority target clientele in this category are not race car fanatics.

    Sorry to say but the interior design of BMW seems overdone and lacks cohesiveness unlike the present gen( especially the door panels)

  5. Ofentse Letsholo says:

    I doubt it, maybe after 4 facelifts

  6. Kobe8Bryant says:

    This segment doesn’t really matter. What’s important are the sales figures for the 1/2/3-Series vs Mercedes’ A/B/C-Class.

    • Michael says:

      Are you kidding? Those models all carry a much lower profit margin so they must sell many more of them to equate to selling just a handful of these full-size luxury models.

  7. Wayne Jones says:

    No matter how bad or ugly Mercedes makes their car (the can produce a donkey car if they wanted too) , it’s the perception that the three pointed star has…. it’s the label that sells. The BMW has always driven better, performed better…but that does not matter. Rich folk also want to be branded. Just like teenagers want a certain brand clothing.

  8. LAURENT says:

    I am a bmw’s customers for 15 years and i like the brand… but if i wanted an executive car i will choose the S class whitout hesitation… of course the new 7 is modern, futuristic etc…but be realistics : the exterior looks like a big 3 séries ans the intérior is the same spirit since the 3 series : this awfull “ipad” in the middle of dashboard ! i have hope the interior of the flagship ( like mercedes with the S class) look like the luxury concept but…no ! very disapointing… its what we call in France ”copié-collé”… like AUDI…!

  9. James Freedman says:

    where is my new Jaguar XJ? enuf of merc & bim already….let’s show these beetches some elegance

  10. Senne says:

    YES IT CAN! If not, it’s just because the S Class still has a better image. Because it has always been the most luxurious. But NOT ANYMORE. They are just as luxurious and just as comfortable. But (to me) the 7 Series has a better proportioned, more refined interior, it’s lighter, faster and way better to drive in. AND it’s everything a luxury saloon of 100 K + should be!

  11. Mike says:

    I’m a huge BMW fan but I don’t have my head up, well you know, where the sun doesn’t shine. There is no way that the new 7 has any chance of unseating the S. The Merc undeniably outclasses the bland 7. Even though the three-pointed star has lost much of its appeal, the S is an amazing vehicle which I’m sad to admit, the 7 will never be able to compete with unless BMW finally changes how they approach this segment.

  12. 10fps says:

    BMW got their marketing all wrong. It wasn’t that long ago, they were the ultimate driving machine, so what happens. Instead of focusing on W222 S Class, they should have focused on ultimate driving luxury. If Bavarian must offer similar stuff as the S class, why can’t they up the level.. Take the fragrance they dupe from the Merc, at least try another approach. While the Merc uses Air conditioning vents, BMW can do it through the doors or the ceiling, or they can do one better by giving customers the choice to customize their specific taste through mixing it. The Executive Drive Pro feature which seems to have copied Mercedes Magic Ride feature, should at least be shown that they can handle rough road, without hammering the passenger, and they could do one better by having an extra Driving Mode, allowing the car computer to determine when to activate or not to activate. Then came the garage pull out feature which basically serves no purpose, why don’t they go a extra step by ensuring the car can park in tight spot, as well as letting the vehicle pull out from a parking space for you. Those should be great and with today’s computing power, it’s highly possible that cars can do that, why don’t they dig deeper to give customers more surprise. Then came the Drive Modes, they could have catered more, by ensuring the traditional settings of BMW firm ride and sporty characteristics will be offered along with another set of parameters called Air Ride, to give passengers who demand the most comfort journey have that option to enjoy. Implementing these parameters wouldn’t be too hard. They didn’t even try, the. Came some small things, their digital dash, along with the transmission lever, those should be more upscale because the 7 series is BMW flagship, they could have restyled the shifter to give it a more special look, ghe digital dash presentation should offered more presets along with better customisation, and allow the owner to choose different fonts. As for the wheel, it also shouldn’t be a 3 series, they should have made the BMW logo more special, the wheel should be better styled so that the driver will feel more special. As for their engines, they should try to make the engines stood out more than an S Class. That shouldn’t be that hard. As for the highest end offering, they should cooperate more with Alpina to make the 7 better all around car than those AMG. I believe BMW has all the capabilities to make their flagship standout but they just never seem to bother

  13. a fan says:

    You don’t buy a luxury car to “drive” it, but to ride in it, or even to be driven. If you wanted a driver’s car you wouldn’t buy a 2 tonne elephant for $150,000, you would buy an M or AMG. And unfortunately BMW has failed miserably in the “luxury” department – look at their miserable attempt at the “executive seat” – while the S Classe has an almost bed-like structure, the 7 Series has some sort of a mini-tray for your feet that looks like a desperate last-minute decision to counter the S Classes seat. I won’t even mention the exterior of the 7 Series… lots of people already have. They definitely could have done a better job with the car – right now it makes no sense – it’s like a bigger 5 Series, but unless you’re a sumo wrestler – do you really need that?

  14. Rad Dockery says:

    The 7 Series is a great car. However, the S Class feels like a Maybach interior wise. Would like to see BMW adapt some Roll Royce interior design philosophy in the 7 series

  15. Private says:

    No, it can’t, by no stetch of the imagination. The matte metal looks too cheap. The dash has the layout feel of a compact car.

  16. Johnathan Sievers says:

    The 7-series interior looks like that in the Hyundai Genesis.

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