BMW is wrong about wagons in America. Cue the gasps, keyboard slams and calls for my life from many BMW enthusiasts for my suggestion that execs in Bavaria could possibly be wrong about something. However, it’s not just me this time. In fact, an actual U.S.-based BMW dealer feels that the Bavarian brand needs a high-end performance wagon to compete with Audi and Mercedes-AMG. If you can’t believe someone that actually sells Bimmers to Americans, I’m not sure what to tell you.
When speaking to Automotive News, BMW National Dealer Forum Chairman, and General Manager of Laurel BMW of Westmont in Chicago, Patrick Womack claimed the the Bavarians need a wagon in the U.S. market. “There is a place for a luxury wagon with great BMW performance in the U.S. market. The Europeans get to enjoy that great product, and we need to compete with Audi and other brands that are in our marketplace.” said Womack.
He’s right. In the ‘States, BMW no longer sells a single wagon. There used to be a 3 Series Sports Wagon, back during the F30-generation 3 Series, but that’s now gone and won’t be replaced. What’s worse is that the Bavarians have no plans on actually selling another wagon here in the foreseeable future. To make matters even worse still is the fact that the brand’s competitors sell wagons in the ‘States and not just any wagons but incredible high-performance ones.
Mercedes-AMG has the E63 Wagon and it’s sensational. Audi now has the RS6 Avant and it looks positively delicious. But BMW? No show. Hell, the brand doesn’t even make an M5 Touring anymore, despite this generation of M5 being absolutely perfect for such a thing. Still, we’d be very happy with the M340i xDrive Touring here in the U.S. But nooooo. We can’t have that because of some excuse about demand, or lack thereof.
While BMW has a bit of a point, in that wagons don’t sell well here in the ‘States, it’s seeming more and more like a lack of willingness to try. If both of the brand’s competitors can sell wagons — 600 hp, twin-turbocharged V8 wagons at that — BMW can sell a 3 or 5 Series Touring here. And it isn’t just me yelling into the void anymore. Someone that actually sells BMWs and monitors customer trends closely is saying the same thing.