BMW Australia says it’s confident sales of the new 2 Series Gran Coupe will match those of its established 1 Series and 3 Series ranges.
Speaking at the compact four-door coupe’s local launch, BMW Australia’s head of product and market planning, Brendan Michel said: “We’re definitely feeling confident this car will be a success in Australia.
“We’re pretty optimistic about the volume we’ll capture, and our figures will largely be driven by supply. It should be somewhere around the 1 and 3 Series volume potential, definitely,” he said.
The BMW 1 Series and 3 Series are both currently selling at a monthly run rate of around 275 units. BMW believes demand for the 218i and M235i xDrive Gran Coupes will be evenly split.
Mr Michel backed up his bullish prediction, saying: “If you go back and look at our competitors in this segment over the last five or six years, they’ve done very well.
“More recently, through their model life cycles they’ve dropped off a bit, as the market’s switched a bit more towards SUVs,” he said.
“With this [2 Series] coming back into the market, it’s going to put more focus on that segment, and design-wise it’s good, it's got all the tech, and we’ve priced it to sell.”
The two-variant 2 Series Gran Coupe line-up kicks off with the 218i at $47,490 before on-road costs, with BMW aiming at Merc’s CLA 200 ($60,700), which is more than $13,000 more expensive.
At $69,990, before on-road costs, the top-spec M235i xDrive lines up price-wise against Merc’s CLA 250 4Matic ($70,200), but bests it for engine power and performance. In fact, BMW could even steal sales away from the Mercedes-AMG CLA35 ($85,500) with it's own mini-muscle coupe.
Beside pricing and standard specification, Mr Michel also makes reference to an advantage he believes stands the newcomer apart - superior suspension design.
Rear suspension set-up on all 2 Series Gran Coupe models is a relatively sophisticated multi-link rear set-up, including the entry-level 218i. The base Mercedes CLA 200 uses a torsion beam arrangement, while the all-wheel drive CLA 250 switches to a multi-link set-up.