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'There is a BMW for every Australian': From 1 Series to 8 Series, and X1 to X7, how much choice is too much?

The BMW Australia product range covers nearly every segment.

How much is too much? BMW Australia’s product range extends to 20 distinct models (according to VFACTS data), split between 12 passenger cars and eight SUVs, but the brand believes this is the right model mix for the local market.

Speaking to CarsGuide, BMW Australia head of product and market planning Brendan Michel said the line-up is not too complex, and it has already been streamlined from what was on offer in the past.

“I think in the past we’ve had a lot of different engine variants here in Australia,” he said.

“Ten years ago, we probably had seven or eight different drivetrains in a 3 Series. We’ve narrowed that do to three petrols, a plug-in hybrid and an M car now – it’s pretty much been halved.

“That takes the complexity out of ‘Which model do I want? Which engine variant?’

“It also takes the complexity out for what our dealer is holding in stock as well.

“We’ve already done a lot of work in reducing that type of complexity, but I think as far as the models we offer here in Australia, I think we’ve got all bases covered.”

BMW Australia used to offer even more, with the 2 Series Active Tourer tallboy hatch having been offered from 2014, but the brand has chosen not to continue offering the Mercedes-Benz B-Class rival with the new-generation model revealed in 2021.

So, as it stands, there is the 1 Series hatchback, 2 Series Gran Coupe, 2 Series coupe, 3 Series (available in sedan and Touring body styles), 4 Series (coupe and convertible) 4 Series Gran Coupe, i4 electric car, 5 Series, 7 Series, 8 Series coupe, 8 Series Gran Coupe, and Z4 sports car.

And that’s just for the passenger car line-up.

On the SUV side of things, there is the X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7 and iX, while the standalone XM will also come in due course.

If BMW Australia won’t shrink their line-up, what about room to grow?

“I couldn’t see it getting much bigger than what it is right now,” Mr Michel said.

“You’ve got eight different variants of a passenger car, you’ve got eight different variants of an SUV, do you need nine or 10? I’m not so sure.”

Compared to BMW’s other German competitors – Audi and Mercedes-Benz – the Bavarian brand offers more than Audi but less than Mercedes-Benz.

Audi has 16 models (A1 to A8 on the passenger car side, TT sports car, and Q2, Q3, Q5, Q7, Q8 and e-tron SUV), while Mercedes-Benz serves up 22 products (though some overlap like the GLC wagon and Coupe).

Reports from overseas indicate that Mercedes-Benz might look at shrinking its offerings, with a new-generation version of the A-Class up in the air as customers increasingly flock towards SUVs.

In fact, the new-generation S-Class will not be getting a coupe or convertible variants, while the CLA Shooting Brake remains off the table for Australians.

However, Mr Michel reiterated BMW Australia’s desire to keep the current mix of models that ranges from entry-level hatchback all the way up to an all-electric luxury limousine.

“I know here in Australia we’ve got that many models here now, from X1 right through to X7 and about to be announced XM,” Mr Michel said.

“You’ve got 1 Series through to 8 Series, and we’re sitting in this brand new 7 Series right now.

“There is a BMW for every Australian.

“If you want to get in at the entry level, there’s a BMW for you. If you want the top end of luxury, especially a car like this (i7) that is fully electric, now we’ve a car in this segment.”

Tung Nguyen
News Editor
Having studied journalism at Monash University, Tung started his motoring journalism career more than a decade ago at established publications like Carsales and Wheels magazine. Since then, he has risen through the ranks at GoAuto to Managing Editor before joining the CarsGuide team in 2019 as the newly-appointed News Editor. Since starting at CarsGuide, Tung has spearheaded the push for well-researched and unique stories that will shines a light on the automotive industry for new-car-buying intenders, who might struggle to keep up to date with the fast-paced environment of motoring. The last few years alone have seen an explosion of interest in electric cars, as well as a push for autonomous driving, and as News Editor, it is Tung’s job to stay abreast of all the latest and deliver stories worthy of CarsGuide growing audience.
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