Things are going pretty well at BMW. The year 2016 saw the German automotive group – made up of the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands – increase its global sales by 5.3%, with 2,367,603 total units sold. This represents the highest total of any luxury carmaker. The company also saw its revenues climb to record totals for a seventh consecutive year, and its brain trust expects the same for 2017, along with a slight increase in sales volume and profits.
Carried by this momentum, the automaker is focusing even more strongly on innovation, notably in the field of electric cars and self-driving technologies. It has announced plans to introduce, by the end of 2018, no fewer than 40 new models, comprising all-new or significantly revised models. Emphasis will be on the higher-end of the luxury car and utility-vehicle markets, areas where BMW sees the potential for strong growth from now until the end of the present decade.
The first to see the light of day is the 2017 BMW 5 Series, which has made a big splash since its launch, and which will be available in a plug-in hybrid version (shown here) – as will seven other of the company’s models. Fully electric versions of its models are also scheduled to be introduced.
Here’s an overview of what’s coming from BMW in the short-term and further down the road:
- BMW X2 (all-new)
- BMW X3 (next generation)
- BMW X3 electric
- BMW X7 (based on the 7 Series platform)
- MINI Cooper electric
- Rolls-Royce Phantom (next generation)
- Rolls-Royce Cullinan (all-new, the first SUV from the brand)
As for the self-driving cars in development, these will be marketed under the iNEXT banner, and BMW will be marshalling all of its expertise this year at a new technical centre located just outside Munich. Road tests will be carried out there, and the first cars are set to launch by 2021.
We’ll leave you with this look at the BMW display space at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, held earlier this month: