Leaving just the 6-Series GranTurismo to soldier alone.
After the BMW Group closed 2018 with a 7.9% lower operating profit than the year before, the Munich-based company has decided that it will kill off one of its most divisive models, the 3-Series GranTurismo, as well as other derivative model variants in order to streamline costs and return the company to financial health.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the carmaker still managed a €9.12-billion profit before interest & taxes, hardly a loss. The drop in profitability was due to consistent & considerable spending into zero-emissions powertrains.
“We expect strong headwinds to continue to effect the entire sector in 2019. In view of current developments, we intend to further broaden and significantly intensify these cost-cutting efforts.” – Nicolas Peter, Chief Financial Officer, BMW Group
The 3-GT is said to go “despite a good level of demand,” but we think they might be full of it there. The 3-GT never quite sat well in the range, given the unrelenting move towards SUVs, die-hard estate fans, and 3-Series saloon buyers who’d never bat an eyelid at anything else. The BMW GranTurismo models answered a question that no one was asking, though at least the new 6-Series GranTurismo looks good doing it.
Financial analysts are happy that BMW are making the move, as Juergen Pieper from Bankhaus Metzler said it was wrong for buyers to see carmakers as “supermarkets,” where “there is no good reason to sell everything.” And Pieper was right on the nose when he said that “nobody will miss” the models that are being shortlisted for an early demise, anyway.
The German luxury powerhouse, that also counts Rolls-Royce and Mini as part of its portfolio, faced a difficult 2018 with US-Chinese trade tensions and tariffs, as well as price competition in Europe. Carmakers are generally reducing their targets in the face of Brexit and tightening emissions regulations, which Automotive News Europe suggests 2019 won’t be much easier for the company.
BMW Group will present their 2018 fiscal year report on March 20th, during which they will also talk about what they expect to see and weather this year.