BMW Says Sports Car Market Will Not Reach 2008 Levels Anytime Soon
|   Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Those from BMW look with regret at the sports car market where its sales and those of competitors have dropped to an extremely low level. Forecasts are also grim with the figures before 2008 being almost impossible to reach again.

Few remember how the auto industry looked before 2008 when the economic crisis did not rewrite the laws of all segments. It's been six years since then but nostalgic people are everywhere especially in companies that sold more at great prices and without worrying about competition.


Although the crisis has strengthened its position as the largest premium manufacturer worldwide, BMW does not forget the period before 2008 when its sports car offer was in great demand. The level of sales it had then may be unattainable even in some distant future.

This fact is even acknowledged by Ian Robertson, BMW head of sales: "The sports-car market is roughly half of what it used to be. Post-2008, it just collapsed. I'm not so sure it'll ever fully recover."

If the roadsters market in 2007 saw Audi TT, Mercedes SLK and BMW Z4 orders totaling 114,000 units, now the figures have dropped dramatically. In 2010 they were already 45 percent lower. Analysts expect that the three roadsters to reach a total of 72,000 units sold globally by the end of this decade.

"The market has been diluted with more offerings designed to appeal to the kind of demographic traditionally associated with these models. Young, urban upwardly mobile professionals are now able to buy a much wider range of lifestyle vehicles other than sports cars" said Tim Urquhart, London based analyst at HIS, for The Globe And Mail.

However, the company said that global deliveries for the brand gained 9.3 percent in the first 10 months of the year reaching 1.47 million cars, placing the group as a whole, including Mini and Rolls-Royce, on the path of selling over 2 million vehicles this year. As we speak, BMW is increasing sales of its other vehicles even though the sports segment stagnates.

In Europe and the United States the importance of the car as a symbol of social status decreased, SUVs and crossovers being the most popular choice among customers. In China and other emerging countries pollution, heat, and the need for a driver did not make sports cars successful.

Despite these obstacles selling sports car remains a priority for BMW, a brand that has built its reputation on just such a car. Therefore the Bavarian manufacturer does not give up the development of a model with an appetite for speed, as the Z4 has, but prefers to develop it in partnership with Toyota to reduce costs. So, the idea of a BMW Z4 built with the Japanese carmaker gains more and more shape.

All carmakers tend to search for partners to limit the costs of developing new technology and small-scale cars. Another course of action taken by BMW also includes ties with Daimler's co-operation with the Renault-Nissan alliance, which has been gradually expanding beyond projects like the new versions of Daimler's Smart city cars or Renault's Twingo subcompact.
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