BMW has made common practice of creating new segments and niches to increase its sales numbers, and is considering another one: a 1 Series sedan.This shouldn't surprise anyone following trends in the automotive market. Mercedes-Benz has its CLA Class, and Audi just unveiled its 2014 A3 sedan at the Beijing Motor Show, where an executive told Auto Express that it’s a possibility; an inevitability, as far as we’re concerned.A 1 series 5-door hatchback is already sold outside the U.S.
In China, the small “C-segment” market comprises 5,000,000 cars. German luxury makes are hot sellers over there. “BMW is never shy of new segments,” Ian Robertson, head of BMW sales and marketing, said in an interview with the outlet. “There are no plans to do it at the moment, but do we want to do it? We’ll see…”
BMW is expected to bring a new compact coupe to the U.S. in 2015 when the current 1 Series coupe leaves our market. The new car will be called the BMW 2 Series, and it will spawn a coupe and a convertible. It is also likely that a sedan will come from it, as there is a 1 Series hatchback that comes in a five-door model outside of the U.S. In BMW’s new naming structure, sedans and five-doors are odd numbers, and two-doors and four-door coupes are even numbers.
BMW also has its Concept Actibe Tourer, its front-wheel-drive car that’s based on the next Mini Cooper, slated to join BMW’s lineup in the next few years. A North American BMW executive said that the front-wheel-drive BMW may never come to the U.S. If it did, he said, it would be years off.
In any case, the small luxury segment is booming, from the Buick Verano to the Acura ILX to even the anticipation that has come with the promise of a sub-$30,000 Mercedes-Benz. BMW realizes this, which is why it has introduced the 2014 BMW 320i to the U.S., starting at $33,445, including $895 for destination and handling.
With the compact luxury cars like the 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class creeping up in size and price, it makes sense for the automakers to fill their lineups with cheaper, smaller offerings that take the place of where their old models used to be. It would be naive to think BMW isn’t already planning a smaller sedan behind closed doors.––Paul DucheneBack to News