BMW is going to reduce engine options by half in 4 years
Time to trim some fat
When was the last time you looked at the brochure for a new BMW? Did you notice how big that piece of paper was to fit all of the options for a car? By 2025 that piece of paper will be half the size.
A lot of words for one car. Hardly a review is it?
Back in 2019 when the world was free(yes that used to be allowed once upon a time) the BMW Group announced that BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce is reducing drivetrain options by half and that project will be finished by 2025. They are only going to keep selling engines "for which there is real demand."
What is the current state of BMW line-ups?
Lets take the current 5 Series as an example. These are all of the engine options that you can have with your new company car:
This engine range is based on options available in the UK.
Ok so the M5 variants are unlikely to be company cars but there are so many engines there and that is before a likely i5 arrives. The first thing they can do is remove the 520i and 520d. Who wants a car as big as this that costs over £40,000 to have less than 200bhp? Next the 545e is frankly ridiculous. If you wanted power then a 540i would likely be just as fast thanks to the lower kerb weight(1,745kg for 540i vs 1,945kg for 545e), is cheaper and on the motorway more economical. If fuel economy or taxes were the main concern then the 530e is a better proposition as it's around £6,000 cheaper and produces 46g/km of CO2 vs 54g/km of CO2 for the 545e. This means the 530e is in the 7% BIK bracket(with the 48 mile range as that affects BIK as well) while the 545e is in the 14% bracket. All that power and 8g/km of CO2 doubles the annual contribution to Rishi Sunak's pot of money.
Other than that the line-up is good but there are examples of all this type of idiocy across the line-up.
This cutdown could also lower the prices of the models that survive.
If BMW only invested in 5 engines for a new car instead of 10 then the R&D would be a lot cheaper. It means that more resources can be allocated to make the rest of the car perfect, create a larger profit margin or pass the savings on to the consumer so they can attract more customers. All of those paths lead to larger sales or more money from each sale. That means any of those directions create more profit then they are currently making.
Cutting some fat makes a lot of sense.
They must be careful though.
The Ford Edge. A classic example as to why different drivetrain options are made available.
Here the Ford Edge will be used as an example as to why BMW need to pick the right engines to keep in their cars. About 5 years ago the Edge was put on sale in the UK with high promises. It matched the real hypes of the auto industry of the time.
Diesel engine? Check. Crossover styling? Check. Tried and tested everything? Check.
So where did it go wrong?
Firstly it was released just as diesel became a dirty word. Had they invested in petrol cars to mitigate that for the Edge? No, they hadn't. It wasn't like that was the hardest thing to do either either since Ford have made many RHD cars before and petrol Edge's were sold in the USA. This was its real downfall. Who was willing to pay circa-£40,000 for a car with a sub-200bhp diesel after dieselgate? If it had 7 seats or had some spectacular feature nobody else had then it might not have mattered so much. No the Ford Edge didn't have that either. It was a canvas with clashing colours that nobody liked.
Result? It was pulled from UK showrooms in 2019 and nobody looked twice.
At least BMW have good dynamics most of the time. That would take a lot for BMW to forget. The thing here they need to keep in mind is that mot company car drivers don't care about dynamics since refinement is their forte. The dynamics only make a small % of the sales stolen from Audi and Mercedes but does keep Alfa Romeo at bay.
Above all the thing they do need to remember though is that consumers like choice.
Don't give them the wrong one BMW.