BMW X4 to lure new buyers to brand, sales boss says
The X4 will have coupe-like styling similar to the X6, shown.
MUNICH -- BMW's new X4 model will bring a new type of customer to the brand, sales chief Ian Robertson said.
The X4 will be a sportier version of the X3 SUV with a lower roofline and coupe styling. It follows BMW's launch of the coupe-styled X6 as a sportier alternative to the X5.
"With the X6 we have attracted a completely different buyer than for the X5. We expect the same thing to happen with the X4 versus the X3," Robertson told Automotive News Europe on the sidelines of the company's annual earnings press conference in Munich on Tuesday.
BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer told reporters on Tuesday that the X4 will launch next year.
BMW will build the X4 at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where the automaker is boosting annual capacity to 350,000 vehicles from 300,000.
BMW builds all its X models for global markets in South Carolina except the X1 compact SUV, which is built in Leipzig, Germany, and in China. South Carolina will remain the sole production plant for the X3, X5, X6 and the X4.
"We need more capacity in Spartanburg not only for the upcoming X4 but also for the current X range," Robertson said. BMW could have sold another 35,000 units of the X3 last year if the plant had been able to build them, he said.
Last year, global sales of the X3 increased 27 percent to 149,853, marginally ahead of the X1, whose sales grew 17 percent to 147,776, according to company figures. The X5 was BMW's third best-selling SUV with sales up 3.5 percent to 108,544. X6 volume grew by 7 percent to 43,689.