DETROIT - BMW is working on a sport-utility that will be separate from Land Rover. The vehicle will be called a 'sports activity' vehicle, say company officials.
'We have identified a further evolution of the sport-utility market,' said Henrich Heitmann, chairman of BMW (US) Holding Corp. 'The concept we are developing is a combination of the responsive performance of a BMW sports sedan with the traditional attributes associated with a sport-utility of today.'
BMW officials have been disdainful of rival Mercedes-Benz's entry into the segment. When Vic Doolan, president of BMW of North America, announced record sales for the company, he emphatically added, 'And we did it without trucks or four-wheel drive.'
Doolan said the BMW product 'is not a hybrid. It is very much a unique BMW solution. We are not going into the sport-utility vehicle market. We are defining a new niche.'