The emergence of tiny sub-niches in the market in recent years has been rather extraordinary and now, two of the biggest perpetrators trying to fill every imaginable slot in their range have admitted they have too many models.
According to Car&Driver, both BMW and Mercedes-Benz believe that a number of their body styles are under threat, including traditional coupes and convertibles.
Speaking with the publication, BMW’s head of sales and marketing Ian Robertson said:
“The checkerboard of body styles and segments is rather full, although there are still a few to be finished. We’ve got an X2 and an X7 coming, and there are a few others, but I also know—because we’ve taken decisions—that some body styles will be removed in the future.”
Mercedes-Benz head Dieter Zetsche echoed these sentiments while speaking to the press at the Geneva Motor Show saying:
“The specialty cars, these coupes and convertibles, were always niche cars. The expansion into China and other emerging markets [has given] huge opportunities for sedans, but they did not take up these specialty cars. Which makes the business case for these vehicles less easy.”
According to BMW, the market for open sports cars never really recovered after 2008 and has never proved popular in Asia, hence why the brand decided to co-develop the successor to the Z4 roadster with Toyota.
What’s more, Robertson suggested that large two door models are at risk given the burgeoning demand for four-door coupes.
“There’s definitely more of a move toward four-door coupes. We’ve done the Gran Coupes; they’ve really worked. People like the lower seating position and the sporty dynamics but also the fact there’s a door in the back. It’s fair to say that when we look at the checkerboard, because of the new things we’re putting in, there are some things we can take out.”