The 5-Series Gran Turismo is one of the more divisive cars in the BMW range, and the controversy is in the looks, or more specifically, that rear end. Making its debut in the US in November 2009, the 5GT has been a sales flop, and the man in charge has shown some regret for bringing it in, according to a report.
BMW of North America CEO Jim O’Donnell also wished the company hadn’t stopped selling the 5-Series Touring. They had expected the 5-Series GT to appeal to those wagon buyers, but whichever few buyers the GT is luring, it’s from the 7-Series market.
“The disappointment I have is that I thought a lot of our 5-Series station wagon customers would go with the GT. In point of fact, that is not happening. We have lost those customers to the competition – mainly to Mercedes-Benz,” O’Donnell said.
“The GT has attracted 7- and 5-Series customers and conquests, but not the station wagon customer we had hoped,” he added, citing that in Florida, 10% of BMW 7-Series owners have replaced their cars with the 5-Series GT. BMW would ideally want Seven buyers to stick with the more expensive car, and not see the “good value” of the GT, which sits on a 7-Series platform.
When the GT was launched in the States, BMW said they expected annual sales of 4,000 to 8,000 units. They sold 2,848 in 2010 and just 720 in the first four months of 2011. One public dealership group has stopped ordering the GT because of slow sales. Other dealers said they sell one or two units a month.
No making the same mistake again, so BMW will keep the 3-Series Touring in its lineup. “We are not giving up the 3-Series wagon because if you give it up, they will go straight to the competition,” O’Donnell said.