Click to enlarge price list

BMW Malaysia’s latest price list effective April 19 has a much shorter list of models compared to the previous price list from January 1. Comparing both, over 10 models/variants have been dropped from the local line-up, and the bulk of them are CBU imported models.

Cars that are no longer on the price list are the 120i M Sport (replaced by the 118i M Sport), 218i Active Tourer, 2 Series Coupe (220i), 430i Coupe, M3, M4 and both variants of the Z4 (20i, 28i M Sport). In the SUV department, absentees are the X1 xDrive 20d, X3 xDrive 20d and the X5 xDrive 30d. The 320d Gran Turismo is the sole diesel model left in the local line-up.

Some of the models that survived the cull have new and higher sticker prices. They are the 420i Coupe (+RM5k to RM304,800), 420i Coupe Sport (+RM6k to RM325,800), 430i Gran Coupe M Sport (+RM7k to RM425,800), X6 xDrive35i M Sport (+RM12k to RM640,800) and the BMW i8 (+RM23k to RM1,211,800).

New entries such as the 118i M Sport and X5 xDrive40e have made some variants redundant

Most of the cars listed above are slow selling non-core models, while some variants have been made less relevant with the introduction of new ones. However, are we seeing the start of BMW giving up on diesels in Malaysia?

The brand from Munich was once the most vocal proponent of diesel power in Malaysia, but the global trend has turned against oil burners, which have acquired a polluting reputation. Interestingly, some mass market SUV players have now brought diesel variants into Malaysia and the Honda CR-V is available in Thailand with an i-DTEC option for the first time.

Also, it’s interesting to see the contrasting strategies employed by BMW and its arch-rival from Stuttgart. If Munich is trimming the excess and sharpening its focus on core models, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is currently attempting to fill up every niche possible – this year, there will be two new models, a facelift, two special editions and 14 variants from the three-pointed star. It wasn’t too long ago that such expansion was associated with BMW, an illustration that the car business is cyclical.