LOG IN

Share

BMW 5-Series GT - officially a mistake

 BMW 5-Series GT - officially a mistake
2010 BMW 5-Series GT

2012 3-Series Touring confirmed for U.S.

Jim O'Donnell, the CEO of BMW North America, has admitted the company's decision to axe the 5-Series Touring in the United States was a mistake.

Citing low sales, the executive said the 5-Series GT has failed to entice wagon buyers and is sending those customers to Mercedes. Furthermore, the hatchbacks that do sell are being bought by people who would have normally purchased a 7-Series.

In the United States, BMW expected to sell 4,000 to 8,000 GTs annually. In reality, the company sold 2,848 units in 2010 and is on track to sell 2,160 this year. The situation is getting bad enough that some dealers have stopped ordering the cars altogether.

Despite the fiasco, BMW has learned their lesson and will keep the next-generation 3-Series Touring in their lineup. However, it is apparently too late for the company to bring the current 5-Series Touring to America. According to O'Donnell, "It's in the back of my mind. When we do the next generation, maybe we should."

Add comment

subscribe to comments
comment rules Add comment

Comments (33)

JamieRose
I just bought a 550 GT yesterday. I had a 335 twin turbo convertible before. I wanted an X6 but after driving everything (and I mean everything) I kept going back to the 550. My fiance hated to body style but I don't care what other people think. I bought it for me.He was not the only hater wither. His brother told me "The inside is bad ass but the outside is hideous, and that's like dating a fat chick with a great personality...no thank you." I drove a 7 series and it was way too long for me. Then I drove a 5 series but it looked cheap inside compared to the 7 and the 550. I really love the body style of the X6 but it was so cramped inside and had a horrible blind spot. My 550 GT is black with cinnamon and black interior with every option you can get. I feel like I could go to fu**ing space in this car! It has a mix of the sportiness and comfort I want with tons of power. I actually brought home and X5 for the weekend but I felt like a soccer mom. I'm 30, female and have no kids so I didn't want to go there. I love this car and I'm happy with it. I thought it looked like a lowered SUV and not a wagon. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Aug 1, 2012 11:14 am
0 0
abc67
This is one more example of american's peculiar taste, the 5-series GT is probably the best looking BMW on the road
Jul 12, 2011 1:23 pm
1 0
dayday
It's not that popular in the US, but apparently it's quite popular in Asia. I'm from China, and you almost see one everyday in Beijing and Shanghai. I think the 2010 5 GT sales were rumored around 10000 in China. Chinese like big comfortable cars more than small sporty cars in general. But I admit the back of the car is UGLY. If they can redesign the back, the sales would be much better.
May 24, 2011 6:50 pm
0 0
clash_189
I have to agree with you, with selective colour, the side and front looks nice and rather sleek, but the back lets it down (mostly thank to the rear bumper). Mostly if you live in Asia (my relatives do), some country roads aren't very good and the bump even can destroy your suspension, I understand 5Gt can be a good default choice after 5 is too cramped and 7 is too "look at me". It is only a matter of market demographic, especially for NA people who can't respect a high luxo wagon as people live on the other side of world may admire it as a luxury car (a full spec Nissan Elgrand with all electrical function can worth a Jag XF with decent specs). If only BMW will offer 5GT with new 2.0l turbo petrol and cost only 2/3 of current (cheapest) 3.0 diesel.
May 25, 2011 7:54 am
0 0
trevtremaine
OK, as an owner of an '08 535XiT, I have to say that BMW is racking up the points against itself: problematic engines, electronics and a sub-par level of options offered compared with the sedan is part of the wagon's poor sales. While I love the car when it's fully functional, I have to say I'm looking elsewhere when I'm looking to replace it. BMW's marketing dept. should have some heads roll, but whoever came up with the 5GT seriously needs to figure out what kind of niche marketing they're trying to fill because it's non-existent! Had BMW offered a 5er touring with a diesel, a v8, the M, and all the handling options available in Europe, perhaps it would have sold better in the US and Canada. I'd love to see if the marketing "gurus" would try to offer the 5er sedan with one engine what would happen? Damn, just by suggesting it, they'll probably now try it...
May 24, 2011 6:11 pm
0 0
afterace2
From the moment I saw the concept of this I just knew how a bad flow this will be for a BMW. Yes, it is a great machine, and yes it delivers a very nice interior, but just look at it....
May 24, 2011 1:49 pm
0 0
coopergt
BMW Aztec and they thought it would be a success! Bring back the Wagon and sell it as a diesel. Look at the volume of Jetta Diesel Wagon Sales. I think this is the way to go
May 24, 2011 1:36 pm
0 0
Dude von Dudenstein
No wonder, why would somebody lavish more than 50,000 on a car that looks like it is made in China. The same story for the X6, which does sell well, unfortunately, because it looks atrociously ugly.
May 24, 2011 11:49 am
0 1
rorycarguy
Well at least the irish goverment use them as govt vehicles along with 7 series's ! sorry recession ?? since when
May 24, 2011 9:11 am
0 0
schizo
It's selling well in Korea...I guess we don't have good taste in cars.
May 24, 2011 7:10 am
0 0
tom43
Not only a fail in the US, but also in Europe. On Germany┬┤s roads you see about 50-times more Tourings than GTs. The car is ugly as hell and I wonder if BMW has ever performed some kind of customer survey before launching this model????
May 24, 2011 6:52 am
0 1
tbrodie
If I had to buy a luxo-hatch, I'd get the A7.
May 24, 2011 1:46 am
0 0
dayday
A7 is good, but it's kind of in a different market as 5 GT. A7 is more a 4 door coupe, sporty but you can only seat 4 people, and the back seats are terrible.,it compete with more sporty sedans like CSL or the future 6 series GC.5 GT is the more relaxed type of vehicles. It's even more spacious and more comfortable than a 7 series. I think the sales figure would be much better if BMW can rework the back of the car. I like the concept and everything else but the rear.
May 24, 2011 6:44 pm
0 0
Aesthetics
pretty sure bmw felt to use parts sshare with the x6 platform, a car platform mixed with the x6's roof to make this thing... reminds of a ssangyong mpv tragedy
May 24, 2011 12:51 am
0 0
benz_man
Its a 5 and 7 mix with a little more ground clearance, swoopy roofline and intricate hatch. Interestingly enough, the 5 and 7 already share TOO much, so why they did this i dont know.
May 24, 2011 9:28 am
0 0
vincent813
hope they can out of production as soon as possible. To be honest, I hate this car, Its a joke. It was a great idea,but in a wrong brand. It stops my to buy another BMW, I bought the Jag. XF at last.
May 23, 2011 11:58 pm
0 1
ClintonM3
It wouldn't have been a mistake if they offer both the GT and the wagon. Honestly, I don't think BMW marketed the GT properly. The product launch was poorly executed. However, the GT is an excellent product. I took one home for a weekend, is one of those cars that can only be sold from a demo. Anyone who is looking at this car from a magazine, brochure or website will not see much positive aspect of this car.
May 23, 2011 9:21 pm
1 0
benz_man
They really are great. No ones buying them though...
May 23, 2011 9:59 pm
1 0
Shumy
ClintonM3, what you are saying just doesn't make sense. Look at the comments and sales report. I understand and respect that you liked the car but you can't say " It wouldn't have been a mistake if they offer both the GT and the wagon"... Read more: http://www.worldcarfans.com/111052333613/bmw-5-series-gt---officially-a-mistake"
May 24, 2011 12:34 am
0 0
DdW
I personally saw one example at a local BMW event. In its physical state, the car looks awkward, humongous and has a "bread & butter" stance. Inside, it has quite a capacious interior which of course means comfort. Given the public criticism, the car was parked at one dim corner while its other (much) more attractive siblings (discount the XerMs) bathed in the limelights. See here: http://www.worldcarfans.com/community/410111432248/commentary-2010-bmw-world-singapore#36 There were very few people (including myself) taking the time to glance (or stare) at the car in amusement or disbelief. So there you go, a reality ground check. BMW surely must have repent its decision to release such a vehicle.
May 24, 2011 3:26 am
0 0
ClintonM3
Shumy, if BMW offers both in NA, the GT would not be a mistake, because it will become a niche vehicle. As it was intended. It was never meant to be a wagon substitute. BMW NA had poor execution on marketing this car, because it was not clear to the consumers what the car's role is suppose to be, within BMW's product line. It is a niche vehicle everywhere else in the world, and the sales figure are good...as a niche vehicle. BMWNA also overestimate their sales projective, in the end, it made them look bad. In North America, BMW wagon had never sold more than 2500 units...yet their expectation is to sell more than 4000 units and 8000 units peak. 2800 units for the GT is not bad, but this projection is no doubt factoring both the niche and wagon markets. Whoever at BMWNA figured that out probably never owned a 535xiT. The 5 GT is a proven success around the world, so the car is not a dud. BMWNA's fault lies in how they are marketing this GT. The reason why NA has no 5 wagon, I am sure is a cost cutting decision though, but now it seems as much a marketing decision.
May 24, 2011 10:12 am
0 0
zot959
I agree this car was a mistake. What is it supposed to achieve that a 5 Series Touring could not do? And why is BMW still going ahead with a 3 Series GT? As far as I can see this is even worse than a 5 Series GT as the 3 Series is the car known as being the benchmark for handling throughout the entire BMW line. Why would anyone looking for a 3 Series opt for the GT version instead of a Touring, this is crazy. I have to admit the 5 Series GT styling has grown on me a bit (I was horrified when I first saw it) but I still would not buy one.
May 23, 2011 6:58 pm
0 1
aardman
I'm confused. Did anyone actually read the first sentence? "Jim O'Donnell, the CEO of BMW North America, has admitted the company's decision to axe the 5-Series Touring in the United States was a mistake." So the decision to axe the car was a mistake? What a misleading article. Please revise.
May 23, 2011 6:52 pm
0 0
droid_dtm
you need to learn your BMWs... the 5 Series Touring is the wagon version of the 5 Series sedan. The car pictured in the 5 Series GT (Gran Turismo), which is totally different. So the article is correct... basically its saying it was a mistake to axe the Touring and replace it with the GT. A sentiment I think every car enthusiast will agree with. What I am confused about is why its too late to introduce the 5 Touring. I doubt it can do any worse than the GT in sales... to me its a case of everything to gain and nothing to loose.
May 23, 2011 7:31 pm
0 0
benz_man
droid_dtm, it probably wont pass us emissions or crash tests in a profitable way. Or, they cant make enough to satiate world demand and us demand. However, with Americas allergy to wagons I doubt its the latter.
May 23, 2011 9:59 pm
0 0
vovaUA
You have to be stupid to expect an $60-80.000 oversized Toyota Prius lookalike to sell like hot cakes. I cant stand this car, the ugliest BMW made in years.
May 23, 2011 6:47 pm
0 1
CDspeed
I have a 550i GT and I love it. It's the first car I've had in a while that really feels like something new, its not just another sedan or SUV. I've been stopped in traffic by people who just wanted to tell me how cool it is. I bought it as an SUV alternative .
May 23, 2011 6:42 pm
0 0
CDspeed
One of my other favorite cars that got axed in the US, the Audi A6 Allroad. Audi cut the Allroad from the US just to push the Q7. So it's not like BMW is the only car company that axed one model to boost another. Americans don't seem to like anything with a hatch back unless it's an SUV, and thats just stupid. I'd still like to have a new Allroad.
May 23, 2011 8:10 pm
0 0
clash_189
While I'm looking forward to get chance order a new A6 in allroad model as normal avant doesn't get air suspension as an option for lesser model. It is a nice car, good ground clearance (my only issue to bother purchase this kind of car over normal saloon),good towing too (if it is a matter) and cheaper to insure :)Wish Audi rethinks again to give it 2.7 biturbo. 5Gt is approximately 10k-20k (in OZ) too expensive, but the standard equipments are really good.
May 25, 2011 7:42 am
0 0
norther
i thought the title stoped at "5 series gt oficially a mistake". just lookt at it... only in the states a mistake?
May 23, 2011 6:40 pm
0 0
DeeKay
Ugly as hell.... And i'm even a huge BMW fan....
May 23, 2011 6:25 pm
0 0
http://content.worldcarfans.co/templates/0/18