Slow Sales of BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo Disappoint BMW Exec

The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, a tall hatchback that replaced the 5 Series wagon for the U.S. market, has failed to draw customers who might previously have bought a wagon. BMW North America CEO Jim O’Donnell told Automotive Newsthat he is disappointed the GT hasn’t attracted the number of customers he had hoped.

“The disappointment I have is that I thought a lot of our 5 Series station wagon customers would go with the GT,” O’Donnell said. "In point of fact, that is not happening.”

Instead, the GT is attracting customers who would traditionally buy a BMW 7 Series, as well as conquest buyers who previously owned vehicles from other manufacturers. According to AN, the high rear end of hatchback styling is turning off many potential buyers. O’Donnell is reportedly considering reintroducing the 5-Series wagon to America when the next-generation car debuts.

AN says that BMW sold just 2848 5 Series GTs in all of 2010, and 720 in the first four months of this year. Overall, the 5 Series accounted for 39,488 U.S. BMW sales in 2010, and 16,721 sales in the first four months of 2011. That means the Gran Turismo configuration accounts for less than 10 percent of all 5-Series purchases.

The 5-Series GT launched in the U.S. in December 2009 as a 2010 model, following a debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in fall 2009. A traditional 5 Series wagon is still offered in European markets, but was killed off to make way for the GT on our shores. It was designed to offer hatchback practicality and cargo space, with traditional 5-Series qualities like luxury and a sporty driving experience.

The 2011 model starts at $56,875 (including destination) for the 300-hp, rear-wheel-drive 535i GT, and reaches $67,075 for the 400-hp, all-wheel-drive 550i xDrive GT.The quirky bodystyle commands a price premium of about $5000 versus equivalent sedans; the 550i xDrive sedan starts at $62,875.

In spite of the slow sales, BMW is set to repeat the risky debut: Even though a 3 Series wagon is offered in the U.S., we’ve spied a 3 Series GT testing on public roads. The car is expected to debut with the refreshed 3 Series lineup in a few years’ time.

What would you like to see BMW do with the 5 Series lineup: Offer both the wagon and the GT, or kill off the odd hatchback in favor of a traditional wagon body? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: Automotive News

Rob
BMW completely missed the mark with the "GT". Wagon's weren't popular because they didn't have a trunk, they were popular because they were more functional than having a trunk. The GT subtracts from that functionality.
Bill
Kill the GT and bring back the Touring!! It's as simple as that.
David
The car's looks grew on me. Having driven it as a loaner for a few days I was impressed. We are turning in our 2006 750LI for a new 2011 550 GT.
Josh
And they're surprised?, just look at it...., it doesn't know if it wants to be a 4x4 or a coupe so they went with a jumble of features from both?
EMH
Bring back the 535 wagon......I have had 5 of them , a 2009,being my last.....traded it for an x5. I think the the x5 is a super vehicle, however I like the 5 series wagon better. The new 535 wagon available in europe, is in my opinion the best looking wagon i have ever seen, and the 5 GT is without a doubt one of the most unattractive cars BMW has made in the last ten years....... I would trade my x5 in today if the new 5 series was available. What was BMW thinking???????
KetchumKid
PLEASE bring back the 5 series wagon ( Touring )! I'd buy one tomorrow.
Paul
Kill that ugly, bloated, ridiculously-named "GT" and bring back the 5-series Touring. Don't wait for the next generation; do it NOW; and offer it as a 335, a 550, and an M5 Touring; all with X-drive, as they do in Europe.
andy
RE: Acura ZDX. 'Nuff said...
norby1114
i think they should keep the gt and bring back the wagon i bought a 535i GRAN Turismo a couple months back and think it is the greatest car in the world the great and versatility of a hatchback and the rear seat comfort of a 7series
Ken
Compeletely agree. It's a nice compromise between a sedan and an SUV, but why is it priced so much higher than an X5?
vinnieboiblue
Sorry but a hatch back doesn't say active or sporty. It says compromise with the misses. She wanted a wagon he wanted a sedan. Besides hatches make sporty cars look heavy with fat rear ends!!
bruce
Take $15K out of the price and I bet the sales would double ... I can't be alone in thinking that all cars are trying to move too far upscale .. up the ladder .... too many electronics, etc. Give me a quality interior berift of power windows, seats, NAV/touchscreen crap .... offer a high-end audio option, great sounding exhaust and there we go ...
Tom
Yup. I covet most BMW's except for this one and the X6. Actually the X6 is slightly better looking to my eye. This car looks like an old persons car to me. Something BMW has never achieved! Ahhh. Finally something to compete with the MB R class!
Andre
BMW needs to kill the 5 Series GT and end all future plans for this odd configuration. BMW should make a real GT instead: a 7 Series based coupe that the M Division tricks out. A car like that would keep BMW's heritage and potentially do serious damage to other high-performance coupes. In that light, a true 5 Series GT would be something that's a little hotter than a 6 Series but not quite as hot as an M6, like Audi's S and RS designations.
Robert
I'm surpised that they are surpised. From the first moment I saw it I knew this car was a dud. It's ugly beyond redemption and there is no market for it. Even within BMW's model range there are at least 3 better choices depending on your preference. BMW should have learned from the Mercedes R-class. But I suppose they were so busy covering Mercedes' moves that they have forgotten actually evaluating whether that move was justified in the first place.
Jim
Kill it. Bring back ALL THE WAGONS! The BMW GT's are terrible. Maybe in europe, as an SUV alternative, but in the US it makes no sense. I want every single 3 and 5 series wagon in the US, especially the M's! Even in the Audi camp, they need to keep the Avant's. The A7 is great, but doesn't replace the A/S6 avant
bstroud
Bring back the wagon. I had a 3 series wagon and loved it and would consider a 5 series in the future. Audi's new hatch is long and sleek, the BMW looks blunted and bloated. I like the idea, just not the execution.
Roto
Hate to say it, but the Turismo is a truly UGLY car! I thought the M6 was ugly enough, but the Turismo takes the cake. Kind of like the Pontiac Aztek. At first I thought it was a joke by BMW, but then I saw one and wow! How did that escape peer review in the company? I am a BMW fan generally, but something needs to be said about this one.

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