It has been said repeatedly — the auto company likely to be most hurt by the Tesla Model 3 is BMW. BMW is known for sporty. Tesla does sporty better. BMW is known for innovative. Tesla does innovative better. BMW is known for premium. Tesla does premium better. (Note: Some people will disagree with the latter, but my experience is that most people feel like Tesla is a class up. I heard this two days ago from a guy who had recently rented a BMW and was riding in our Model S at the time.)
One year ago, we were already wondering how much demand for the Model 3 was hurting BMW 2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, and even 5 Series sales. For sure, some people have decided to skip getting another BMW while they wait for their Model 3. As the Model 3 gets closer and closer to the mass market, that effect has to be growing. Has anyone decided to skip another BMW 320i to wait for their Model 3? For sure! How many people have done so? We have no idea.
One thing we can look at, though, is sales. And we can take our own wild guesses of what will happen to BMW sales as Model 3 production ramps up. Thanks to John Moore for stimulating this fun exercise with a recent comment under another CleanTechnica article: “I believe that the average BMW 3 Series buyer is the closest thing going to an exact clone of the average Model 3 buyer. If Tesla sells 400,000 of these in calendar 2018, how many 3 Series BMWs will be sold?
“BMW only gives combined US figures for the 3 and 4 Series together. The last three years sales have been approx. 146,000, 140,000, and 106,000 last year. It looks like sales have dropped off in the past 3 months or so this year. I believe that this is because of the Model 3. Looks like BMW won’t sell 100,000 of the 3 and 4 in the US this calendar year. 2018 looks like it could be apocalyptic. I’m thinking 50,000 to 75,000. A bloodbath. And really, why would you buy an obsolete 325i when you could get a Model 3? It’s yesterday’s design.”
Before getting into the polls, here are 2015–2017 sales data for the BMW 2 Series, 3 Series, and 4 Series:
|2015 US Sales||2016 US Sales||2016 Jan–July US Sales||2017 Jan–July US Sales|
|BMW 2 Series||13,020||15,519||10,765||6,646|
|BMW 3 Series||94,540||70,458||39,775||31,791|
|BMW 4 Series||46,069||35,763||21,462||23,217|
By the way, yes, you have to take into account other market shifts on your own — from sedans to CUVs/SUVs, etc.
With that long preface out of the way, what’s your projection for USA sales of the BMW 2 Series, 3 Series, and 4 Series in 2018? Here’s a poll to log your responses:
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