BMW is losing a lot of ground in the flagship arena to Mercedes-Benz. To combat this, the Munich-based automaker is considering an ultra-luxury sedan that will sit between the 7-Series and the Rolls-Royce Ghost.
"Just like certain competitors, we will see that we occupy with credible offers the price bracket of 150,000 euros ($170,000) and beyond," BMW development chief Klaus Froehlich to Automotive News.
Froehlich also took a jab at Mercedes-Benz by saying BMW wouldn't offer several wheelbases or "varyingly thick chrome packages."
Why is BMW wanting to take on Mercedes-Benz in terms of flagships? In a word, China. Automotive news says about one of every two S-Class sedans built goes to China. The sedans are mostly bought wealthy people who have a chauffeur.
Mercedes also took a big gamble. Back in 2012, the brand shuttered Maybach and left Bentley and Rolls-Royce to fight over buyers who want ultra-luxury models. During this time, a massive crackdown on corruption took place and many wealthy people decided it wasn't a good idea to show off their wealth in ostentatious fashion. This caused sales of Bentley and Rolls-Royce vehicles to drop. When Mercedes brought back the Maybach in the form of a high-lux S-Class in 2015, buyers flocked to it as it was seen as an understated way to show off their wealth. Since then, Mercedes has introduced a Pullman version.
What does BMW have planned? There have been rumors of a 9-Series though details are thin.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)