The company has now completed its SUV offerings to Malaysian car buyers
by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
BMW Group Malaysia is strengthening its SUV market presence in the country with the introduction of two new sports activity vehicles (SAVs) of the X series within a span of a month.
The premium German marque first launched the BMW X2 for the local market on March 21, followed by the BMW X3 exactly 30 days later on April 20.
The company has now completed its SUV offerings to Malaysian car buyers for the entry level, mid sub-segment, high-end and anything in between, with the new units and existing X series models.
“The SUV market is very segmented. We added more product choices and dimensions to the market. For those who want to be bold and loud, they can get the X2, while the X3 suits as a nice, independent second car in the mid-size segment.
“Corporate leaders have the X5 as a main car for the whole family to choose for,” BMW Malaysia head of corporate communications Sashi Ambi said after the launch of the BMW X3 in Kuala Lumpur recently.
BMW Malaysia also has the X1 and X6 on both ends of its SAV product range for the local market.
At present, BMW Malaysia assembles the X3 and X5 at its plant in the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah, though the company had locally produced the X4 and X6 previously.
The new sports activity coupe X2 will be fully imported into Malaysia, while the X3 will be locally assembled in Kulim.
“We want to differentiate our offerings between the completely built units and completely knocked downs.
“The cars that we fully imported such as the X2 are very niche, and have higher appeal with different colours compared to locally produced cars,” Sashi added.
He said the premium segment in the industry is on a nice growth trend and the SUV is an important market for the brand.
The X family has delivered over 1,000 units in the first quarter of 2018 (1Q18), a 39% year-on-year (YoY) growth.
Overall, BMW Malaysia sold 3,000 BMW, MINI and Motorrad vehicles in 1Q18 — a 15% YoY increase.
The BMW brand saw an 18% YoY growth in sales to 2,500 new vehicles, followed by MINI at 6% YoY to 220 units and Motorrad at a 2% YoY rise to 260 motorcycles in the period.
In 2017, BMW Malaysia delivered over 4,200 X-Series vehicles, equating to 39.6% of its total 10,618 deliveries.
BMW brand sales grew by 18% YoY to 10,618 units in 2017, boosted by “The Boss” X5 at more than 3,000 units sold.
The Malaysian Reserve had reported that the SUV segment accounts for as much as almost 30% of the total volume for premium brands in 2017, helping major expensive brands to boast another stunning year.
Besides the size, consumers — especially young buyers and families who have an active lifestyle — in the country are turning to these rugged and bold looking vehicles, similar to the global trend.
BMW Malaysia’s closest rival Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd sold 2,599 units of SUVs, or 22% out of the 12,045 units in total passenger vehicles delivered last year, retaining its leading position in the local premium segment.
The new X2 is powered by a BMW Twin-Power Turbo four-cylinder petrol engine, capable of going from zero-100kph in 7.7 seconds with a top speed of 227kph.
The car is priced at RM320,800 on the road (without insurance).
The X3 is equipped by a TwinPower Turbo 2.0 engine with a maximum output of 252hp and 350Nm of torque, giving acceleration from zero-100kph in 6.3 seconds at a top speed of 240kph.
In addition, the new X3 xDrive30i is tagged at an estimated retail price of RM320,000 (without insurance).
Both X models add excitement to the local SUV scene with the new Range Rover Velar, Jaguar F-Pace, Renault Koleos Signature, Volvo XC60 and the super SUV Lamborghini Urus launched in 2018 to date.
The industry is expected to see more SUVs in the future.