As it invests heavily in electric cars and autonomous vehicles, BMW will have to trim down its model range. For instance, the company said Friday, the 3 Series Gran Turismo will not have a replacement, despite what BMW describes as “a good level of demand” for the hatchback. The announcement comes as BMW says it will need to be more selective about the number of vehicle variants it develops in the coming year. “Measures already in place to reduce product portfolio complexity are being expanded and also applied to model derivatives,” BMW said. That’s a reaction to “a cooling global economy” and increased production costs, among other factors, BMW said. For the 3 Series GT specifically, it’s also reasonable to assume that it’s less important to the automaker’s future given that many car shoppers are shifting from sedans and hatchbacks to crossovers and SUVs. Instead, BMW reiterated Friday it has plans to dramatically increase its range of electric and electrified vehicles, with the goal of offering 12 all-electric models by 2025. By the end of this year we’ll see the Mini Electric, next year the China-built BMW iX3 debuts and by the end of 2021 BMW will also add the i4 and iNext electrics. The iX3 will be the first model to use the automaker’s fifth-generation electric powertrain, the motor of which BMW says does not require rare-earth metals. BMW also confirmed its commitment to developing autonomous-driving technologies, promising that the iNext electric car will have Level 3 self-driving features… [Read full story]
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