Many times within the digital domain of Motor Biscuit we have lamented the demise of the station wagon in the US. We have argued that an SUV is just a lifted station wagon with big tires and a bigger footprint. Yet SUVs proliferate and wagons contract. But in a recent interview with BMW National Dealer Forum Chairman Patrick Womack, he told Automotive News about the one thing dealer reps was asked for. Clearly, they all said more wagons. Maybe SUV owners would rather have a versatile vehicle closer to the ground with a smaller footprint. Do you agree?
Yes, it’s true-wagons might actually be making somewhat of a comeback. Demand may actually be building. Womack said dealers want a luxury wagon with the performance for the US market. They want a wagon to compete with Audi which has two performance wagons in its lineup for 2020.
BMW dealers say wagons would augment the best selling X5 and X7
These wouldn’t displace SUVs as the X7 was a huge hit in 2019. It was BMW’s second best-selling vehicle after the X5. Dealers felt that the absence of a larger vehicle with three-row seating finally got plugged by the X7 and they were right.
So going forward BMW dealers want to see more advertising around the X5 and X7, and a performance wagon sooner rather than later. The thing is BMW has wagons in Europe. They just haven’t seen it necessary to ship them across the Atlantic.
The BMW 3-series wagon was all-new for 2019
BMW’s 3-series wagon was all-new for 2019. But, only in Europe. The 3-series is the heart of BMW and a wagon version seems to hit a sweet spot for both practicality, size, and performance. Obviously, the previous wagon did not sell well enough to interest the powers that be in hauling a few here.
The 5-series wagon was all-new for 2017 in Europe only. The Mercedes E-Class wagon and Volvo V90 wagon are the closest thing to a 5-series wagon we have here. The Mercedes may have a slightly nicer interior, but some may prefer the slightly toned-down cabin that BMW offers.
Either 3- or 5-series wagons have always had unique, distinctive styling
The BMW wagons-whether 3- or 5-series, always have a distinctive look with the exclusive kink or shelf below the rear window. It makes Beemer wagons stylishly unique. No other wagon can lay claim to it.
With Audi getting a lot of attention with its fantastic RS 6 Avant it makes sense that BMW dealers would like to have something to offer those in the market for that. It even applies to the E-Class wagon too. They can’t close a conquest sale because it has nothing to offer. The frustrating thing is that BMW makes what the dealers need, but can’t get in the US.
BMW already makes the wagons, why not bring them over?
Without having the insight to know what the 3- and 5-series wagons might need to be sold in the US it still seems like an easy request. BMW already sells 3- and 5-series sedans. So the basic platform is already approved by the feds.
Whether the overlords at BMW will listen to dealers or continue their wagonless decision for the US remains to be seen. Especially if the RS 6 Avant sells reasonably well there may be new BMW wagons here in the near future. We can always have hope.