That was then - this is now: Consumer tastes are changing. Body-on-frame SUVs are dead, as evidenced by Ford changing the Explorer in 2011-12 to uni-body construction. Car buyers seeking practical transportation ARE considering wagons, and some manufacturers have been readying vehicles, notably Cadillac's CTS Wagon and the recent news of Lexus strongly considering including of a wagon in it's next IS iteration. I question BMW's consideration of replacing the Touring in the USA with a heavier, more expensive, less practical, limited driveline vehicle. It seems logical that a great marketing department would be able and willing to prepare a business plan and create demand for great-looking, well-engineered, practical and sporting transportation such as the F11.
If they can't, allow me to give it a try. I'll do it for free! They have such a great product here, I can't stop thinking about it!
Yes it is true consumer demands are changing unfortunately not in the direction of the BMW 5er Touring. Over the past couple of years we have noticed a decline in the US Market for Touring models and BMW had forewarned that in certain markets engine variants and model lines would be removed sooner or later. Sadly in the North American market the 5er Touring is a casualty. The inclusion of the 5er Gran Turismo offers a replacement that steers away from the utilierian stigma the Touring had.
What has been noticed with this new Concept (The 5er Gran Turismo) is that customers like the flexibility and variability of a wagon in a car that does not look like one. The 5er Gran Turismo offers a striking balance of luxury and comfort with typical BMW precision in a package that is anything but conventional. With the Gran Turismo what we have noticed especially in Europe when the car went on sale in November that the majority of the cars that have been delivered to customers were in fact new to the BMW brand.
I cannot comment on the story for North America although I can presume it could be a similar story with some customers.
With the advent of the new X5 and the 5er Gran Turismo these will remain the choices for customers looking for flexibility and sporting luxury , with the
X5 offering four wheel drive , 5er Gran Turismo will introduce xDrive later this year.
The decision taken to not introduce the new BMW 5er Touring to the North America is solely down to the diminishing demand for such cars. Sales on the E61 Platform have fallen dramatically in North America.
Whilst the 5er Gran Turismo has sold more units in North America than the E61Touring so far this year.