BMW mounts the offensive in a previously untapped segment image

It might be upsetting for traditionalists and purists, but the world’s largest premium automaker – BMW – has decided to call up a product offensive in the minivan segment.

The German luxury carmaker will expand its minivan range with the recently unveiled seven-seat 2-series Gran Tourer that will be officially presented in front of the public during the Geneva auto show in March and then go out to dealerships across Europe in June. The BMW 2-series Gran Tourer – riding on the newly developed front wheel drive platform (another sacrilege for the brand known for its affinity for rear-wheel drive) – is larger than the European best-seller VW Touran and smaller than another German contender – the Opel Zafira Tourer. While rivals at Audi still have no product in the segment, Mercedes-Benz has been involved in the segment with a certain degree of success for years.

Additionally, adding the new 2-series variant, set to join the five-seat 2-series Active Tourer the company’s European lineup, is another move by the automaker to occupy all slots in the compact segment. The sector has been highly successful at luring customers, and now BMW wants to tap young families that would have otherwise not considered a premium offering. The 2-series Gran Tourer, with prices starting at 26,950 euros in Germany, is one of the 15 new or refreshed models planned by the group – including those coming from Mini and Rolls-Royce. The company also launched the five-seat 2-series Active Tourer last September in Europe to fend off the Mercedes-Benz B-Class. Besides Europe, BMW plans to market the new 2-series Gran Tourer in China since June, as well – though the second-largest market in the world – the US – will not receive the model because of slow demand in the segment.

Via Automotive News Europe