Tuesday, May 5, 2009

BMW Hybrids Not Coming To Australia, No RHD Production Planned

BMW ActiveHybrid 7 Series concept

We reported earlier today that BMW was extending its EfficientDynamics technology across nearly half of its local offerings, but after calling BMW for further comment we discovered something that’s bound to disappoint all you wealthy tree-huggers out there.

BMW does not intend to bring the upcoming hybrid variants of its 7 Series luxury sedan and X6 SUV to Australia, and apparently won’t be building any right-hook hybrids anytime soon.

Why? Because the petrol-electric models are primarily aimed at the US market, where hybrids are big business and sales volumes are high. With Australia, the UK, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Africa and Japan being the only major RHD markets, there’s simply not enough of a business case to warrant the extra engineering expense.

BMW ActiveHybrid 7 Series concept

That doesn’t mean we’ll never see a production alt-fuel BMW on our shores, though. BMW aims to increase the spread of the technology across its range, so we’ll likely see a hybrid BMW offered locally sometime next decade. Just don’t count on it having the twin-turbocharged 4.4 litre V8 of the big 7 Series.

For now though, BMW Australia plans to continue expanding its EfficientDynamics technology across the rest of its range, with more efficiency-enhanced models due to drop early next year.