Head of product management for BMW’s lower model range Frank Niederlander told Automotive News Europe the 2 Series Active Tourer compact MPV would predominantly attract people that had never owned a BMW before.
“We are expecting the Active Tourer will have a conquest rate of around 75 per cent,” Niederlander said.
The Bavarian car maker believes the new 2 Series Active Tourer will appeal to young families that are also considering rival MPVs such as the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and Volkswagen Touran. It says these buyers often remain customers of the brand as the get older, making them an attractive buyer group to target.
The introduction of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer represents a number of firsts for the brand, becoming its first front-wheel-drive model, its first MPV, and its first to be powered by a three-cylinder engine. A new seven-seat version is expected to join the original five-seater as early as next year.
Facing questions over the sporting nature of the new model, BMW highlighted that the 2 Series Active Tourer shares its UKL platform with the third-generation Mini Cooper, and said it achieved lateral acceleration and drive-through times on par with its rear-wheel-drive models during lane-change tests. It also claims the flagship 225i Active Tourer can lap the Nurburgring racetrack in less than nine minutes.
The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will reach Australian showrooms in November, when it’s expected to launch with a circa-$40,000 starting price.
BMW Australia says it is “very confident” in the 2 Series Active Tourer’s ability to attract buyers in our SUV-loving market, despite demand for its direct rival, the B-Class, falling 43 per cent so far this year to 1103.
“There is a market for that type of segment – we see that in Europe,” BMW Australia finance director Peter Buchauer said. “Yes, there are strong regional differences … but I think in that compact segment it will be quite a refreshing new approach.”
CarAdvice will be attending the international launch of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer in Austria next week. Stay tuned for our review.