BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo to be axed

Bavarian marque won't be replacing its medium-sized liftback despite 'good demand', with other unspecified models also on the chopping block.
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BMW has confirmed it will drop the 3 Series Gran Turismo as part of its upcoming cost-cutting efforts, following a 7.9 per cent drop in operating profits in 2018.

In a press release, the company outlined its 'strategic course' to tackle 'challenging conditions', with key issues identified including political uncertainty, a cooling global economy, rising production costs, exchange rates and rising raw materials prices.

"To counteract these negative factors, measures already in place to reduce product portfolio complexity are being expanded and also applied to model derivatives," BMW said in its statement.

One of the models confirmed to not get a replacement is the 3 Series Gran Turismo (pictured), which will be retired after just two generations, despite "a good level of demand".

It's unclear which other 'derivatives' will also be culled to reduce complexity, but given the axing of the 3 Series GT, we could see the larger 6 Series GT killed off at some point as well.

There hasn't been a firm date set as to when the 3 Series GT will officially end production, but given the new-generation 3 Series sedan is already on the market, it's likely the liftback version of the nameplate will be phased out over the coming months.

While BMW plans to retire some of its lower-volume models, the company also plans to introduce a range of electrified vehicles this year, including the 3 Series, 7 Series, X3 and X5 plug-in hybrids shown at the Geneva motor show earlier this month, along with the all-new Mini Electric.

Beyond 2019, the company plans to have five EV offerings by 2021, and at least 12 by 2025.

Some of these models will include the upcoming i4, iX3 and iNext electric vehicles, with the remainder likely to be plug-in hybrid versions of each member in the core line-up.

Other upcoming developments include heavy investment into autonomous driving systems and mobility services, including its joint venture with Daimler AG, parent of arch rival Mercedes-Benz.

The BMW Group's net profit totalled €7207 million ($11.52b) in 2018, down 16.9 per cent on 2017's figure of €8675 million ($13.87b).

Industry journal Automotive News Europe reports the company's earnings have been hit by increased tariffs placed on vehicles made at its Spartanburg facility in South Carolina exported to China – amid the trade war between the US and China – along with "price competition in Europe".

Are you going to miss the 3 Series GT?