For Sale By:Dealer
Interior Color: Tan
Sub Model: M6
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Exterior Color: Red
Transmission Type: Manual
Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
In many ways, we're living in a golden age of automotive performance. After all, it's possible to show up at a Dodge dealer, hand over about $60,000 and storm away with a 707-horsepower Challenger Hellcat. Or for those who prefer a touch more luxury, the BMW M4, Mercedes-AMG C63 and latest Cadillac ATS-V offer between 425 and 503 horsepower, depending on your pick, with a bit more poshness. However, none of these powerful vehicles fit the classic definition of a two-place, droptop sports car, and according BMW head of sales Ian Robertson, that's because the segment is very much in the doldrums.
According to Robertson, two factors seriously wounded the classic sports car market. First, the global economic crisis of a few years ago put a serious hurt on sales, according to Bloomberg. Further worsening the situation, the boom in popularity of luxury SUVs and crossovers in the past few years hasn't allowed for much recovery. Even car-hungry China hasn't helped much because of the smog in many cities and preference among some of the very rich there to be chauffeured.
Combined, Audi TT, BMW Z4 and Mercedes-Benz SLK sales peaked around 114,000 units a year in 2007, but they are only expected to reach 72,000 annually by the end of the decade. Robertson is pretty pessimistic about the market's comeback too. "Post-2008, it just collapsed. I'm not so sure it'll ever fully recover," he said to Bloomberg.
BMW is planning a fairly extensive overhaul in a bid to recoup some its annual costs, with CEO Norbert Reithofer (pictured above) aiming to save three to four billion euro ($4 to $5.4 billion) per year to help keep the company's profit margins between eight and 10 percent, while also maintaining investments in production expansion and new tech. BMW's profit margins sat at 9.4 percent in 2013.
According to Automotive News Europe, Reithofer is none too pleased about costs at Mini and on the 1 Series, although neither AN nor its source story, from Germany's Manager Magazin, elaborate on what steps could be taken to improve losses on either project. That makes it hard to figure out just where the fat will be trimmed from.
What may happen, though, is that BMW attempts to trim 100 million euros ($135 million) from its German labor costs each year; a solution hinted at a few weeks ago by Germany newspaper Muenchner Merkur. While a dramatic cost reduction, 100 million euros still doesn't begin to even approach the savings envisioned by Reithofer.
The Beijing Motor Show is just a couple of weeks away, and BMW wouldn't miss out on the opportunity to show off its latest wares to one of its most vital markets. So when the doors open in Beijing, BMW will showcase the new 2 Series Active Tourer, 2 Series Coupe, M3 and M4, 4 Series Gran Coupe and X4. It will also introduce the i3 and i8 to China for the first time. But those are all models we've seen already. What's new is... wait for it... the 7 Series Horse Edition.
Not celebrating horses so much as the Year of the Horse, this special edition 7 Series is based on the long-wheelbase model and comes with all manner of M equipment packages, a special paint job from BMW Individual and unique touches inside and out. BMW isn't saying which engine it features, but it sells the series in China in 730Li, 740Li, 750Li, 760Li and ActiveHybrid forms, with rear- or all-wheel drive. Given that the one pictured is wearing an xDrive badge, it would have to be either the 740Li or 750Li, but buyers will presumably be able to order it in whichever spec they desire.
While it may not be as exciting as the 9 Series concept BMW is rumored to have lined up for the Beijing show as well, you can bet that the Bavarian automaker will find plenty of buyers for this extra-special, extra-Chinese, extra-equestrian luxury sedan, and command a healthy premium from each and every one of them.