New BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe join a booming segment
Frankfurt will host the all-new BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe. They join the large coupe SUV segment and are expected to benefit from the boost in demand seen in recent months, with interest from the public on the rise after the arrival of the new Audi Q8. In H1 2019 registrations of this kind of SUV increased by 43% to 21,700 units, with the Audi counting for 45% of the total.
In fact, the arrival of the Q8 had a big impact on the current generations of the X6 and GLE Coupe, which have been on the market for several years – meaning that the time is right for a renewal. The BMW X6 now looks bigger with a very futuristic rear side featuring big stop lights. This model was the first coupe SUV to hit the market back in 2008 – and since then, the brand has sold more than 400,000 units.
The success of the X6 forced Mercedes to make its own coupe SUV. The current GLE Coupe was launched in 2015 with sales totalling 160,000 units until June 2019. Its volume counts for 27% of total sales of the GLE family and it is the sporty SUV offer from Mercedes.
Land Rover resuscitates the Defender
Land Rover is set to grow its offer of large SUVs. In addition to the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery, the brand is bringing back the Defender giving it a new lease of life. This time the iconic model is going to be positioned in a different way, keeping its shape and its off-road DNA, but with a more modern look that will appeal to a wider audience.
There is market for such a car, especially in the way Land Rover wants to position the new generation. The SUV universe is so big and so popular that classic off-roads can also find their customers – just look at the Mercedes G-Class, Jeep Wrangler or Suzuki Jimny. This is also the reason behind Ford’s decision to bring the Bronco back. So, what’s changed? The technology driving these popular cars. The new Defender is going to be the first classic iconic off-road to feature alternative fuelled engines.
The appetite for SUVs is so strong that there is room for this kind of vehicle. Global sales of the G-Class soared by 60% in H1 2019. They are not direct competitors, but both have the same off-road essence. Not to mention it is one of the most famous Land Rovers ever, and this can only help from the point of view of brand positioning and awareness. In addition, the Defender electric can help prepare the way for future electric Range Rovers.