LOS ANGELES--BMW AG is considering U.S. sales of a diesel version of its redesigned 7 series, the company's top U.S. executive says.
"It wasn't in our plans, but we'll look at it," Jim O'Donnell, president of BMW of North America LLC, said last week. Two weeks ago, U.S. dealers were in Munich to drive the redesigned 7 series, which goes on sale in the United States in March. About half the group drove a diesel.
"They all told me they wanted it," says O'Donnell. "One or two didn't even know they were driving a diesel, and they were honest enough to admit it."
Dealers also drove the 730d with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine. "This isn't even a diesel engine that we're bringing into the States," O'Donnell says.
But Friedrich Eichiner, BMW board member in charge of corporate and brand development, says bringing a 7-series diesel to the United States is "a possibility."
The 7-series diesel, with highway mileage of about 45 mpg, would help BMW address not only future corporate average fuel economy regulations but also a growing demand for more fuel-efficient cars in the United States, Eichiner says.
BMW's new clean diesels, the 335d sedan and X5 xDrive35d crossover, go on sale in the United States next month with engines that use urea systems to meet emissions standards in all 50 states.
(Source: Automotive News)