Tighter ties with Toyota are on the table at BMW – but low profit cars like convertibles could be cut

Reuters reports the two companies want to further their ties in the development of fuel-cell vehicles and convertibles, with their partnership continuing beyond 2025.

While that assures the future of the Z4 drop-top, BMW’s CEO Oliver Zipse has said other convertibles – as well as coupes – mightn’t survive.

“Coupés, convertibles and roadsters, we will see what will be left,” said Zipse as the company looks to cut costs and reduce the number of models.

In addition to the Z4, BMW currently offers coupe and convertible 2 Series, 4 Series and 8 Series models. Each line also offers a four-door Gran Coupe variant, though the 2 Series Gran Coupe rides a different platform to its coupe counterpart.

The 4 Series has recently entered a new generation and we know a new 2 Series coupe is on the way, though we’ve yet to see a new convertible.

A report from Automobile Magazine last year said the 8 Series coupe and convertible (but not Gran Coupe) were being marked for death, alongside the regular-length 7 Series and 2 Series convertible.

BMW has already ended production of the i8. The company hasn’t just swung its axe at two-door models, either – the 3 Series Gran Turismo has been discontinued.

Any second-generation i3 will also be a dramatically different proposition and lack the outgoing car’s bespoke electric vehicle platform.

While the ranks of two-door BMWs may be thinning, the company sees a future for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles particularly if there’s a push from governments to industrialise hydrogen production.

BMW and Toyota have been working together on this technology since 2013 and signed a product development partnership agreement in 2016.

The X5-based i Hydrogen Next, revealed at last year’s Frankfurt motor show and due in 2022, is the next hydrogen model of which BMW will begin small-series production.

The company wants to offer hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles more widely in 2025, much as Toyota does with its Mirai.

William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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