BMW and Toyota are co-developing a midsize sports car, a project that recently moved to "concept stage" following the completion of a feasibility study. But why can't two powerful automakers like BMW and Toyota develop their own sports cars?
Most likely it's because the potential volume for modern sports cars does not warrant the investment.
"The sports car market is roughly half of what it used to be," Ian Robertson, BMW's head of sales, told Bloomberg. "Post-2008, it just collapsed. I'm not so sure it'll ever fully recover."
The problem, Robertson said, is that in Europe and North America, the car's role as a status symbol has diminished as SUVs and crossovers become more popular.
And in China and emerging markets, he said, hot weather, pollution and a penchant for chauffeur-driven limousines have made sports cars less popular among richer clients.