BMW is filling out its product lineup with the launch of its largest crossover to date.
The new X7, available at U.S. dealerships in March starting at $74,895, addresses a shortcoming in BMW's crossover lineup — a true seven-seater option. The X7 comes standard with three-row seating for seven passengers.
Currently, the X5 crossover offers third-row seating, but is not a full-size SUV, said Akshay Anand, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book.
"Large SUVs tend to fill more "needs" than "wants" for consumers shopping that segment, so BMW will attempt to gain a foothold," Anand said.
The X7 should add incremental sales for BMW, as consumers continue to migrate from cars to crossovers and SUVs.
BMW's U.S. car sales have dipped 11 percent in 2018 while light-truck deliveries have advanced 20 percent.
The large premium crossover segment has grown in each of the last 3 years, including a 13 percent increase in 2017, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Year-to-date, the sector is up nearly 5 percent from the same period a year ago.
The BMW X7 will compete with the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Audi Q7 and Range Rover.
The Mercedes-Benz GLS and Audi Q7 have owned the large luxury utility market for years, said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions. Lexus' RX350L joined the club in 2017.
"When the difference between the top four luxury brands in the U.S. is as narrow as it is, every niche model helps," Fiorani said. "Not only will the X7 provide much needed volume in the three-row crossover market, but it will also generate the additional profit that a high-end model brings."