BMW lines up 40 models to fight Mercedes

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MUNICH: BMW AG plans the biggest rollout of new and revamped models in its history as the luxury-car maker fights back after losing the sales crown to Mercedes-Benz.

Over the next two years, the Munich based manufacturer will unveil 40 variants, including the new X2 compact sport utility vehicle and full-sized X7 SUV.

Chief Executive Officer Harald Krueger is seeking to revitalize growth after profitability fell to a six year low in 2016 and sales slipped behind Mer cedes for the first time in more than a decade.

“We are launching the biggest model offensive ever,“ Krueger said at the annual press conference. “We have started a transformation unlike anyt hing our company has seen before.“

The combative tone marks a turnaround after Krueger, who took charge in 2015, stumbled out of the gates. The revamped 7-Series sedan failed to challenge the Mercedes S-Class, while the redesign of the 5-Series was cautious.Krueger is focusing on profitability instead of sales to conserve resources for a costly shift to an era of self-driving, electric vehicles, with a plan to release the autonomous iNext in 2021.