BMW's chief executive officer Norbert Reithofer has revealed that the company has axed plans to build a larger sport-ute to top the range currently inhabited by the X3, X5 and X6 crossovers. Reithofer cited economic problems in the United States and Europe as the main reason for the cancellation of the program, i.e. sales of SUVs are dropping like a rock.

Meanwhile, other reports suggest that the green light in Munich has been given instead to a smaller crossover to be based on the 1-Series platform, which would enable BMW to expand its X range with an X1 instead of an X7. Smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient is probably a smarter direction to head in these times than bigger, heavier and greater guzzler.

[Sources: Automotive News Europe (subs. req'd) and The Hollywood Extra]