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      03-28-2012, 05:02 AM   #21
Taipei-TT
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Drives: 2014 X3 2.0D
Join Date: Oct 2009
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it's interesting to note....the majority who find this car ugly are from the very market that BMW is not exporting this model to. And then the other half of that market begs and pleads for these models. This car would not sell in the US. Period.

However, though it still requires me to do a double-take to differentiate it and the new VW Polo, the lines, even the front, are growing on me as the cars become a little more familiar on the streets. Personally, I think the M135, M335, is a very smart strategy for markets outside the US where luxury taxes, displacement taxes, CO2 emission taxes, or all three, make true M cars too expensive for so many buyers. (e.g. a M3 here costs $165 000USD, M5 233 000, and both cars will run about $3000 annual taxation because of large displacement engines) These versions add a premium that makes more profit for BMW, offers a fully-warrantied OEM performance car that is more than enough for most drivers, at a price that is probably not much higher than what it would cost to achieve these numbers in the after-market.

Certainly, the M135 is not a true M car. But this strategy will allow BMW to make true M cars for those markets and individuals who can afford them while also offering a premium, sporty version for people who want more than what the entry level models can offer. BMW seems to have its Asian strategy in gear. Now, if they can just change the market perception in key markets to capitalize on key product development. (e.g China...BMW=old, Audi=awesome)