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      08-29-2019, 09:44 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by stefan View Post
The "typical" BMW driver is driving an M2 or 340 these days. The new BMW driver is the Hyundai driver who shells out 10% more to get a BMW badge and gets an X1/X3 etc.
I'll admit I don't know or fully understand the US market, but living around BMW since the 1970's in the UK, note the changes and trends in the market over here.

We had a move years back, to more folks buying into the premium sector, where the Germans excel. BMW became the company car driver's choice, from the most humble, through to the top end models. One key reason, costs. With decent residual values, discerning fleet managers, saw how to keep the employees happy, at the same time controlling fleet costs, not changing much over the mundane brands. BMW has been a successful high mileage workhorse, whatever model level users have been driving.

Private buyers also aspired to own premium brands.

Yes, BMW has been rated as the 'driver's choice', just as Merc gained a reputation for being a 'Taxi', over here in Europe. Audi has had a slightly different following. Many choose the VAG brands, Audi the obvious top end choice. I have to say many BMW cars (just like Merc and Audi) are not performance models. Largest sales are for the smaller capacity engines.

Due to the high percentage of company car use, fulfilling comfort, luxuries, tech', connectivity, (BMW, Merc & Audi) are high on the list of priorities. This trend has been going on for 20+ years. It's only going in one direction, from my observation.
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      08-29-2019, 10:05 AM   #222
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well, when I was in London, pre-financial crisis the "black car" was MB E class, post financial crisis it was Ford, don't remember ever gotten BMW as hire car (these are pre uber days)
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      08-29-2019, 10:16 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by stefan View Post
I do believe that to be the case. Look at it this way, BMW got to where it is, sales wise, by having fun to drive vehicles. X series cars have always been slightly sportier than their direct competition. BMW accomplished this through differentiated parts and setups. Now they are ditching that approach. I'm calling it now; the gap will narrow, BMW won't pull ahead in sales. The cars are so close now between the germans that sales will come down to whoever has 0% financing or doesnt charge for android auto or whatever.
You're definitely looking at this through a BMW-specific rose colored vacuum. How many vehicles does BMW sell now vs the early 90s (pre-e36)? In addition, drivetrain and powertrain technology progress substantially over time---the current cars have a much better balance of sport and luxury than something like an e30. The reality is, the e30 325 was a step up in the performance and luxury balance over a 2002. A 340 is a step up in the same vs an e30 325.

The reality is BMW is in a MUCH better position than they've ever been. They can now make cars for people who have no interest in the sporty aspect of BMW---they like the build quality, perceived durability/safety, and many just like the badge. They don't need to own a BMW that would essentially be an unacceptable trade-off to those people. And yet, the company still offers some very compelling options for those who want more sport. I recently drove G20 340 and it was fantastic. It was a perfect sporty car for the street. You couldn't pay me to buy a base model 3 series, but the 340 is awesome. If you only drive on the street, there really is no need for an M3. Why not make cars that are more appealing to more people? Seems like smart business if you rely on volume to make money.


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The "typical" BMW driver is driving an M2 or 340 these days. The new BMW driver is the Hyundai driver who shells out 10% more to get a BMW badge and gets an X1/X3 etc.

The reality is that the entry level BMW (do you remember the e30 318--not the IS, just the regular 318) is always for people who are looking to get a taste for the brand---that's the whole reason they exist! To step up from more pedestrian brands. Back in the day, I would have much rather owned a VW GTI 2.0 16v than a base 318 all day long. No thanks!
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      08-29-2019, 10:08 PM   #224
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Originally Posted by stefan View Post
The "typical" BMW driver is driving an M2 or 340 these days. The new BMW driver is the Hyundai driver who shells out 10% more to get a BMW badge and gets an X1/X3 etc.
I'll admit I don't know or fully understand the US market, but living around BMW since the 1970's in the UK, note the changes and trends in the market over here.

We had a move years back, to more folks buying into the premium sector, where the Germans excel. BMW became the company car driver's choice, from the most humble, through to the top end models. One key reason, costs. With decent residual values, discerning fleet managers, saw how to keep the employees happy, at the same time controlling fleet costs, not changing much over the mundane brands. BMW has been a successful high mileage workhorse, whatever model level users have been driving.

Private buyers also aspired to own premium brands.

Yes, BMW has been rated as the 'driver's choice', just as Merc gained a reputation for being a 'Taxi', over here in Europe. Audi has had a slightly different following. Many choose the VAG brands, Audi the obvious top end choice. I have to say many BMW cars (just like Merc and Audi) are not performance models. Largest sales are for the smaller capacity engines.

Due to the high percentage of company car use, fulfilling comfort, luxuries, tech', connectivity, (BMW, Merc & Audi) are high on the list of priorities. This trend has been going on for 20+ years. It's only going in one direction, from my observation.
In the US 1/3 of all sales are leases. Almost every luxury German is initially sold as a lease. Lexus is really the only luxury brand which has a large contingent of long term ownership.

IMO the average car owner in the US wants the lowest cost of ownership with durability a close second. US car owners can't eat a $5k repair bill on a vehicle that's less than 6 yrs old.
They just don't have the liquidity.
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      08-30-2019, 09:29 AM   #225
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Like collectors of analog watches, valve amplifiers and LPs, I'm of the opinion that analog cars designed with driving dynamics in mind, will be supplied by boutique specialty manufacturers in the future. Think Singer-like, hopefully across a broader range of price points, to be accessible to more consumers.

I also think the reason BMW leaves such a bitter-taste for some of us is because the brand used to define the concept of a sport-sedan, a car that could be both practical for a family as well as fun to drive. Believe it or not, BMW was a viable alternative to Porsche. Today, the brand seems to be chasing Prius, while surrendering the entire concept of driving dynamics. The F generation was generally perceived as a step backward in terms of driving dynamics and materials quality.

Ironically, the type of cars Germany used to design and produce are now sourced from Detroit and Korea. Think Cadillac ATS, 'Vette, Camaro, Mustang, GT, and the very respectable Kia Stinger and Genesis. The German car industry reminds me of Detroit in the 60s-70s. Detroit sold cars that were the envy of the world, until they got lazy, and didn't. I see similar behavior in teh German auto industry today.

I'm also of the opinion that a prime driver for these changes are the personalities and bios of the decision makers in management and the BoD. Imagine working at a Detroit Big 3 in the 70s, 80s, 90s. It could not have been for the universal praise, especially as compared with the German and Japanese products. Those people who stayed and made a career, are now Directors, VPs, and CXOs, and I think that they have very big chips on their shoulders as a result of living through 'the bad old days'. They have something to prove, hence cars like the C8 Corvette making it to production, while Germany races to a homogenous and generic destination. And Korean cars? Thank Kia for hiring Albert Biermann, former M-Boss from when Munich built its most iconic designs.

Albert Biermann to become Hyundai head of R&D


Quote:
Originally Posted by duder13 View Post
The question is, who is going to keep making cars for these enthusiasts? I guess it would be Lotus, if we're talking only sports cars, but I'm not sure who it will be for more pragmatic, sporty cars. That kind of car may simply die off.
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      08-30-2019, 09:49 AM   #226
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If you've got an Xbox one 10 minutes sounds like a dream!
I find it funny that people say kids have absolutely no attention span THESE days. When I had an N64 as a kid you just slapped that cartridge in there and went. I bought F1 2019, and was super excited to play it, and the first thing i had to do was sit there and download a 1gig update that took like 25 minutes to install. 10 year old me would have exploded.
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      08-30-2019, 10:27 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by stefan View Post
The "typical" BMW driver is driving an M2 or 340 these days. The new BMW driver is the Hyundai driver who shells out 10% more to get a BMW badge and gets an X1/X3 etc.
I'll admit I don't know or fully understand the US market, but living around BMW since the 1970's in the UK, note the changes and trends in the market over here.

We had a move years back, to more folks buying into the premium sector, where the Germans excel. BMW became the company car driver's choice, from the most humble, through to the top end models. One key reason, costs. With decent residual values, discerning fleet managers, saw how to keep the employees happy, at the same time controlling fleet costs, not changing much over the mundane brands. BMW has been a successful high mileage workhorse, whatever model level users have been driving.

Private buyers also aspired to own premium brands.

Yes, BMW has been rated as the 'driver's choice', just as Merc gained a reputation for being a 'Taxi', over here in Europe. Audi has had a slightly different following. Many choose the VAG brands, Audi the obvious top end choice. I have to say many BMW cars (just like Merc and Audi) are not performance models. Largest sales are for the smaller capacity engines.

Due to the high percentage of company car use, fulfilling comfort, luxuries, tech', connectivity, (BMW, Merc & Audi) are high on the list of priorities. This trend has been going on for 20+ years. It's only going in one direction, from my observation.
In the US 1/3 of all sales are leases. Almost every luxury German is initially sold as a lease. Lexus is really the only luxury brand which has a large contingent of long term ownership.

IMO the average car owner in the US wants the lowest cost of ownership with durability a close second. US car owners can't eat a $5k repair bill on a vehicle that's less than 6 yrs old.
They just don't have the liquidity.
Yet Lexus has as bad resale value as everybody else, so they are taking the hit right in the a** too.
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      08-30-2019, 10:56 AM   #228
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The only reason why we chose it was because of it being a 4 Door, Manual, fast/quick well handling car. Take any of those away and you have a very small pool of cars to choose from.
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      08-30-2019, 10:58 AM   #229
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Sounds like mazda is going to make a sky active (so ~14.5: 1 compression ratio) normally aspirated inline 6 rwd sedan soon. Color me interested!

Here's hoping for steering feel and a manual trans!
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      08-30-2019, 11:25 AM   #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetsuo111 View Post
Like collectors of analog watches, valve amplifiers and LPs, I'm of the opinion that analog cars designed with driving dynamics in mind, will be supplied by boutique specialty manufacturers in the future. Think Singer-like, hopefully across a broader range of price points, to be accessible to more consumers.

I also think the reason BMW leaves such a bitter-taste for some of us is because the brand used to define the concept of a sport-sedan, a car that could be both practical for a family as well as fun to drive. Believe it or not, BMW was a viable alternative to Porsche. Today, the brand seems to be chasing Prius, while surrendering the entire concept of driving dynamics. The F generation was generally perceived as a step backward in terms of driving dynamics and materials quality.

Ironically, the type of cars Germany used to design and produce are now sourced from Detroit and Korea. Think Cadillac ATS, 'Vette, Camaro, Mustang, GT, and the very respectable Kia Stinger and Genesis. The German car industry reminds me of Detroit in the 60s-70s. Detroit sold cars that were the envy of the world, until they got lazy, and didn't. I see similar behavior in teh German auto industry today.

I'm also of the opinion that a prime driver for these changes are the personalities and bios of the decision makers in management and the BoD. Imagine working at a Detroit Big 3 in the 70s, 80s, 90s. It could not have been for the universal praise, especially as compared with the German and Japanese products. Those people who stayed and made a career, are now Directors, VPs, and CXOs, and I think that they have very big chips on their shoulders as a result of living through 'the bad old days'. They have something to prove, hence cars like the C8 Corvette making it to production, while Germany races to a homogenous and generic destination. And Korean cars? Thank Kia for hiring Albert Biermann, former M-Boss from when Munich built its most iconic designs.

Albert Biermann to become Hyundai head of R&D
Great points, although I think really only Cadillac grasped onto the old BMW concept...and they're unfortunately not selling well.

The Stinger was almost there, but no manual transmission.
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      08-30-2019, 11:37 AM   #231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
Sounds like mazda is going to make a sky active (so ~14.5: 1 compression ratio) normally aspirated inline 6 rwd sedan soon. Color me interested!

Here's hoping for steering feel and a manual trans!
If anything Mazda aced the EPS and Manual trans (mx5, rx8, mazda3) a long time ago. An I6 RWD sedan from Mazda would be awesome. However since Mazda is such a small player, I don't think anyone would notice. The excellent Mazda6 is not on most folks' radar when it comes to sedans.
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      08-30-2019, 11:53 AM   #232
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Is BMW really struggling?:
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      08-30-2019, 12:22 PM   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530iDriver View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
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Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by stefan View Post
The "typical" BMW driver is driving an M2 or 340 these days. The new BMW driver is the Hyundai driver who shells out 10% more to get a BMW badge and gets an X1/X3 etc.
I'll admit I don't know or fully understand the US market, but living around BMW since the 1970's in the UK, note the changes and trends in the market over here.

We had a move years back, to more folks buying into the premium sector, where the Germans excel. BMW became the company car driver's choice, from the most humble, through to the top end models. One key reason, costs. With decent residual values, discerning fleet managers, saw how to keep the employees happy, at the same time controlling fleet costs, not changing much over the mundane brands. BMW has been a successful high mileage workhorse, whatever model level users have been driving.

Private buyers also aspired to own premium brands.

Yes, BMW has been rated as the 'driver's choice', just as Merc gained a reputation for being a 'Taxi', over here in Europe. Audi has had a slightly different following. Many choose the VAG brands, Audi the obvious top end choice. I have to say many BMW cars (just like Merc and Audi) are not performance models. Largest sales are for the smaller capacity engines.

Due to the high percentage of company car use, fulfilling comfort, luxuries, tech', connectivity, (BMW, Merc & Audi) are high on the list of priorities. This trend has been going on for 20+ years. It's only going in one direction, from my observation.
In the US 1/3 of all sales are leases. Almost every luxury German is initially sold as a lease. Lexus is really the only luxury brand which has a large contingent of long term ownership.

IMO the average car owner in the US wants the lowest cost of ownership with durability a close second. US car owners can't eat a $5k repair bill on a vehicle that's less than 6 yrs old.
They just don't have the liquidity.
Yet Lexus has as bad resale value as everybody else, so they are taking the hit right in the a** too.
Perhaps, but if a typical Lexus owner gets over 100k-150k miles out of a vehicle is resale value even a factor in their eyes?

In any case the automotive market in general is continuing to move towards some form of temporary ownership so who knows.
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      08-30-2019, 12:53 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by duder13 View Post

The Stinger was almost there, but no manual transmission.
I don't know if I would go that far. The Stinger is a MASSIVE car. It's freaking larger than a Bentley Continental GT, for goodness sake.

Nice car for sure, but that thing is more of a huge highway tourer like a 5 series is these days.
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      08-30-2019, 12:57 PM   #235
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I don't know if I would go that far. The Stinger is a MASSIVE car. It's freaking larger than a Bentley Continental GT, for goodness sake.

Nice car for sure, but that thing is more of a huge highway tourer like a 5 series is these days.
Good point. I forgot how big that thing is. I don't see them too often.

Did you see the Stinger GT concept from 5 years ago? That would have been cool:


Last edited by duder13; 08-30-2019 at 01:02 PM..
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      08-30-2019, 01:10 PM   #236
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Good point. I forgot how big that thing is. I don't see them too often.

Did you see the Stinger GT concept from 5 years ago? That would have been cool:

That's much better.
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      08-30-2019, 01:21 PM   #237
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Is BMW really struggling?:
I mean, they fired their CEO because they were unhappy with the performance of the company...
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      08-31-2019, 08:41 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by stefan View Post
The "typical" BMW driver is driving an M2 or 340 these days. The new BMW driver is the Hyundai driver who shells out 10% more to get a BMW badge and gets an X1/X3 etc.
I'll admit I don't know or fully understand the US market, but living around BMW since the 1970's in the UK, note the changes and trends in the market over here.

We had a move years back, to more folks buying into the premium sector, where the Germans excel. BMW became the company car driver's choice, from the most humble, through to the top end models. One key reason, costs. With decent residual values, discerning fleet managers, saw how to keep the employees happy, at the same time controlling fleet costs, not changing much over the mundane brands. BMW has been a successful high mileage workhorse, whatever model level users have been driving.

Private buyers also aspired to own premium brands.

Yes, BMW has been rated as the 'driver's choice', just as Merc gained a reputation for being a 'Taxi', over here in Europe. Audi has had a slightly different following. Many choose the VAG brands, Audi the obvious top end choice. I have to say many BMW cars (just like Merc and Audi) are not performance models. Largest sales are for the smaller capacity engines.

Due to the high percentage of company car use, fulfilling comfort, luxuries, tech', connectivity, (BMW, Merc & Audi) are high on the list of priorities. This trend has been going on for 20+ years. It's only going in one direction, from my observation.
In the US 1/3 of all sales are leases. Almost every luxury German is initially sold as a lease. Lexus is really the only luxury brand which has a large contingent of long term ownership.

IMO the average car owner in the US wants the lowest cost of ownership with durability a close second. US car owners can't eat a $5k repair bill on a vehicle that's less than 6 yrs old.
They just don't have the liquidity.
They own the car only if it has warranty, otherwise they can't effort it. Lol
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      08-31-2019, 10:14 PM   #239
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tetsuo111, I worked at Ford in the 80s and 90s. I have worked in light and heavy vehicle industries for 30 years. I don’t share your view of the German carmakers in the context of the Detroit carmakers from decades ago. Benz and BMW are succeeding in my view, many examples of this.
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      09-01-2019, 10:57 PM   #240
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Is BMW really struggling?:
I mean, they fired their CEO because they were unhappy with the performance of the company...
It's a bit more complicated than that when you have a family or founders really running the company... more politics than a meritocracy
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      09-01-2019, 10:57 PM   #241
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Keep building those grills larger and larger and I can assure sales will be smaller and smaller.
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