Originally Posted by Propagator
All very good points. We are car enthusiasts. in principle, this should mean not that we are even more badge-whore-y than the general public, but that we know enough to see through the brand name and marketing to recognize a good product when most others can't.
So when an underdog company is trying to catch up with the leaders by offering competitive products at lower prices than the already established competition, I would like to think that it's us the enthusiasts that can see this opportunity and jump on it. I see Hyundai as very much a case study of this in the non-premium segment. And in the premium segment, it seems Audi is increasingly becoming that. Their products are very significantly improved from previous generations, to a point where some of them can be considered class leaders, and yet the pricing is still a bit below BMW and MB, due to the relative lack of prestige. I would be very compelled to look at Audi the next time we are shopping for my wife's car.
Agreed on all counts. Additionally, Audi, as part of VW, is going to have certain economy of scale production advantages over BMW. So will Infiniti, to a lesser extent. This enables them to compete aggressively on price if they choose to.
For the same reasons, there's a certain degree of parts bin sharing happening across VW-Audi/Nissan-Infiniti that doesn't happen with BMW. As a buyer of the premium brand, that bothers you or it doesn't. I do not believe that Audis nor Infinitis are badge-engineered versions of VWs and Nissans. At least not in 2012. But their products and pricing strategies are a little different than BMW because of the sort of companies they are.
For me, Audi design, performance, and prestige are all close enough to BMW to make no matter. But, when I drive or ride in an Audi, I don't get the sense of it being carved from stone as I do with a BMW.