Originally Posted by shivaswrath
Well...the 328i outsells the 335i by a HUGE factor here, so it's not entirely the case...but it is odd.
Let's see how the 320i gamble by BMW shakes out...I suspect it'll be very profitable, especially when competing with the likes of the CLA by MBUSA.
I think it's a gamble. BMW in NA is seen as a luxury car (as is MB). Once you start offering sub $30k versions, you dip in the economy car territory and BMW looses the luster of being luxurious. The reason more people buy the 328 is because it's cheaper, but not so cheap as to not feel like a luxury car model.
Delete all the luxury features and you've pretty much lost that crowd and perception. Like someone else mentioned you could go grab a ford/nissan/honda/hyundai load it up with options and see way more bang for your buck (one could already argue that now though). I personally think it's not a great marketing idea for those that purchase the higher end models, they'll lose their luster. Seeing a $25k model out there doesn't exactly make the guy driving the $70k M3 feel like his brand is truly the ultimate driving machine anymore.
I wont even mention the 7 series. I think Toyota, Honda, and Nissan were on to something by creating a completely different make for their luxury brands. Someone feels like they have a completely different experience in a Lexus versus a Toyota and the perception from others is the same.