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      08-30-2012, 04:40 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by Matski View Post
It really is quite simple, if you want a 3 series, you buy the saloon...
Close, but not quite. If you want a 3-series, you buy the Touring.
If you want the same size car, but inexplicably demand a smaller cargo capacity, you buy the sedan.
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      08-30-2012, 04:41 PM   #134
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Cadbury makes chocolate bars. Then they decide to put stuff in those bars to make a variety. First nuts, then fruit bits, then caramel, then salt, then spicy peppers, it keeps going. The whole time, they slowly lower the quality of cocoa because their costs have gone up on secondary products.

Is it any different than spending R&D on seven dash boards, seats designs, arm rests, etc, where you used to have two?
I think you're radically over simplifying the process and rather under-estimating BMW on this one.
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      08-30-2012, 05:07 PM   #135
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I think you're radically over simplifying the process and rather under-estimating BMW on this one.
So you buy the hype? Count me as one that doesn't. BMW may increase their sales over the short term, but I strongly suspect that they will start to see (if they haven't already) a decline in customer retention.

Porsche is a fantastic example (if you ignore their epic fail of trying to buy VW) of how to expand your product lines while keeping focused on your core product. Few will argue that the 991 and 981 aren't better than the one or two generations before them, while they've added trucks and sedans to their product line. They kept their core customers happy and brought in new ones with new product.

BMW did this with MINI and start of the X line, but appears to think they can duplicate this trend by making fwd BMW's, which I think will likely go down in history as a tragically poor decision, as will the continued fragmentation of the core product line at the expense of the core product.
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      08-30-2012, 05:32 PM   #136
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So you buy the hype? Count me as one that doesn't. BMW may increase their sales over the short term, but I strongly suspect that they will start to see (if they haven't already) a decline in customer retention.
It's not about hype - I wasn't referring to whether or not the GT will be a sales success. But, I believe you are totally missing some key points when judging the costs and profitability of developing these new models, and I think you totally under-estimate BMW's ability to manage these costs and exploit potential savings, not least in economies of scale/spreading fixed costs.

Quote:
Porsche is a fantastic example (if you ignore their epic fail of trying to buy VW) of how to expand your product lines while keeping focused on your core product. Few will argue that the 991 and 981 aren't better than the one or two generations before them, while they've added trucks and sedans to their product line. They kept their core customers happy and brought in new ones with new product.
Yes, Porsche are also a great example of how people over-react - thinking the world will end when their beloved brand diversifies,.. and then it all turns out fine! And also how lower volume vehicles can still be highly profitable.

Quote:
BMW did this with MINI and start of the X line, but appears to think they can duplicate this trend by making fwd BMW's, which I think will likely go down in history as a tragically poor decision, as will the continued fragmentation of the core product line at the expense of the core product.
Only time will tell if FWD work out or not, and I agree it's a massive risk, and also.. of all their new models over the last 40 years, it's the one I find least desirable.

It's not BMW diversifying and adding to it's core range that it is the risk at all as far as I'm concerned, it's when they meddle with existing products that causes the problem, IMO. (edit ~ I can totally understand why Americans feel that withdrawing the Touring, and offering the GT instead IS meddling with existing products, but you have to understand, this ONLY relates to the US market - (and that's a situation triggered by an obvious statistical dislike of Tourings by Americans) - and it doesn't actually impact on the validity of the GT as a model that people may or may not want to buy).

When the 3er becomes FWD only, I'll join you all in the riots outside the Four Cylinder building. Until then, I'll be enjoying the choices.
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      08-30-2012, 06:12 PM   #137
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in fairness to Scott he was refering to a number of products in that comment. X cars are superbly successful and X5 after 6 years is still the best selling car in its class and pretty much is a looker in everyone eyes. new X3 has also come top of its class in almost every competitive test. F20 might look controversial to some but fundumentally is a good car and it would be a big seller regardless. as for this 3GT I am not against it and in all my previous post I have actually praised what I have seen so far and can see the logic behind it. real controversy would start in few weeks when the FWD 1 series is released but I suppose that is for another discussion
The X1 is a miss, the X3 (was) a miss and also a driving failure, not worthy the BMW brand by miles, the X5 is not ugly but a "truck" with decent dynamics and an X6 is... well, I don't really know. The M variants of both latter species are a joke really.

The (new) X3 and X5 I can understand for EBITDA reasons (cash the money to do something nice with it). As an enthousiast, I will keep a save and long distance from them and gladly let them produce money for the company.

I'am not against the 3GT either, a decent quality mid class hatch with RWD should have a market! But please, give it some elegant style please. An ugly or a classy design can cost the same. So why don't opt for the latter?
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      08-30-2012, 06:47 PM   #138
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My question is, why does the 3GT even matter to you if you are not in the market for it and what brand do you now see as a better fit?

I am asking because the dilution rationale to me with BMW doesn't fit because they are not making cars that compete against each other like GM. The material and build quality is improving and if BMW didn't take this route they would have been bought out by another company by now and the product would be no where near as good as it is today. BMW has never taken a step back with a product end is the benchmark in nearly every segment.

There are different levels within the BMW line for basically every consumer and truth be told, the M135i is better than any sports package or M sport car BMW has ever built and it doesn't carry the premium price of a 1M for example.

Looks are subjective and the more I see the new 1, it grows on me and surely someone will copy it and it will be even more mainstream.

I just don't see the logic in people complaining about a single product and how it will prevent them from buying something in the brand. That's like saying you dislike Cadbury milk chocolate bars with nuts in them so you won't buy anything Cadbury because of that even though they offer bars without nuts...

The term dilution is used here (and by many I presume) mainly in two contextual meanings:

1. When you don't aim at 1 cause but start persuing multiple targets, you'll lose focus and chances you hit the mark are down. For BMW I believed this single mark was bringing "drivers cars" into the premium segment, affordable for the many.
2. Bmw, and this is even worse, is no longer committed to deliver the ultimate driving machine. They want to take their part of the cake of which WV and Toyota are having a feast now. BMW can do this, by further destressing the need to build "ultimate driving cars", since Toyota and VW are not doing that either. Just build the car that causes the least destress to an ignorant buyer. Whether it's a drivers one or not, is not the issue any more.

The M135i is a drivers peach to the first press reviews. This is what a bimmer should be. But lately, raving press on new bimmers is not so omnipresent any more as in the past.

Concerning better fit? When I have to pay X€ for a 3GT, and I can buy a Ford Mondeo for no more than X€ that wins the comparison test in some magazine tests that are properly motivated, I'll by the Ford. I agree 3GT is probably on top now, but new passat is coming, like new mondeo, or Mazda 6. Gap is narrowing, that is certain.

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      08-30-2012, 06:51 PM   #139
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I think you are overestimating BMW abilities also. at the end of the day BMW is about making money and keeping the shareholders happy. the extra cost of R&D and and new production processes specially for the new FWD platform has to bo recouped somehow and that does translate into cost cutting in other areas.
I certainly don't believe they are immune, but I'm sure their business strategy, financial planning, research & development, product development, procurement, process engineering, manufacturing, quality control, and marketing is a little more complex and slightly better thought out than your single paragraph of objection.

Besides which FWD isn't rocket science and it certainly isn't new to BMW Group, the UKL platform will be common to other vehicles, and why would the rest be any more expensive than developing any other car.

I am 100% sure that the i8 and i3 are bigger financial risks to BMW than the FWD platform.. they are more likely to fail, and are bound to be way less profitable, and BMW created the whole BMW-i sub brand to promote them.... if you want to worry about anything worry about the i8 flopping, not the 1GT.
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      08-30-2012, 06:55 PM   #140
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Concerning better fit? When I have to pay X for a 3GT, and I can buy a Ford Mondeo for no more than X that wins the comparison test in some magazine tests that are properly motivated, I'll by the Ford. I agree 3GT is probably on top now, but new passat is coming, like new mondeo, or Mazda 6. Gap is narrowing, that is certain.
So you would buy a FWD Ford, over a RWD BMW, because a magazine said so, and you want to criticise BMW for not making drivers cars anymore?

That doesn't make sense to me.
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      08-30-2012, 07:11 PM   #141
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What are you going to buy that will be any different? Audi, Mercedes? To buy in to those brands will have you moving much further away from what BMW is/was, and they are both doing exactley what BMW is anyway - filling niches to capture further demographics. And for what reason, to get a sportier drive?... generally speaking, in any category they offer a model for the BMW is the benchmark for the driving experience - maybe the gap is closer now than it was... but hey, this is the 6th generation of BMW 3 series we're talking about here - it's about time the competition caught up a bit!
I agree that F30 is on still on top, besides, who am I to doubt that, the entire world press is there to prove that point!

Than the hatchback thing... several manufacturers have confessed that hatchback in this segment is no longer profitable. When you go for sedan and touring, than you cover the market perfectly.

I see the hatchback and crossovers like Audi A5 and Passat CC, and to be frank, what kind of morphed wanabees are they? They pretend to be family, sporty and stylish in one, they are none of these. Then You see these 3GT spy pictures and the BMW version is even worse. I highly doubt anybody is making cash on these variants.

So my comment is maybe too harsh, I think F30 rules, and by a serious margin! But I don't think BMW has to try out all those hidious variants they plan to do. Just invest in becoming even "better", not "omnipresent".
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      08-30-2012, 07:47 PM   #142
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So you would buy a FWD Ford, over a RWD BMW, because a magazine said so, and you want to criticise BMW for not making drivers cars anymore?

That doesn't make sense to me.
Matski, Certainly the opinion I have is highly determined on reviews by magazines. I do believe that car reporters are more skilled than I'am and they have the time to test all these goodies. I don't. I guess that evo, topgear, autocar,autoexpress, carmagazine, autozeitung, automotorundsport, autobild, caranddriver, motortrend and some others have a lead concerning evaluating new cars.

For example, I read the good press on the M135i and I would buy that car on a glance based on the omnipresent feedback towards drivers values. But I also read undetermined press on the 125d, the 6-series, the 5GT. Or do I just ignore all of that and believe my own opinion, based on any hands on experience, weights more? Based on what actually? Or have you driven the 50+ new car releases the last 2 months yourself?

The 5 last cars I've lived with last 12 years where also BMWs for in total about 800.000 kms, and I appreciated their balance, their lack of torque steer, the fact they felt composed and rigid, you feel the front wheels in the steering, the firm shift change, their motoring efficiency, and some more. I see this reflected in the reviews to a high degree, so there is the congruence between what I read and feel.

The point is that you're conscious and pre-occupied about the driving charateristics and dynamics of the car, when you value that, the BMW has an advantage. When you value space efficieny and low cost, and traction in the snow you'd better go elsewhere.

Just my 2 cents.

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      08-30-2012, 08:57 PM   #143
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well, I don't see it as "my car"; however, I give it a credit for having much better proportions vs. 5GT. And with a diesel engine and xDrive this car to me makes more sense than an SUV (of similar interior size).

well done BMW (so far) but like many fans are complaining, I too wonder if with so many models, quality and tradition will eventually suffer....
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      08-31-2012, 12:32 AM   #144
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more spy shots

Ok, back to analyzing the spy shots! MotorAuthority.com posted some more spy pics of a white 3gt, including some interior shots. Of note is that you can now see some of the interior, one of which gives more insight into the Hofmeister kink. Looking at this picture leads me to believe that it will be much more subtle than usual.



Here is the link to the article:
http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1...ismo-spy-shots

IMO, it looks sleeker in these pictures.
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      08-31-2012, 01:26 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by KoenG View Post
Matski, Certainly the opinion I have is highly determined on reviews by magazines. I do believe that car reporters are more skilled than I'am and they have the time to test all these goodies. I don't. I guess that evo, topgear, autocar,autoexpress, carmagazine, autozeitung, automotorundsport, autobild, caranddriver, motortrend and some others have a lead concerning evaluating new cars.

For example, I read the good press on the M135i and I would buy that car on a glance based on the omnipresent feedback towards drivers values. But I also read undetermined press on the 125d, the 6-series, the 5GT. Or do I just ignore all of that and believe my own opinion, based on any hands on experience, weights more? Based on what actually? Or have you driven the 50+ new car releases the last 2 months yourself?

The 5 last cars I've lived with last 12 years where also BMWs for in total about 800.000 kms, and I appreciated their balance, their lack of torque steer, the fact they felt composed and rigid, you feel the front wheels in the steering, the firm shift change, their motoring efficiency, and some more. I see this reflected in the reviews to a high degree, so there is the congruence between what I read and feel.

The point is that you're conscious and pre-occupied about the driving charateristics and dynamics of the car, when you value that, the BMW has an advantage. When you value space efficieny and low cost, and traction in the snow you'd better go elsewhere.

Just my 2 cents.
I think that your determination on a product that is best for you based on what others say is misguided. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but many of those larger publications have their own agenda, they have their own desire to feel they can make a company change its product portfolio and many of those reviewers can't drive or even take the time to learn a product. I have seen it all too many times first hand.

Controversy also sells magazines- if you say that the BMW Y model sucks it is going to sell paper. There are also the conflicts of interest with advertisers and the general way a magazine targets its demographic; an enthusiast publication is going to like harsher more performance oriented products while a more lux mag is going to like a smoother ride and plush fittings.

There are few out there in the mainstream media that shoot straight and they are often ousted by the editors or bounce from publication to publication- Chris Harris is a prime example.

Sure- take those reviews as a means to get some info but always do your due diligence and get behind the wheel- there is a huge difference between a Mondeo and any BMW; but there is an agenda there... as is there with Land Rover and Jag products- drive an Evoque and you will understand that it is mediocre at best and that the worst BMW is leaps and bounds better yet one received countless accolades recently.

I try very hard to shoot from the hip and review honestly- I have no conflicting interests and believe that being honest is in best interest to everyone involved, but that is only possible when you do things for the right reasons and not just money or pressure from sponsors. Consumer Reports while they may not be enthusiast oriented usually does a fair review of mainstream products...
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      08-31-2012, 01:27 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Terpinator View Post
Ok, back to analyzing the spy shots! MotorAuthority.com posted some more spy pics of a white 3gt, including some interior shots. Of note is that you can now see some of the interior, one of which gives more insight into the Hofmeister kink. Looking at this picture leads me to believe that it will be much more subtle than usual.



Here is the link to the article:
http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1...ismo-spy-shots

IMO, it looks sleeker in these pictures.
Red plates... we are going to see this thing real soon and take note of the dash pictures... it is not the same as the F30.

Last edited by mapezzul; 08-31-2012 at 04:18 AM.
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      08-31-2012, 03:54 AM   #147
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How is BMW making a FWD any different from when they bought, raped and sold Land Rover for the Range Rover technology and then made ... OMG!!1111 an SUV! It isn't. And yet you laud over the X3 and X5 as if they're an integral part of this wonderful thing you call the BMW brand. Oh, and go and drive a Focus RS or a CTR and then tell me you can't make a FWD driver's car.

It's just a car, people.
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      08-31-2012, 05:35 AM   #148
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How is BMW making a FWD any different from when they bought, raped and sold Land Rover for the Range Rover technology and then made ... OMG!!1111 an SUV! It isn't. And yet you laud over the X3 and X5 as if they're an integral part of this wonderful thing you call the BMW brand. Oh, and go and drive a Focus RS or a CTR and then tell me you can't make a FWD driver's car.

It's just a car, people.
It's the perception, rightly or wrongly that FWD do not fit with either 'Premium' or 'Sporting'. When the X5 was developed it maintained a premium image.

I personally don't like FWD, but there's no doubt there are some great drivers cars that are FWD. Will the 1GT be one? I don't know.

The fact is both Mercedes and Audi have been selling FWD cars for years... even the A8 has been offered with FWD and truth be told, it hasn't damaged their reputations that much has it.

The only reason why BMW exists today, is because in the past it has made cars the public not just wanted, but needed also. If they had stuck fast to making big expensive saloons they would have been bought by Daimler after the 501 and 502 faded away.
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      08-31-2012, 06:12 AM   #149
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Yeah I hear ya but as you say, there are plenty of FWD cars that are both premium and sporting
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      08-31-2012, 07:29 AM   #150
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The M135i is a drivers peach to the first press reviews. This is what a bimmer should be.
Sure it may be, but for example how many will BMW sell in the UK? The bread and butter models will be 'boring' 116/118i's and 116/118d diesels. Try and find a used 135i from the last generation in the UK, pretty rare cars.

You can't have a volume maker basing hopes on cars like the M135i and be sure you won't go out of business.

I guess the customer determines what BMW makes, and as long as the base models sell in volume, a few can enjoy the niche market cars.

I remember the time when BMW had to make the decision if cars like the 3-series would remain quite exclusive. Released from the 'exclusive' philosophy and into selling volume, was BMW's salvation at the time. Read the history, they almost went out of business.

I see them spreading risk these days.

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      08-31-2012, 08:34 AM   #151
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But they're not a sports car, is my point. BMW, for years, made "sporty" cars. CARS being the operative word here. And then they made a bunch of 4x4 SUVs. And now they're going to make a FWD small car. Haters will always hate but BMW are being very sensible and a tiny, tiny, demographic of idiots who think BMW are somehow only allowed to make vehicles which fit their preconceptions of the brand or BMW are somehow "selling out" isn't going to change their minds - thankfully!
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      08-31-2012, 08:39 AM   #152
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I don't doubt that BMW can make a decent fwd car, the MINI already has been a pretty fun car. What I don't really comprehend is why they'd choose to spread some of their limited bandwidth from a core lineup of rwd cars to also cover a fwd market. If I want an econobox, I already have a ton of choices. If I want a rwd sedan with a manual and a good motor, I tend to look to BMW.

The X3 and X5, as well as the Z cars have brought in non-traditional customers by utilizing existing platforms in new shapes and configurations. The 3GT is a continuation of this, so perhaps my fears of it's existence are overstated. But reaching out into the fwd world, with a chassis that isn't shared with MINI just seems fruitless.

I'm sure BMW could design a cool coffee grinder, or a smart phone, but I can't imagine that the market would likely give a single hoot. The phrase stick to what you know comes to mind.
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      08-31-2012, 08:43 AM   #153
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Wow ... like Apple sticking to making personal computers, yeah? Or Lamborghini making tractors for that matter ... or BMW making aeroplanes for the Nazis.

Look, if you want a RWD and a BMW, guess what - you can buy one! But the difference is that other people ... you know, the rest of the world, who want a different type of car ... now have a BMW to chose from. BMW sells more cars. Win.

I really don't get this assumption (and it really is nothing more than an assumption) that somehow BMW is incapable of making more than a sports sedan without "diluting the gene pool" somehow. That's cack. they're a massive company who know what they're doing.
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      08-31-2012, 08:45 AM   #154
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Did you known that the BMW 5er Gran Turismo has sold over 65,000 units globally since its European introduction in November 2009?

The popular markets are Europe , Asia and Russia.

5er Gran Turismo's leaving the production line for Asia are now Individual specification. Chinese buyers see the 5er GT as a more luxurious and exclusive to the "everyone has" 5er Li model.

The 5er GT achieves and in some cases exceeds BMW's set target of 10% from total BMW 5er units.

The 5er GT is a low volume model so set targets are lower.

The Majority of 5er GT customers are new to the BMW brand.

BMW 5er GT owners surveyed say the best thing about the car is the interior and flexibility on offer.


Sorry but that award still stays with you for saying this.

Quote:
The X1 is a miss, the X3 (was) a miss and also a driving failure, not worthy the BMW brand by miles, the X5 is not ugly but a "truck" with decent dynamics and an X6 is... well, I don't really know. The M variants of both latter species are a joke really.
The X1 is in demand , even more so now the USA finally get the X1.
And is a huge success in all markets. The X1 will soon begin production in China. With the X1 and the MINI Countryman BMW proved that two existing concepts can co-exist with each other under different brands and meet specific sales targets. The MINI Countryman is globally the best selling MINI model.

The new X3 is a huge success BMW's specific market targets have been exceeded , even the previous generation X3 managed to be sold to 640,000 customers since introduction in late 2003.
The X3 was the original BMW growth machine and started the ball rolling for BMW's SAV line. Demand for a smaller X5 was there. BMW pioneered the idea for the premium market and then everyone followed.

The X5 is more , much more than just a truck , it is the segment leader for those that prefer on-road ability as a priority. BMW do not call their X models SUVs. BMW prefer Sport Activity Vehicles because it embodies BMW's standard of dynamics and driving pleasure in a more commercial package.
The X5 will be replaced next year by a third generation model yet there is still a demand for the X5.

The X6 is another example of how two similar concepts can co-exist.
Originally the USA was expected to be the largest market for the X6 , it did not . The largest markets for the X6 are China , Russia , Brazil and the Middle-East. Demand for the X6 is not only in new car sales but also approved X6 is in demand which brings one of the reasons for a smaller , accessible X4 model developed like the X6 from the X3. The X4 is a product with a very high return rate and it will be popular with those that want an X6 but cannot afford one. From the 20d EfficientDynamics right through to the storming
X4M there will be an X4 for everybody.

The X5M and X6M are known as "volume"models.
They might not sell in huge models but for an M model they outsell all other M models. Again emerging markets are responsible for these cars , which BMW still sell in high quantities. Demand for an X6M is also a reason why BMW are moving into developing an X4M. A more accessible option for potential X6 and M customers.

The emphasis on the SAV line is because the luxury market is in decline for large sedans and Coupes but rising for super SUVs and four door inspired Coupe's. Hence why the new Range Rover looks more upmarket and why Bentley and Lamborghini have shown exclusive SUV concepts.
BMW will not be alone and are developing a bigger X7 model to take advantage of this. Development mules using extended X5 bodies are in testing.
The high end luxury market is also rising which is why Rolls-Royce are readying the Ghost Coupe and Drophead.

Quote:
I'am not against the 3GT either, a decent quality mid class hatch with RWD should have a market! But please, give it some elegant style please. An ugly or a classy design can cost the same. So why don't opt for the latter?
The 3er GT and 5er GT have to fullfil realistic requirements so there is a reason why the cars look as they are , to do so without would mean a car that looks more like a van with windows. The stylish approach with a combination of Coupe and luxury car reminds us that it is more exclusive than a R-Klasse etc and therefore more appealing to the customer.
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