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      02-09-2013, 05:19 PM   #1
bencookman
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Price differential of 3 series vs 5 series

I'm interested to understand any thoughts that people might have regarding the price differential between the 3 and 5 series. I'm from the UK and recently moved to the US, and was very surprised to see how much more expensive a 528i would cost to buy as compared to a 328i.

As you can see from the below, where I've tried to align specifications as best as I can, bearing in mind what comes as standard in each country on each model, taking away the fact that the UK price is way higher than the US price in the first price (US sales tax reduces this difference a little), an upgrade from a 328i to a 528i isn't such a big deal price-wise in the UK, but in the US, it's 25% more expensive.

picture sharing

Why might this be? As an aside, the differential is even smaller if you look at a 320d diesel vs a 520d diesel...
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      02-09-2013, 06:48 PM   #2
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I think the answer is simple.... a buck load of 3 series are sold in the states. Making price more competitive.

The diff between 328 and 528 in AU would be about 30k AUD (base model comparison).

Not that many buy 328 here even fewer get the 5 series
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      02-09-2013, 07:08 PM   #3
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Supply and Demand...
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      02-09-2013, 07:26 PM   #4
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Usd vs gbp, actually uk model is 11 k more USD
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      02-09-2013, 08:07 PM   #5
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Frankly, I don't why the 528 is so much more in the US. I used the US's BMW compare models tool to see if anything leapt out. Nothing did. I think it has to do solely with what the market will bear.

To me this is yet another illustration of how stupid BMWs pricing structure is in the US. I have a thread on here about the silliness of the pricing variance between a 320 and a substantively similar 328.

I have a lightly optioned (leather, sport package and heated seats) 335i and a loaded to the gills 535i. I got the 5er because I think the 7 is just too damn big, so I didn't feel bad about spending all that money (close to $70K) for it. And I was happy with my 335 purchase because it came in well under $50K.

I am quite surprised at how much less expensive BMWs are in the UK.
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      02-10-2013, 04:01 AM   #6
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5 series are nice if you are 40/45+. There are less sporty, more executive cars. I think they have different target buyers. Even when they would be priced the same, I'll choose a F30 above a F10 anytime.
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      02-10-2013, 06:43 AM   #7
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Lol, compared to this, we're paying close to $86,000 for an almost fully loaded 328i (no option for 335i) where I am!
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      02-10-2013, 07:06 AM   #8
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      02-10-2013, 09:00 AM   #9
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The 3ers are discounted more in the US than the 5ers are. They'll sell the 3's as "loss leaders" (not reallly) to capture the buyers and bring them into the brand. The thought is that they're likely to move these buyers up to the 5s, 6s, and 7s as the buyers' needs grow. In the UK and other parts of the world the 3er isn't considered a "small" car as it is here in the US. It's more the norm than the exception. The 5er on the other hand would be pretty big in other markets.
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      02-10-2013, 09:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BavarianFanatic View Post
The 3ers are discounted more in the US than the 5ers are. They'll sell the 3's as "loss leaders" (not reallly) to capture the buyers and bring them into the brand. The thought is that they're likely to move these buyers up to the 5s, 6s, and 7s as the buyers' needs grow. In the UK and other parts of the world the 3er isn't considered a "small" car as it is here in the US. It's more the norm than the exception. The 5er on the other hand would be pretty big in other markets.
I think all of this is true.

Maybe it will take 10-20 years for Americans to realize bigger is not always better That's also why the best sold model outside the US (320i) was only introduced last month.
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      02-10-2013, 09:47 AM   #11
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price difference

I made the same calculations a while back and came to a very different conclusion. A couple of caveats. First, I use the invoice for ED, which is what I will pay, having done this several time with my local dealer. Second, I will not buy a car without adjustable lumbar. Unlike with my E90, I am forced to buy the Premium Pkg with the F30, but not with the F10 where I can just buy the sports seats which come with lumbar. Otherwise, my configuration should be pretty comparable. The final caveat is that on BMW config, I could not add the 18 inch wheels for some reason. Anyway, the price for the F30 sport line is 45,510. The price for the 528 is 50,130. Assuming that the wheel upgrade is 1000, that take me to 51130. The F30 is therefore 10% less. I'm attaching the configurations.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf 528x.pdf (12.4 KB, 59 views)
File Type: pdf 328x.pdf (9.3 KB, 57 views)
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      02-10-2013, 11:38 AM   #12
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Add 6%-8% VAT to the US model depending on state or remove your VAT for a fair comparison.
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      02-10-2013, 11:44 AM   #13
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I also think status and where BMW would like to go in competing with Audi and MB has something to do with it. In the states, most people (read not those on this forum) think of the 3 as the economy BMW. Most of those same people do not even know, for example, about the X1, X3 and 1 series etc. The 5 on the otherhand, says "look at me, made it" and it is priced accordingly.
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      02-10-2013, 12:17 PM   #14
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My economist thinking is that BMW prices its cars according to the market. The UK has less competition and a different vision of luxury than the US.
In the US you have low prices on everything that is either mass market and/or highly competitive. You may have a great product but if its not affordable, people won't buy it. The 3 series falls in that category. Yes its still an expensive car but for a luxury car it is quite affordable (lease rates are industry-leading and leases represent 70% of "sales"). People get 3 series as graduation gifts. As a result BMW sells truckloads of them, especially in the northeast and California and big cities.
Also there are lots an lots of cars the Americans truly see as alternatives to the 3 series, such as Acura, Infiniti and Lexus which are not so common in the UK. That keeps prices down.
The 5 series case is different. This is viewed truly as an executive car in the US, and to be perceived so, the price must reflect exclusivity --only a few should be able to afford it.

My $0.02
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