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      01-07-2019, 11:54 AM   #1
mose121
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Richer Americans Are Skipping SUVs for Station Wagons

I've made the case before, and as Bloomberg points out, wagon sales are on the rise again. Is BMW dropping the ball by not bringing the G21/G31 3 & 5 series wagons to the U.S.? I'd say yes, yes they are. And hell, they've got to sell better than the 3GT/5GT. My personal belief is that BMW wagon sales haven't slumped in the U.S. because there isn't a market for them. I attribute it more to the fact that BMW has put ZERO marketing effort into selling wagons here in the U.S. for decades, and they only sell the less desirable models in the U.S. market. In just one week of owning our new F31, I've had at least a dozen people come up to me and tell me they didn't even know BMW sold wagons. The complete absence of anything even resembling a marketing effort and the lack of 6 cylinder turbo engine options are what has really killed the BMW wagon off in the U.S. Just look at how awesome the M550d Touring with it's quad turbo's and the BMW M Performance treatment looks. And that torque!!! I'm sure the G21 will be just as impressive, and I believe a G21 M340i Sports Wagon offered with both an automatic and manual trans would sell more units than all U.S. F31's combined.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...station-wagons
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      01-07-2019, 11:55 AM   #2
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I dig wagons. I totally agree. Vovlo V90!!! Yum.
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      01-07-2019, 12:29 PM   #3
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About two months back the U.K. magazine CAR stated in an article that in Europe there has been a switch from SUV's towards wagons, hence a new Peugeot 508 wagon.

BMW like Mercedes wagons (even the Buick wagon) can understand why they appeal to people that could afford anything.
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      01-07-2019, 12:29 PM   #4
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I wish the 1 hatches made it over here. I would have the coupe and the hatch!
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      01-07-2019, 12:42 PM   #5
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This certainly holds true in the more affluent areas of CA and pockets of the East Coast - I see many BMW F31 and Mercedes E63 wagons.

That being said, these fantastic vehicles suffer heavy depreciation and you do not need to be a rich american to experience one. My wife and I picked up a 2011 328xi wagon a few months ago for the cost of a used Camry.

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      01-07-2019, 12:48 PM   #6
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they're cheap and so rare.

This one is local awesome spec.

https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...783591174.html
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      01-07-2019, 12:53 PM   #7
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BMW isn't pushing it because the market is incredibly small. Just because there is growth over 5 years doesn't mean its worth it from a business aspect.

If you scroll down in the article, it states that in the US, wagon sales "accounts for less than 2 percent of the U.S. auto market."
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      01-07-2019, 12:54 PM   #8
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Here's our new F31. Just took delivery on 12/29.
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      01-07-2019, 01:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detroitm2 View Post
BMW isn't pushing it because the market is incredibly small. Just because there is growth over 5 years doesn't mean its worth it from a business aspect.

If you scroll down in the article, it states that in the US, wagon sales "accounts for less than 2 percent of the U.S. auto market."
And what percentage are 3GT/5GT/X4/X6/6 Series sales?

They haven't just failed to push and market wagons, they completely abandoned them altogether. If they're going to sell low volume models like what I mentioned above, they can also sell wagons if they just made a little effort.
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      01-07-2019, 01:33 PM   #10
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The "wagon" moniker is a turnoff, in itself, same as saying "minivan". Find an new acronym (à la "SUV") that's without negative stereotypical associations of yesteryear... add "Sport" to the mix, and you'll see wagons make a broad market comeback. Lots of advantages over an SUV, of course.
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      01-07-2019, 01:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenvillatoro View Post
The "wagon" moniker is a turnoff, in itself, same as saying "minivan". Find an new acronym (à la "SUV") that's without negative stereotypical associations of yesteryear... add "Sport" to the mix, and you'll see wagons make a broad market comeback. Lots of advantages over an SUV, of course.
Maybe something like a 3ST/5ST, with ST standing for Sport Touring.
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      01-07-2019, 02:11 PM   #12
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The Bloomberg article had a conspiciously trollish tone to it, and the author sounds bitter. But, he does make some fair points.

I still believe the CAFE phenomena played a significant role in the death (or near-death) of the station wagon. If true, the EV era could eventually start to turn the tides since, whether a light truck or passenger car, an EV is typically considered to have infinite fuel economy for the purposes of CAFE. Therefore, since range is a huge selling point when it comes to EVs (anecdotally, much more so than fuel economy is for ICE vehicles), and since lighter weight typically means a longer range, the additional heft of an SUV could eventually be seen as a detriment.

In that case, a station wagon is the logical form factor.
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      01-07-2019, 02:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
The Bloomberg article had a conspiciously trollish tone to it, and the author sounds bitter. But, he does make some fair points.

I still believe the CAFE phenomena played a significant role in the death (or near-death) of the station wagon. If true, the EV era could eventually start to turn the tides since, whether a light truck or passenger car, an EV is typically considered to have infinite fuel economy for the purposes of CAFE. Therefore, since range is a huge selling point when it comes to EVs (anecdotally, much more so than fuel economy is for ICE vehicles), and since lighter weight typically means a longer range, the additional heft of an SUV could eventually be seen as a detriment.

In that case, a station wagon is the logical form factor.
I'M BITTER TOO!
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      01-07-2019, 02:21 PM   #14
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Yup. Think it is a big mistake not to bring to the US.
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      01-07-2019, 02:32 PM   #15
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Definitely see a lot of wagons around the San Francisco area. I still see SUVs more for families but wagons are very popular as well.

It's pretty sad that we don't get many of the wagons they sell overseas. Even the ones that they do sell get "Americanized". The Audi A4 Avant is not sold here. Instead we get the Allroad which is lifted and clad in plastic. They assume Americans want a tougher looking off road style wagon - like Subaru.
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      01-07-2019, 02:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mose121 View Post
And what percentage are 3GT/5GT/X4/X6/6 Series sales?
I'm talking about vehicle types, not individual models. There will always be a handful of specific models that do not sell well, but they keep producing for various reasons. The same goes for pretty much any manufacture of cars. A lot of which is just due to the fact they're extremely similar to another model (all the GT's for example), and are relatively cheap to produce in a plant that already has the tooling for their counterparts.

The X series, for example, is largely manufactured inside the US, so even if the X4, and X6 are not selling, they can continue to make them as there are no import concerns.
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      01-07-2019, 02:57 PM   #17
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Had a 7 passenger Kia Sorento before getting my F31 328i Wagon. Have to say, the wagon is a much more thrilling drive.

Americans envision the Griswold's family truckster when they think wagon, and don't realize that wagons are just the sport sedan with more room. Win Win in my book.
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      01-07-2019, 05:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenvillatoro View Post
The "wagon" moniker is a turnoff, in itself, same as saying "minivan". Find an new acronym (ŕ la "SUV") that's without negative stereotypical associations of yesteryear... add "Sport" to the mix, and you'll see wagons make a broad market comeback. Lots of advantages over an SUV, of course.
But that's a moniker that you guys put on it yourselves, isn't it? Just genuinely asking, as what you said came off like BMW calls their car unviersally a "wagon", forcing that term on you. I don't know if that term is used over there in official materials, but that again is region specific then, not global.

In Europe it's called a Touring.
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      01-10-2019, 10:34 AM   #19
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I understand the love for wagons...

But the reason I went with an X5 is for the clearance which you simply don't get with a wagon. New York City is practically off-roading, plus I frequently go to upstate NY where I end up in deep snow, on an unpaved road or actually off-roading just because that's the terrain you are likely to end up on (nothing serious but i'm sure you get the point).

I just don't see how a wagon would allow me to navigate these obstacles. Someone convince me!!!
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      01-10-2019, 11:04 AM   #20
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I love the wagons absolutely it’s something different and drives more like a car than a SUV I have gotten so used to driving a car I hate the swaying back and forth in a suv (probably how I drive more than anything) and I absolutely support the wagon
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      01-10-2019, 11:07 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgviper View Post
I understand the love for wagons...

But the reason I went with an X5 is for the clearance which you simply don't get with a wagon. New York City is practically off-roading, plus I frequently go to upstate NY where I end up in deep snow, on an unpaved road or actually off-roading just because that's the terrain you are likely to end up on (nothing serious but i'm sure you get the point).

I just don't see how a wagon would allow me to navigate these obstacles. Someone convince me!!!
They do have slightly higher wagons (volvo XC70/Audi Allroad) come first to mind.

Ride height they are in between a wagon and a SUV but you still get a sportier(compared) chassis as well with a car seating position.
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      01-10-2019, 11:13 AM   #22
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While I prefer a car to an SUV, I have trouble with the OP's conclusion. If rich people were preferring station wagons to SUVs, why have Lamborghini, Rolls Royce and Bentley all brought out SUVs but no wagons?
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