By on May 8, 2016

2016 BMW 340i Exterior Front 3/4, Image: © 2016 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars

BMW went on a mad rager last year as it did everything it possibly could to claim the U.S. luxury sales crown from Mercedes and Lexus — and now katzenjammer is in full effect.

The premium German brand is looking at piled-up stocks of cars sitting on dealer lots. Predictably, those dealers aren’t happy, and BMW is trying to inject some saline to recover.

According to Automotive News, BMW attributes the inventory glut to equities market volatility and low oil prices.

“Affluent customers generally ride out recessions OK, but specific market volatilities can directly affect the premium vehicle market, and that’s what we’re experiencing right now,” Alexander Bilgeri, spokesman for BMW North America, wrote in an email to AN.

The situation is made even worse thanks to BMW hunting down the sales crown and flooding dealers with inventory to take advantage of the strong U.S. dollar and a weakening Chinese market, though it doesn’t seem to be an issue specific to BMW.

From Automotive News:

AutoNation, the largest U.S. new-vehicle retailer, warned in early January that there was a bulging inventory of unsold cars, especially luxury models. Late last month, Group 1 said it planned to cut orders, particularly for luxury cars, and claimed BMW, Mercedes and Audi each had more than 90 days of supply at its stores.

When asked about the number of days supply or whether BMW was now suffering from the after-effects of trying to win the sales crown, spokespeople for BMW declined to comment.

Premium sales tanked in the first two months following 2015. Through the first one-sixth of 2016, U.S. sales of passenger cars sold by so-called premium brands plunged 17 percent.

BMW’s CFO says the company is committed to taking its medicine, and will reallocate future inventories to rid itself of its 2015 hangover.

“We are adjusting our production plans and reallocating more SUVs to the U.S.,” CFO Friedrich Eichiner said during a conference call with analysts last week.

BMW is currently offering moderate incentives on some 2016 models and much heavier incentives on leftover 2015 stocks.

[Image: © 2016 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars]

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121 Comments on “BMW, Suffering From Premium Irish Flu, Taking Action on Inventories...”


  • avatar

    Take advantage of the low oil prices and ramp up PHEV and EV development.

    STOP releasing these futuristic, silly looking clown cars (i3) and produce plug-in hybrid electric vehicles/ electric vehicles that look EXACTLY like the cars you have now – only evolved.

    SILENT

    Instant Torque

    Attractive

    Affluent

    Large enough for a family of 5.

    Stop competing with your competition and annihilate them.

    You have the power to do it efficiently, swiftly and permanently.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Agreed.

      For a while the thinking was, “our hybrid/ev has to look like a Prius to get buyers in the door”; But I think BTSR is absolutely correct that mainstream adoption will come in the form of (initially) hybrids, and eventually full EVs that look and act like mainstream cars, not the Leaf, i3 or i8.

      • 0 avatar
        Carzzi

        GM did this sensible hybridization thing when they introduced their Tahoe and Escalade hybrids. The weekly gas bill saving was significant, and the compromise was negligible.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          “GM did this sensible hybridization thing when they introduced their Tahoe and Escalade hybrids”

          Which did not sell because full-size luxo-truck buyers don’t really care about mileage. A venn diagram of the two markets would look like two separate circles. Possibly in two different textbooks. In different buildings.

          I’m not sure that luxury cay buyers care all that much, either. If they do, they’ll buy a Prius or Highlander Hybrid on the low end, or a Tesla on the high.

          It would not hurt for BMW to put it’s eggs in more than one basket, and they’re doing a good job vis a vis the i3 and i8, but no one, not even Toyota/Lexus, has cracked the luxury hybrid market.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          But they were very expensive and were only appealing to people that had to have a BoF SUV that towed slightly more than a Ford Flex/Explorer. People that didn’t need to tow 5000 lbs, and wanted a 7 passenger GM product, just bought a Lambda instead.

    • 0 avatar
      healthy skeptic

      For once, I agree with you, BTSR, except for the first sentence. Low oil prices are a hinderance to EV development, since it makes gas cars more attractive to consumers–or at least removes the negative of high oil prices.

      But yeah, I’ve said it before on these forums. I don’t get the i3. At all.

      • 0 avatar

        “For once, I agree with you, BTSR, except for the first sentence. Low oil prices are a hinderance to EV development, ”

        “ENERGY” is required to develop EV and PHEV. While Energy costs are “lower” they can use this time to plan on clearing out ICE inventory and work towards making everything PHEV – until the following generations can move EV into the fray.

        A “BMW” is going to be seen as more trustworthy than Tesla simply because the name “BMW” has become synonymous with luxury and synonymous with the modern “I’ve made it” car.

        Mercedes as well. Mercedes has the MUSCLE to make PHEV or EV out of cars like the C-class and E-class (they already have) and sell them in a manner that completely cuts TESLA out of the market.

        Mercedes can cobble together PHEV or EV GLA or GLC in less time than it takes Tesla to get the Model III bugs worked out.

        • 0 avatar
          healthy skeptic

          Cars take a lot of energy to manufacture, regardless of drivetrain. I’m not aware of any stats that say EVs take much more energy than ICEs to manufacture. Are you?

          Furthermore, when it comes to the cost of energy, I’ll bet the direct cost to the OEMs for manufacturing is far outweighed by sales revenue gained or lost through its influence on the buying habits of consumers.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            The Toyota Prius plug-in requires CDN$10k more energy and resources to produce than the regular Prius, minus any additional profits. That represents a lot of fuel for a Prius.

          • 0 avatar
            smartascii

            Batteries are expensive and energy-intensive to make, when you factor in the mining and transportation involved in the elements they contain. The sweet spot for cars at this point in terms of overall cost and emissions including those created during production is the PHEV Prius, because the battery is small and the fuel savings are significant. A full EV like the Tesla or Leaf is actually slightly more polluting than an equivalent ICE offering, but *only* with our current sources of power generation. A transition away from hydrocarbon electricity generation would make that untrue.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      BMW is going to get smoked when the Tesla model 3 comes out. All of BMW’s traditional 3 series customers have flocked to it, and it’s still 2-3 years away.

      If BMW doesn’t release an electric BMW 3 series, they are going to be in a world of hurt, agree, the i3 is a complete joke as an EV, and the i3 with range extender is even more hilarious.

      • 0 avatar
        porschespeed

        People who buy a car for middle-class prestige and performance/luxury, are flocking to a car that has never been luxurious, has no history, very little brand prestige, and the car isn’t close to even being built. Got it.

        You may know a coupla guys in forums who claim to be dumping a 3’er for the Tesla. Meanwhile, mum and pop won’t be plopping down money for Muffy or Biff to drive some electric contraption. And the rest of the lessees, are there for the prestige, not eco-cred. They want to say they own a BMW, not a Tesla.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          I think reality is in-between. There is a LOT of interest in the Model 3. But based on the reality of the Model S, my expectation is that the Model 3 is going to be a $35K electric Civic, not a $35K electric 3-series, though it will probably be as fast as a 3-series and handle decently.

          I can’t imagine anyone in the demographic that buys BMWs (myself included) really cares THAT much about spending less money on gas.

          I do think it is much more likely that other than in places with extreme tax credits or other things like HOV lane access, more sales of the Model 3 will come from people stretching up from non-premium cars than trading down from premium ones.

          • 0 avatar

            Tesla has more prestige than any German brand. You probably live in one of flyover states if you are not aware about that and do not care about EV. All our upper management including CEO drives Model S. I am talking about SF Bay Area. You cannot be more trendy than that.

          • 0 avatar
            porschespeed

            krhodes, I’m thinking that it’s a $40K+ electric Civic, and certainly not an electric 3’er. But as you know I can’t see any way for Tesla to burn even more money to actually bring it to market. Ever. Let alone the devcap to make it handle like a Beemer.

            I agree, (if it were to happen) it would be an upward stretch from programmers who drive beater Toyos, not the program manager trading in his 5 series. Teslas aren’t luxury cars, no matter the cost.

            Inside, Thanks I was a Bay Area denizen back in the ’90s. As I’m about 50 miles from the middle of the country, I see Model “S”s every frakkin’ day. They are owned by folks (some of whom I know) who desperately need eco-cred for a project, one that will net them big bucks if they can get the monied-by-inheritance tree-huggers on board. They’re also owned by vapid upper-middle housewives.

            It’s only impressive on Sand Hill Road, or in Cupertino. Where people know jack shit about cars. The actual car guys are more impressed with the oft-driven 400GT, Silhouette, Lotus 7,occasional Monteverdi, R5, Lancia, Alfa Montreal. You wanna impress someone that actually matters in the car world? Or even someone with taste? You ain’t driving one of Musk’s turds. And you certainly aren’t impressing KIA owners with the interior of a Model S. It’s not even C-Class, let alone S-Class.

            No car guy gives two good flyin’s about and electric whizzer car, sold by a South African huckster, at a huge loss, to anyone with money. At least the Fisker was sexy as fu**, the “S” is merely another Hyundai unless you know exactly what they look like.

        • 0 avatar
          Drew8MR

          I live in coastal Orange County and I see dozens of P85s every single day. Every supercharging station seems to have a wait. I expect those numbers to go way up when the model 3 hits. Tesla seems pretty aspirational around here.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            Yes, I see them everywhere too, that is what a lot of people don’t understand. Tesla is THE it brand. It’s not about gas, the insane performance, the autpilot software, supercharging, or even saving the environment, although those are side benefits. It is about being seen in the IT car created by the IT company, led by the IT CEO. Just like Apple was hot up until about 2014, Tesla is now hot. Tesla is THE automotive brand for the millennial generation, and those who don’t understand that are doomed to be left in the ashes of automotive history.

            Other companies can create all the electric cars they want to their heart’s desire, but they won’t be a Tesla.

        • 0 avatar
          nickoo

          Someone sounds a little flustered, do you happen to work for a car company and were you blindsided like the rest of the Industry?…400,000+ reservations in a matter of weeks for a car that won’t release for 2-3 years–a car that happens to directly target the BMW 3 series, and starts at 35k, is a huge problem for BMW. Not to mention jag, audi, lexus, acura…

          • 0 avatar

            How many BMW 3 targetors have their been?

            How many have succeeded?

            ABSOLUTELY NONE.

            Regardless what the “professional reviewers” are saying CADILLAC can’t even DREAM of building a car to “beat” a BMW 3.

            Nor can Tesla.

            The BMW 3 is a cultural icon and will be so till BMW decides is won’t be anymore.

            People who talk about competitors to cars like the BMW3 make me lulz.

            Cadillac CTS?

            Tesla Model 3?

            I don’t even have a Caps Lock button strong enough to laugh that hard.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            Big Truck, I think you and I will have to disagree on this one…The model S, with inferior interior appointments, and subpar reliability already conquered the full size luxury market, and every indication is they will do the same in the compact market as well.

            I could always be wrong, but so far, betting against Tesla has proven to be a losing proposition. Either way, in 5 years time we’ll know.

          • 0 avatar
            porschespeed

            If you aren’t on Tesla’s payroll,you should be.

            “The IT car, the IT company, blindsiding the industry…”

            If it weren’t so sad, the amount of brainwashing you’ve suffered would be funny.

          • 0 avatar
            Lack Thereof

            It has already beaten the 3-series. It’s got enough pre-orders already to make up 2 years worth of 3, 4, and 5-series US sales combined. The Model S already outsells the 6 and 7 series combined. The market has spoken.

        • 0 avatar
          healthy skeptic

          @porschespeed

          You already know one guy on a forum who’s making that claim–me. I own a ’11 335i. I bought it myself, like a big boy. Fast, great handling, looks good, more than enough luxury for me inside. And with respect to demographics, in many ways I’m a prime BMW customer.

          Great car. But it might very well be getting replaced by a Model 3. Time will tell.

          In fairness, I should note that over at Tesla Motors Club, it did seem like a majority of Model 3 res holders were upgrading from a Prius or Camry or whatever. However, there were more than a “couple” of people like me. I’d say l0-20%.

          BTW, I don’t buy anything for “prestige” or “eco-cred” or whatever. I’m sure social factors play a subconscious role sometimes in my buying decisions, but that’s true of everyone. Even you.

          • 0 avatar
            porschespeed

            Skeptic, I just don’t understand why you would assume that the Model 3 will be as competent as a 3-series.

            The history says that a Model S is not that competent, has a lousy interior by comparison to contemporaries, and has no factual strengths, save for being a plug-in that’s pretty ok, as they go. It’s no styling tour-de-force, and it takes forever (by comparison) to refuel. Not to mention that Tesla has no comparison to BMW when it comes to driving dynamics, they don’t have the money to develop it, how are they gonna come even close?

            I buy a Porsche (or anything else I own) because it meets my needs, and is the best thing for the money. You could give me a post-W140 Benz and I’d sell it as fast as I could.I just don’t get how you can ascribe qualities exceeding a 3-series to a car that has at least a year of development left.

            I just can’t find any reason to own a $90K car with an interior from an ’80s exotic. We didn’t buy them back then for the interior, we knew it wasn’t “luxury” and we didn’t pay a premium for them.

        • 0 avatar
          Whatnext

          Not true. There are a huge amount of Model S now on the road here in Vancouver, yet the number of new 5 and 7 series has been dwindling.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          “And the rest of the lessees, are there for the prestige, not eco-cred. They want to say they own a BMW, not a Tesla.”

          At least in my coastal-elite enclave on Puget Sound, it is VERY much the opposite. The Model X is the most prestigious car for sale today and the Model S is not far behind. Among BMWs, only the i8 comes close. Among gas cars, not much comes close at all except maybe the $150k+ trims of the full-size Range Rover.

          • 0 avatar

            Me Too. In the Green Leafy Burbs of NY, Tesla is status beyond the price. You can have an AMG Benz, but folks will care about the electric car….

          • 0 avatar
            porschespeed

            Sometimes it’s good to live in the center of the country. Tesla ownership has been filtered down to “oh, that’s nice” not desperately sought eco-jewelry.

            Words have meaning, and “trendy” is very different than “prestige” or “luxury”. Teslas are no where near expensive enough to confer any kind of air of being anything but middle-class, and offer less luxury than a decently equipped Accord.

            This babble about Tesla eating everybody’s lunch is beyond laughable, it’s delusional. I do wonder how many of you are employed in Tesla’s Social Propaganda, err, Media department.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Haven’t thought of it that way before, but if Tesla really want to play by the Apple playbook, they need to stuff college campuses full of superchargers, for Muffy and Biff to use free of charge.

          • 0 avatar
            porschespeed

            Stuki, That would have been the ploy, one that Musk wasn’t sharp enough to have gotten for all his supposed “genius”.

            It’s not showy and self-absorbed as the fertilizer he spreads daily, and the fanbois happily devour. If it doesn’t make *Elon* the center, than it doesn’t really happen.

      • 0 avatar
        smartascii

        I have no idea about everyone else, but I am a traditional 3-series customer, and if they made it into a 1-speed electric, Tesla style, you can bet I’d never darken the door of a BMW dealership again. Then again, they’ve basically abandoned me as a customer anyway, so I don’t know that it matters.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Very interesting:

      “The Age of Cheap Oil and Natural Gas Is Just Beginning”

      http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/the-age-of-cheap-oil-and-natural-gas-is-just-beginning/

      Milton Friedman pretty much got it right. Saudi “oil minister” fired last week.

      That’s not to say that battery and solar tech should be neglected, but it is true that private enterprise does it better.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        This has been a philosophy that’s been around for decades but was stifled when the US gov’t decided to artificially keep oil prices high while actively opposing more drilling and exploration within US boundaries.

        Fortunately for those of us who love oil and gasoline, the unintended consequences of cheap and abundant oil were brought on by re-opening existing wells and utilizing new tech to extract remaining crude.

        • 0 avatar
          healthy skeptic

          @highdesertcat

          I read The Prize by Daniel Yergin, about the history of the global oil industry. The price of oil has pretty much been a rollercoaster since 1859. Nothing’s ever single-handedly determined the price of oil–or at least not for long. There’s no way to boil it down to a single tagline.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      The problem is, they’ve bought into the whole autonomous car thing:

      http://www.autoextremist.com/current/2016/3/14/wankers-weasels-and-ultimate-robo-machines-yes-the-automotiv.html

      Eventually, their slogan will be, “The Ultimate Drive You Around Machine”.

  • avatar
    swester

    Out of morbid curiosity, I went to BMW’s site and counted the total number of models that BMW now offers:

    32.

    That isn’t even counting the engine or package variations within the various models. That’s just the number of CATEGORIES of cars.

    In the 90s, they made what – 5?

    Perhaps the problem is just too much damn variation. Overchoice is a very real phenomenon in economics, and it diminishes the design value of each individual vehicle. If you had to ask someone what BMW is known best for today, could he/she really even answer that question?

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Yeah, it’s gotten a bit ridiculous. And we don’t even have the FWD cars yet, except for the X1.

    • 0 avatar
      Whatnext

      Wow that’s ridiculous to have that many models on offer! They’re diluting everything their brand is supposed to stand for. They jumped the shark starting with the misshapen X6 monstrosity.

    • 0 avatar
      Aetius

      Are you saying that a sedan version of a coupe of a sedan doesn’t make any sense?? Pffft, New World peasant! lol

      You’re absolutely right. And this is going to affect Benz and Audi as well. It was coming for a long, long time.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        “Are you saying that a sedan version of a coupe of a sedan doesn’t make any sense?? Pffft, New World peasant! lol”

        When the sedan version of the coupe version of the sedan is also a hatchback, and not to be confused with the hatchback version of the sedan, or the wagon version, or the CUV version, or the coupe version of the CUV version, then NO, it makes not sense. LOL.

    • 0 avatar
      Leg5Malone

      3,5,7,8, and Z. The X5 started in ’99, so 6. But yeah, it’s absolutely ridiculous now.

      • 0 avatar
        swester

        @Leg5Malone – Correct me if I’m wrong – but at least in the US market, Z3 was introduced as a ’96 model and the last 8-series were ’97’s. So there was barely even overlap there.

        I don’t think anyone could have ever imagined this, but barely 15 years later and BMW is in danger of running out of single digit numbers to pick from.

        • 0 avatar
          porschespeed

          They’ve got “0” and “9” left. That’s it.

          1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8…

        • 0 avatar
          Leg5Malone

          Exx chassis codes lasted three decades. Ten years later and we’ve burned through the Fs and now we’re in the Gs. I have a pair of E39s and I don’t want anything newer. Well, maybe a Euro E91 335iT, but dream on, right?

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Why is this a problem? Since when is more choice a bad thing? BMW is wildly profitable for a car maker. They manage to make variations on the themes for not a huge investment – they are absolute masters of it, and there is very little overlap in the range. A 3-series sedan and a 4-series Gran Coupe may each have four passenger doors, but they feel like very different cars.

      There certainly are a bunch of BMWs I have zero interest in buying, but they do sell and for healthy profits – X4 and X6, 5GT, etc. If you can spin a variation of a vehicle for cheap and make an extra $5K/unit doing it, why wouldn’t you? I sure have no interest in driving something that is the same as 20 others in the parking lot – aka a white Camry.

      What BMW has now is not different from what used to be the industry norm. 3-4 lines of cars, each with coupe, sedan, wagon, maybe pillarless hardtop, maybe even a truck version (El Camino/Ranchero). And that was without even counting multiple BRANDS.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        There’s nothing wrong with selling these vehicles. BMW has volume AND margin, which is an enviable position as a seller.

        Buying them is another story. They don’t leave any of the buyer’a money ob the table. The cars are relatively nice, but there are other relatively nice cars on the market for much less.

        BMW is like Vegas: I’d rather be the house than the customer. I’d sell BMWs all day, but I’m not likely to buy.

      • 0 avatar
        swester

        @krhodes1 Yeah, copying the M.O. of the quality-averse, decaying, widely maligned American car industry of the 70s and 80s is a great model to follow. What could ever possibly go wrong?

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        Cadillac was a wildly profitable car maker in 1975. Pride cometh before the fall.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Well whopee mutual fund fees are taking a hammering according to Beemer. Nothing to do with them over reaching.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    The Japanese and Cadillac would do the same thing. Just look for the lease deals to follow.

  • avatar
    Fred

    If the dealer was friendlier to me then maybe they would of sold one more car.

  • avatar
    carguy

    BMW would do well to look beyond just the inventory issue and also focus on their product catalog.

    1. They have way too many niche models. Nobody is buying the X4, the bubble-butt GT variants of the 3 or 5 or the Z. Focus your engineering talent on products that sell.

    2. Improve interior quality. Every F30 3 series rental I have had has had rattles in the dash and some real cheap plastics. Even a near $90K X5 I got a ride in recently had squeaks and an interior that was no better than entry level Audi products. If you’re going to be a mass market luxury car maker, you’d better be making luxurious cars.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      My friend had a new 320i as a loaner car, and it sounded like an old Honda Civic with an exhaust leak. They may have been going for sporty exhaust sound, but they missed.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        The BMW fours sound is very diesel-like so BMW tries to improve it with its artificial enhancement from the internal speakers. The result is much like spraying air-freshener on a fart – it just can’t hide the unpleasantness its trying to cover for.

      • 0 avatar
        MattPete

        The 328 (turbo 4, 8speed ZF) I had as a loaner earlier this spring was LOUD. Below 2000rpm it was quiet. As soon as the RPMs hit 2000, the engine was loud. You could turn the loudness off-and-on like a light switch. Below 2000, quiet, above 2000, loud, rinse, repeat. Was this the rumored electronic engine sound? Don’t get me wrong: it was a nice low growl, but it’s not something I want to hear at that decibel level.

        In contrast, when I got my 13-year-old 325i back, it was vastly quieter. Why in the world does my 13-year-old car (with a 13-year-old exhaust) have a quieter interior than the brand new model?

  • avatar
    Aetius

    Why is this a surprise? They have way too many models and variations. And they are all way too expensive. A fully loaded Accord V6 is so much better in terms of value that there really isn’t any need to buy a 3-Series anymore (unless you have a lot of money and/or are a badge snob). I went to BMW to look at the 428i xDrive and it went into mid-60Ks (Canadian) without any navigation on board. I walked out with a shrug. I can lease it no problem but what’s the point? It won’t even hold up as nicely as an Accord Coupe 5yrs from now. I’m in the process of selling my Acura TSX to go for a Civic or a new Cruze. Dirt cheap upkeep and cheaper fuel..still does 80% of the same things.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree with you – modern top trim mainstream midsize cars are very luxurious these days – great value and variety. I do not see much value in usually lower quality luxury cars anymore other than being snob and trying to impress unwashed masses. People with real money do not really care much about it.

      • 0 avatar
        Aetius

        Exactly. There is absolutely no reason to get a 3 Series (regular trim, not M) or a IS 350/TLX AWD over a V6 Accord. And if you HAVE to have AWD, just get a Fusion 2.0T AWD Titanium or a 3.6R AWD Legacy. Cheaper maintenance, repair, regular gas and will last longer than German luxury. I have a 2008 TSX and while its nice, I’m downsize to either a 2016 Civic Touring or trying something non-Japanese with the 2016 Cruze Premier RS.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          This is only ever said by people who can’t actually afford a BMW. And by BMW I mean any car that costs more than a top-spec beigemobile. I drive beigemobiles as rentals all the time, sorry, even a hard loaded Camcordima is not in the same realm as even the most basic 320i in terms of driving feel. A V6 Camcordima is like a big-block family car from the 60s – plenty fast in a straightline, but the cornering is nothing special and the brakes are appalling by comparison. If all you care about is tinsel and toys, then fine. I’m more impressed by the underlying engineering sophistication and the feel.

          The reason to spend the money is the better experience. Buying, servicing, driving, all around. Let’s face it, if you only need to get from point A to point B there is no reason to buy anything nicer than a 10yo Corolla.

          If you can’t tell the difference, buy the Camcordima and spend the difference on something that will give you pleasure. Like hookers and blow, or golf, or a boat. Or a bigger savings account, whatever floats your boat.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            To match the Accord V6 Titanium (or whatever the top of the line is)in size, power and equipment you’d have to get into a 5 series. At around $65k since BMW nickel-and-dimes you to death.

            Perhaps 5% of the BMW owners care about ‘handling’. The others are there for the badge. It’s all good.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Comparing a “fully loaded” mid-size family sedan to a premium car like a BMW (or Lexus, Merc, etc) is like comparing an all-you-can-eat buffet to a 3-star restaurant.

            It’s a totally different experience, not even worth debating.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Maybe the 3-star shouldn’t ladle it out like the all-you-can-eat place, especially when they appear to have misjudged their menu.

          • 0 avatar
            duffman13

            Nope, I can afford a BMW and specifically choose not to.

            I still have my S2000 for when I want to drive something fun. My wife has a nice truckster for hauling the family around. Sitting in traffic on the DC beltway, the only thing I care about is comfort, quiet, and the car not feeling cheap. All of which is done well enough by a slew of mainstream manufacturers at a fraction of the price.

            Am I going to get something nicer than my Mazda 3 in the future? definitely. But most likely it’s going to be a high trim mainstream mid-sizer. I have a whole lot of other things I’d rather do with the extra $200 in car payment an equivalent German would cost me.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @duffman13

            You have a perfectly valid reason for not bothering with a nicer car. If you can’t enjoy it, why bother? I am lucky enough to live in a place where driving is still highly enjoyable.

            I drive in the DC area often enough for work. Blech.

        • 0 avatar
          mtmmo

          “There is absolutely no reason…”
          The TLX V6 is significantly quieter than the Honda Accord V6 especially on the highway. I know from first hand ownership experience.

          There I just gave you one reason.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        The 2016 Honda Civic Limited with the technology package that I drove the other week was everything that I expect a luxury car to be.

        Smooth, leather, and an adaptive cruise control with a self steering feature. The turbocharged engine with the CVT did well when passing on the highway, since it only downshifted by the amount I asked for (and I didn’t ask for much because if the torque).

        The car has a great looking profile, especially in blue.

        I’m trying to think of something you could change about the car to make it more luxurious, and it’s a hard question.

        I’m often skeptical of the value proposition with luxury cars, but I’m wondering if BMW wikk soon face the Volvo problem: how do you sell cars, once everyone else has mastered what used to be your specialty?

        • 0 avatar
          tekdemon

          Well the Civic is still missing lumbar support even in the highest trim. But otherwise you’re right, it’s friggin’ loaded with basically every feature you can want, which is making the ILX’s life miserable.
          The only things I think Honda/Acura can hold over for a luxury version are really the lumbar support, cooled seats, the 8-speed DCT, and maybe AWD at some point?

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Ditch the DCT for luxury cars. Honda is so close to state of the art autoshifting (still the now almost ancient ZF8) with their CVT now, futzing around with massive complexity clutchoramas seems just wasteful.

            Awd, with the torque vectoring they have been pushing since the super handling days, is an “improvement”, I guess.

            Both BMW and Honda does suffer in some environments from sticking with fairly short travel suspensions. They make the ride more controlled, but can get harsh once the road turns bad. Ford, almost across the whole model line, seem to have picked up learnings from the Raptor project, about how to let the wheels move a bit more on bumpy roads, without letting control of them get sloppy.

            I still feel this may be the current lowest hanging fruit for luxo makes in this age of ever worsening road surfaces: Very fancy, street tuned versions of Baja race shocks. Allowing for, if nothing else, full sped traversal of the speed bumps mere plebeians have to slow down for.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            The whole problem with Acura is that the cars are ultimately just slightly nicer Hondas. Ditto Lincoln, and to a lesser extent Cadillac. I think Lexus gets away with it because Toyotas are kind of dire in a way Hondas and Fords are not, and the dealers are so much better. Though even Lexus can’t seem to get much traction beyond the ES/RX.

            BMW (and MB, Audi) does not have that particular problem. Even where Audi still shares with VW, the VWs themselves are also premium products, so the Audi is just MORE premium.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Stuki

            Peugeot had this nailed 40 years ago. Beautiful ride, good handling, but a different sort of ride and handling than the Germans even back then.

            IMHO, while not in the same realm as a Peugeot, non-sport package BMWs ride very well. Even my M235i glides surprisingly serenely for a car with rubber band tires – thanks to very sophisticated electronic dampers. But ultimate, big enough bumps are going to shake things up.

            I too think there is a happy medium between shaking your filings out but F1-style cornering capability and a marshmallow ride with parade float handling.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      This is only true to keyboard test drivers that only look at on-paper specs. I just did back to back test drives of a brand new fully loaded V6 Accord and a 2013 BMW 335i M-Sport. The BMW was literally in another world as far as refinement, acceleration, driving feel, dynamics, quiteness, solidity, etc… We bought the Bimmer. The V6 Accord had more tech but was an absolute snoozefest to drive. I really wanted to like the Accord after hearing so many good things but it was very disappointing. The Accord is a great car for someone who doesn’t care about driving and buys their cars by the pound.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @Ubermensch:

        You totally missed my point. I drove the Civic, and all of my desire for luxury, handling, and powet was satisfied by a $27k MSRP car.

        I wasn’t claiming the Civic is better. My claim is that it didn’t give me any reason to wonder what’s available upmarket.

        I believe that this claim stands on its own merit, without bringing my personal opinions of the brands into the discussion.

        The question becomes: how does BMW compete when everyone else has sporty luxurious cars, too?

        • 0 avatar
          Ubermensch

          My response was to Aetius’ comments about the Accord V6 and not yours about the Civic.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          As for my personal experience with BMW, I have a family member who’s a fan of the BMW brand and who owns two (an X5 and a Z3). He’s a fan of the brand, and won’t be seen driving anything else — except for a Land Rover Freelancer.

          My experience with those cars has been that they’re nice enough, but that they don’t live up to either the hype. Aldo, their price is far past the point of diminishing returns, as far as value goes.

          And that’s before we even get to the behavior of BMW drivers in traffic, which is a big part if the brand image for me. But that’s not about the car per se.

          Overall, call me what you want, but I’ve spent some time with BMWs in real life, and I’m just not that impressed with BMW.

          If you are a fan of the brand, though, you’d be remiss to dismiss the challenge from downmarket. A car thatsl’s 95% as nice for 65% of the price is pretty compelling for a lot of people.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @Luke42

          If a loaded Civic satisfied you, then you have low standards, a small budget, or both. Or simply don’t care enough about cars for it to matter. Which is perfectly fine, spend the difference on whatever floats your boat.

          I don’t care how much tinsel is ladled on a noisy tin econobox, it’s still a noisy tin econobox.

          • 0 avatar
            CarnotCycle

            @khrodes

            I think BMW’s appeal beyond brand fashion are the unique powertrains traditionally offered. If BMW is compromising itself, it is in offering powertrains too much like a loaded Civic; that is becoming a problem for them these days.

            And the stereo engine soundtrack shtick is truly bad taste for an allegedly premium brand.

          • 0 avatar
            porschespeed

            krhodes, Not all people appreciate the difference between The French Laundry and the tastee authentic Eye-talian food served at Olive Garden.

            C’est la vie. They wouldn’t know a bespoke suit and shirt from off-the-rack from Men’s Wearhouse (which, to be fair, if you’re broke, are not horrid).

            It’s not about money, I’ve met plenty of rich folks who are tasteless boors. It’s aspiring to be better, and knowing what “better” really is.

            It’s an educational problem, pretending that all opinions matter, that everybody is ‘good enough’, and all that populist nonsense.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @CarnotCycle

            BMWs headquarters building is in the shape of four cylinders, not six. They built the company on their fours, even if the warped US market doesn’t want to acknowledge that.

            When Civics have 240hp and still manage 36mpg then I think you can say that BMW is making Civic engines.

            I really don’t care how they make the sound, as long as it sounds good. They have a very valid engineering point – between driveby noise regulations and people wanting no noise in the car, it is all but impossible to have the right amount of natural engine noise in the car.

          • 0 avatar
            CarnotCycle

            @khrodes

            “BMWs headquarters building is in the shape of four cylinders, not six. They built the company on their fours, even if the warped US market doesn’t want to acknowledge that.”

            Warped US market? BMW HQ was built in 1970-something. The modern BMW everyone on the lucky side of 70 understands and appreciates at all today starts with the reputation of the 3-series RWD inline-6.

            “When Civics have 240hp and still manage 36mpg then I think you can say that BMW is making Civic engines.”

            BMW builds about as good of an Ecoboost four-popper as, uh, Ford does. I bet they can build a FWD four-popper that can keep up with a Focus ST as well. Yay.

            “I really don’t care how they make the sound, as long as it sounds good.” – COP OUT DETECTOR ALERTED – “They have a very valid engineering point” – START COP OUT – “between driveby noise regulations and people wanting no noise” – STUPID CUSTOMERS ALERT – “in the car, it is all but impossible to have the right amount of natural engine noise in the car.”

            M’s aren’t known for their exhaust notes – so pipe it in on the stereo?

            C’mon man, listen to yourself type!

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            It all depends on what you’re looking for – the Civic is a hearty little road carver, especially in Si trim. You could do far worse for lots more money.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    32 models…that’s silly. Although it’s just an enlarged version of what Mini is doing…too many variations with no sense from me (and other potential buyers) as to what role each is supposed to fill.

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    Lots going on to explain the drop in luxury car sales – many of which provided here. I want to add the idea that there’s just not as much difference anymore in performance, quality, features between the mainstream brands and the premium marques. Electronic controls on engines, transmissions and suspensions – as well as the introduction of high-tech entertainment and climate controls – has democratized the selection of cars available to us. So, a Focus, Civic, A3 or 1-Series just aren’t that far apart, especially compared to what was available twenty-five or even ten years ago.
    Then, add the mass movement of buyers to SUV’s where driving dynamics take a back seat (sorry) to ride height and a commanding view, and you have a market that doesn’t value what the Germans have staked their identities on for forty years. It’s telling that the two brands that continue to post sales gains quarter after quarter are Subaru and Jeep – two of the least driving-dynamics car makers out there (meanwhile Mazda has found the driver-car focus to be poor choice, sales-wise.)
    Finally, the next generation is so anti-establishment that Tesla is the only name that gets their heart racing – even Mercedes and BMW are now just two more old-buyer brands – and few people in their twenties and thirties care a lot about any car (so that Chevy can even find people that think a Malibu is a BMW.)
    Will we look back on the first fifteen years of the 21st century as the highpoint of German dominance in cars? If so, where do they go from here?

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Yes, exactly, that is why Tesla is the car of the Millennial generation. It is a car for dreamers, a car for people who grew up watching Iron Man. A car for the future and being a part of a movement.

      Like I said above, anyone can make an electric car, but it won’t be a Tesla. The bolt is a prime example, for all intents and purposes, it will be the first decent range electric car from a manufacturer that isn’t Tesla, and it will FLOP. Bookmark this post. Because we’ll revisit it in a year to see if my prediction holds true.

      • 0 avatar
        alexndr333

        The Bolt has things going for it that the Tesla 3 doesn’t. It is more practical as a five-door SUV-like thing, which is the hot model type right now. (And I’m talking about higher seating position as much as storage space.) The Bolt will be available for sale and servicing at thousands of dealerships.

        Meanwhile, Tesla has yet to demonstrate that it can build a high-quality, low-repair car. (This will start to weigh on their reputation unless they get their act together in the factory.) We also find that the easily-enamored of this generation have short attention spans and their love of Tesla could be easily replaced by infatuation for the next ‘new thing’. (Read what’s happening to Apple these days.)

        I hope you weren’t one of those who predicted the flop of the Buick Encore two years ago – there were many on this site who did. I’ll be happy to meet with you here in two years to check in on the Bolt (the Tesla 3 may or may not be ready then).

      • 0 avatar
        porschespeed

        Please *do* bookmark this.

        Back in the old days, I used to explain exactly why old GM was going Tango Uniform, by the dollars. I used to explain exactly why Shai Agassi’s ‘Better Place’ was a terrible place. Go back, visit. My handle is the same. (If Ed or Bertel didn’t flush them down the memory hole.)

        It’s a company for morons who never learned to read a 10K. Who have no idea what it takes to actually have, you know, a viable company. Dreaming is great when you’re 6. By the time your 8 you should have some idea what it takes to achieve those dreams in reality. Or, by 28, if you’re some millenials.

    • 0 avatar

      German cars are great for comfortable driving at max speeds for extended period of time on autobahn without speed limit without destroying engine. You cannot do it in US – speed limit on freeway is very low and freeways are as straight as it can get. In US snob appeal is the only thing that give advantage to ownership German cars.

  • avatar
    manu06

    http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2016/05/03/229199-mazda-reports-best-april-since-1995.html

    Mazda sales ?

  • avatar

    People may finally be getting hip to the absurdity of paying luxury car money for vinyl upholstery, completely manual seat adjustments, intentionally-unflattering wheels, and a $900 surcharge for anything other than gloss black or white.

    • 0 avatar

      What he said. The BMW options list is just to bump the price of the car, so they can CLAIM $29,995 but transact at $56,750

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      German vinyl IS a luxury. Feels like leather, wears like iron.

      Why people think dead cow skin is some sort of luxury in a car baffles me.

      BMW generally gets $550 for metallic paint. Same as most all the other premium makes. And many non-premium as well. Though I was surprised that VW doesn’t charge extra on the Jetta.

      I prefer manual seats. Less to break and lighter. And very hard to actually find in a BMW.

      I have ~$5K in options on each of my BMWs. Hardly outrageous considering what Honda gets for the various “trim levels”. And less likely to need to buy three levels higher to get that one thing you really want. And I can get a stickshift car in more than three colors one trim level.

      Wheels are in the eye of the beholder – I have seldom seen a factory wheel on a German car that is unattractive. Those steelies with hubcaps on the base Camcordimas are just lovely.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        How do durable taxi-cab spec seats make sense in disposable cars? They’re hot in the summer, cold first thing on a winter morning, and as breathable as…vinyl. Everything else is made to last the warranty period at best, and then you’re going to sit on a plastic sheet so the seats will look good in the junkyard? No thanks.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          I have one with leather, and one with vinyl. The leather is hot in the summer, cold in the winter (until the seat heaters negate the issue), and breaths like… vinyl. And it cost $1500 more, and wears like playdoh. The vinyl is a no brainer, if those are your only choices.

          Reality is people may p!ss and moan about the cost of keeping old BMWs, but people still spend the money because they are worth it. If you can afford one new you can afford to fix it forever. If you buy one used when all you can actually afford is a new Civic for the same price you get what you deserve.

          • 0 avatar
            porschespeed

            I’ve never had a vinyl Beemer (all leather) so I shall refrain from commenting – save that, I take your word.

            That said, I know for a fact that there are Benzes running around with their vinyl (MB-Tex) that are 50+ years old, and are all flawless. This isn’t the American garbage that failed in 5 years, splitting, cracking, delaminating.

            I see 70s/80s Benzes in yards here and there, and despite their ragged exteriors, their missing windows and open sunroofs – the Tex is still perfect.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Exactly. BMW’s “Sensatec” is not as good as MBTex, but it is one heck of a lot more suitable for the environment inside a car than dead cow skin.

            MBTex is what the roaches who take over after humanity will make their houses out of.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I disagree strongly, and I’ll tell you why. I had two BMWs that were purchased new and kept for close to twenty years. The one with the vinyl seats greased up the insides of its windows on any sunny day, such was the off-gassing from its plastic seats. The one with leather did no such thing.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @ToddAtlasF1

            That was then, this is now. No such issue with my car. Not much “new car smell” in them anymore either.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            If today’s BMW fake leather isn’t made of the same stuff, how do you know it will hold up like the stuff that never ran out of solvents to release?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Maybe it will, maybe it won’t, but I am willing to bet it will hold up infinitely better than their craptastic leather.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    German car manufacturers are going to crossovers which is what they should be doing. BMW needs to start pairing down their offerings and concentrate on crossovers and suvs. When you start to see more pimped out older BMWs in the inner city and more on the pay day lots then they no longer have the cache that they had. There just another rough riding car that requires expensive parts and service.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Modern platforms and manufacturing have made the economics of model line proliferation work for automakers.

      It’s also a reasonable way for them to test the waters with slightly more avant garde (ugly?) styling to see what consumers are gravitating toward. I find the X6, 5 Gran Touring, 1-Series, etc. to be ungainly, but interesting experiments.

  • avatar

    If you aren’t leasing for US tax reasons, then the best luxury car you can get is the off lease model with 35k miles. You get a basically new car, usually some warranty, and someone else ate the depreciation. There isn’t much new in cars nowadays-car companies are reduced to installing a cell phone in the dash board and raving about “wireless in car”. You might have to spring for tires soon, but it is still small compared to the full price plus depreciation. Tires are always a worthwhile upgrade item anyway…toss the runflats.

    In BMW land, you might even pick up an e90 with a six for a reasonable price, which is just a better car than the F30, both mechanically and interior-wise.

    I don’t know anyone, even my “rich” friends and associates, who buys cars “because a new one came out”. I’m sure some folks do, but it isn’t the norm anymore. “prominent citizens” no longer get special invitations to be the first to see the 1957 Buicks.

    The i3 is ugly, no matter the technology. The i8 is beauty, but not very practical even as a sportscar. eGolf is the way to go. It doesn’t look any different. Even Tesla looks mostly normal-if it was a gas car no one would look twice.

    CPO is the way to go in the luxury world. The car companies are undercutting themselves in their very own front lot. They don’t see this, because they are too busy pumping out new stock with incentives on leases.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Off lease Infinitis are ridiculously cheap. I’m getting near buying a new vehicle, and one thing I’ve been kicking around is the idea of an off-lease Q50 or Q70 for around 20 grand.

      • 0 avatar
        Aetius

        I went the CPO luxury route with a 2008 TSX in 2011 and am now getting the heck out and buying either a Civic or Cruze soon. Repairs and servicing was expensive. Toronto roads are shit so it cost me a LOT to get some axle stuff fixed. Premium gas, when gas is expensive KILLS me. Just overall a painfully expensive experience which my 2006 Mazda3 Sport GT easily matched for much cheaper running/gas costs and which my Dad’s 2015 Murano Platinum AWD blows away. No thanks on luxury.

      • 0 avatar

        Exactly ! When you evaluate the car at that price, suddenly you have a spectacular deal. At 50k, it is a lot different. Hint:the base Q50 has hydraulic steering !

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Only the undesirable cars are particularly cheap as off-lease CPO cars. I have zero desire for someone else’s sloppy seconds for not much cheaper than I can buy a new one European Delivery and enjoy a fabulous vacation driving around Europe. You simply don’t get enough discount for giving up getting exactly what YOU want, having the car treated correctly from day 1, and generally the best three years of a cars life.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        This. Every brand’s CPO is small beer with someone else’s saliva on the glass.

      • 0 avatar
        jefmad

        I have to disagree. You can buy a 2-3 year old Merc E350 for right about $30,000. I fact my father just bought a 2014 with less than 30,000 miles for exactly $30K. There is nothing undesirable about it, and he got it for fifty cents on the dollar of the price for a new one.
        There are not a lot of desirable cars out there with such massive early depreciation (and probably no SUV’s) but they are out there.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “a 2-3 year old Merc”

          When a grocery store puts highly perishable products like cottage cheese in their “Specials” reefer units you need to check those expiration dates!

  • avatar
    hreardon

    For a while manufacturers thought that in order to sell an EV or hybrid, the car had to look like a Prius. We’ve moved beyond that today.

    My crystal ball says that the magic formula for mass EV adoption is this: 250+ mile range, charging that takes less than 15 minutes, looks like the mainstream and is within price parity of today’s mainstream vehicles.

    All that said, I think that the immediate future will be won by hybrid powertrains that will replace diesels, return 40-60mpg and to most buyers isn’t anything different than what they have today.

    The majority of 3, 5, 7, A4, A5, A6, CLA, C and E class buyers could care less about what’s under the hood.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    The sense I get is that the 3 series is finally on the wane. It only took about a dozen years since they stopped being better to drive than mass market Japanese cars, and twenty five years after they stopped being durable goods, but fashion victims are finally looking elsewhere to do their signaling. I think BMW ruined what they couldn’t ruin with lousy product by diluting the brand until only the truly deranged could care about their efforts at model differentiation. Whereas there was once the mantel of the 3 series, now there is the ugly and downmarket 2 series, the scarce 4 series, the Civic-esque ‘gran’ coupe, etc… Who really knows, and who other than the sexually-dysfunctional even cares? The born-on-3rd-base crowd is driving C-classes and Q5s around their college campuses now.

    Most of the BMWs still on the roads of my college town are very used looking, and they’re being driven by people who nobody wants to be associated with. They look more likely to know where you can get some crack than whether Jim Conforti or Steve Dinan offers better engine mapping for the rapidly deteriorating cars they’re driving around with the front seats fully reclined. If this is the end for BMW as an aspirational brand, I say good riddance. They betrayed enthusiasts decades ago in favor of fashionistas. The thing about fashion is it changes. Reap what you sew, marketers.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    “Tesla has more prestige than any German brand. You probably live in one of flyover states if you are not aware about that and do not care about EV.” LOL. Self-fellating comment of the week. Don’t hurt your back.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    BMW has made a mistake expanding at such a rapid pace over the past few years; it has had the effect of diluting the brand. It has never been easier to put a BMW in your driveway given current lease offers but I have to wonder who is going to buy a 7 series these days.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    If BMW is reading, you could sell me another 3-Series wagon when you bring back the stick shift option.

    And the I6 engine (with or without turbo, either way would be acceptable).

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      You and me both. Though I would be perfectly happy with a turbo 4.

      In the meantime, I “settled” for a stickshift M235i, since I have a perfectly nice stickshift 3-series wagon already.

      BMW is FAR from perfect, but they still make a car or two I am willing to buy.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Slap some cash on that hood. Or, maybe they can get the girl in those awful Cadillac ads, pushing ultra-low-mileage lease offers.

  • avatar
    BrunoT

    3 series aren’t what they once were. First, the competition is getting better. Second, the steering feel is not as good and finally, some of the materials, while looking good enough, don’t seem that great. Specifically the leather seems thin and ill fitting on some models I see on lots. For a given price, there are better cars out there.

  • avatar
    stuki

    The Germans in general, are in a very precarious position, once the credit ramping that has been fueling their sales in the West slows down. Their whole business model is built around people signing up to pay for for ever more rapid depreciation, over and over; choosing

    new-new, gone in two,
    over tried and true.

    The Japanese hit that wall in their home market when their credit bubble finally burst, and proved beyond reignition, no matter the level of desperation.

    If you look at a large, perhaps majority, chunk of typical BMW customers, the percentage of their incomes that is tied either directly, or only a degree or two separated from, simple credit fueled asset price “appreciation”, is staggering.

    Then look at how credit volumes in Japan, and asset prices in Tokyo have fared since 1990, and you’ll get more of an understanding for why Toyota, Honda et al, are reluctant to “bet the business” on the currently highly profitable “high end” of the market. Instead offering “luxury” models that require little commitment above and beyond their existing mainstream brands. When buyers aren’t paying in play money anymore, and after a while realize that they never again will, their priorities change dramatically.

    Much as Yellen and Draghi may want to delude themselves otherwise, they’re not going to be able to forever continue to pump more credit into increasingly old and retired people in the West, either. And once that finally and irreversibly sinks in, there’s only one way to go here as well. Again, just look at Japan, and consider if you really think the BMW cost and price model, looks to be a good fit for that kind of future. ‘Cause it’s coming this way from Japan, just like the rising sun.


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