I understand why the headline of this article tries to focus on the positive (overall brand sales increase year over year), but there's a lot of bad news buried in the details.
I'm worried that BMW has jeopardized the 3 Series, their core car and their traditional volume leader. 3 Series sales are down 22% year over year with a brand new sedan design in the dealer showrooms -- that's a very bad sign for the F30 and BMW in general.
I believe the lines strategy for the F30 and the uncompetitive equipment packing is coming back to haunt BMW. The F30 feels like a bridge too far -- too much technology and not enough traditional BMW feel to justify the premium pricing. BMW has adjusted the equipment packages to some extent for MY2013, but the savings are not substantial. I believe they're going to need to do more to prop up sales. Here in Southern California, I see new C250s everywhere, but I'm not seeing many new F30s -- only 3 spotted so far in the last 3 months.
One more interesting stat: the ratio of 3 Series sales to 1 Series sales in May 2011 was roughly 20 to 1 -- in May 2012, it was roughly 10 to 1.