Originally Posted by ptack
Basically, BMW intends to leverage its brand across wider markets and if that entails FWD, so be it. The fear is that BMW will sacrafice the performance side of the brand to achieve its growth. Sure, they'll still make M3s, M5s, etc., but those cars will be few in numbers and high in price. The question will be what the brand will become if the majority of vehicles being made bear little relationship to the performance cars other than badges and kidney grilles? The announcements essentially confirm that the primary face of the brand is luxury with asperations to performance.
On the other side, they may have seen what happened to Porsche's brand image. Nobody really buys a 911; their customers are elderly people who like the comfort of a Panamera or a Cayenne. But everyone still thinks Porsche is a sportscar brand.