Originally Posted by Wes.
BMW is trying to capture a larger market share. By introducing cheaper models, they can do it. It's totally understandable from a business standpoint and I cannot fault BMW for that (every other company is doing the same thing), but as a brand, BMW has been watered down. BMW was once reserved for a certain type of driver. Now it is reserved for people who just care about the badge.
The E46 M3 and E39 M5 were the ultimate driver's cars. We will never see cars like that again.
I think the fear is that they will sell their soul in the pursuit of profits. Other successful companies have gone down this same path and have come out a shell of their former selves. I am not saying that BMW will necessarily loose their soul, but its hard not to fathom the brand equity taking a hit when there is a FWD car with the same badge as a performance RWD car sitting in the same dealership. Why buy a BMW anymore when you could just as easily buy a FWD Honda?