Originally Posted by SCOTT26
Quite the opposite.
No one can afford to stand still and growth is more important than relying on standing still in established segments and markets.
BMW is not market centric we are global company which caters to the global market.
As I have said numerous times before there is a strategy and the Active Tourer concept confirms this strategy that both MINI and BMW can co-exist in the compact segment, The Active Tourer is possibly not coming to the US because it will not be shown at this weeks LA Autoshow.
BMW have today confirmed that a LWB Active Tourer is considered for the Chinese market since the 5er Li and the latest 3er Li which is outselling Audi's A4L by a considerable margin.
In the auto industry you have to have the ability to identify the trends in the market and where the markets are heading and then plan your strategy accordingly. Today the markets are favouring compact cars , SUV in all sizes and status and crossovers. This is what manufacturers have to work to - what is important to the customer and what is important to the demands of the market.
A recent report regarding the European crisis failed to include BMW's strong european demand for the MINI models, 1er , X1 , 3er , 3er Touring ,X3 and 5er models.
Specific markets cater for more luxury for example so BMW are looking at further options.
Take as an example (but not the only example) BMW's largest market China. They have just anounced another increase, a significant increase over last year that our China projections have now been altered with a new three year plan for increased luxury models.
Also I was recently in India where BMW are also experiencing rapid growth as is Brazil . These markets will demand smaller concepts and the FWD family is the perfect model for continuous growth.
BMW is a different kind of car company we do not think like the others we express our values differently. BMW's main competitor is Mercedes-Benz who also express their values differently.
We stress that individuality in every car and that is why we are number 1.
There is serious interest (which can be registered on the main site about the Active Tourer concept) which so far has many enquiries.
The car was well received by both public and the media and the finished model is not much different, 90% of the concept is in the production car.
The Active Tourer showed the beginning of BMW's journey.
Having seen the first cars that are incoming against competitors and even its MINI sibling. The designers and engineers have fulfilled the brief. Not only do they stand out in appearance but the engineers sought to make the best handling FWD cars , those who have driven the cars claim the next MINI and BMW's Urbanic city car outdrive and outsteer the equivalent Audi A1.
Everybody has an opinion and are allowed to express that opinion.
Nevertheless , I hope you enjoy your Caddy , Audi etc.
So, a bit of history. Back in the 1980's when BMW really became popular, the trend of the auto industry was to small, compact, front drive cars. Japan already had such models, and so did Audi and VW. The American manufacturers all jumped on the bandwagon with the likes of the Escort, Tempo, Citation, etc. In fact almost every model in the U.S. line up was a new FWD chassis, or conversion of existing nameplates to FWD.
At this same time in the 80's BMW never even considered a FWD car. I was there, following the auto industry as I do today (w/o the benefit of the internet) and nowhere do I remember BMW even throwing a FWD concept car into the mix.
The truth here is this, BMW has become mainstream. Most other companies have caught up to BMW in handling and braking (at the level most people drive on the street) and BMW has nowhere else to go but into the compact FWD market. BMW cars are over engineered, expensive, and have nowhere near the build quality or reliability of mainstream FWD such as a Honda or Toyota product, even some of the US domestics too.
So stop trying to spin this into BMW “thinks differently than any other manufacturer”. They did 30 years ago, but not now.
It sounds like to me BMW is just now catching up to the rest of the world auto industry. In the US, when FWD BMWs become common place as Focuses, Civics, Yaris, then the brand will have lost its image. BMW is the US is primarily a badge-whore market, for people who would do just fine in a FWD Buick.
If you think BMW is number 1 in the world, then they must pass out good smoking materials at lunch time.