Originally Posted by VaderWagon
Everyone continues to miss the obvious point that was in the original press release...the weather in February was worse at BMW dealerships than it was at Mercedes and Audi stores which managed 20%+ gains. I mean it's so obvious why sales were lackluster!
(This actually made me chuckle out loud)
I agree with so much that has been said here, and it's nice that everyone has a thoughtful opinion to contribute without attacking. As someone who has loved BMW since I was young (my parents had an e28 528e) I have always been intoxicated by the 'feel' of driving a BMW, as all enthusiasts know. This is the main thing I love about my 08 550 M Sport, as well as friends' e46 sedans.
My first disappointment came when I first saw in-person and drove an F10 550 in 2010. It definitely felt upscale, but in a non-dynamic sort of way. It felt completely disconnected from the road and that steering... I won't even go there. Secondly, when I walked on the lot I honestly had trouble distinguishing it from the F01, and as I'm sure everyone else here knows, I know a model when I see it. It looked so heavy and bulbous compared to my e60, and especially the e39 which is still such a legendary platform.
My second disappointment (although based on someone else's judging, so I won't take it too terribly seriously) was the Car and Driver comparison test with the M5, e63, and S6 in July of last year. The fact that the M5 came in last was so unbelievably disappointing, but I have to say given my experience above it wasn't too surprising.
My third disappointment came with the F30. I can't say I dogged the looks too much... the front end is ok to me, but overall I don't think its style will stand the test of time. Even worse, I felt like I was driving a Corolla. It was awful. Given this experience, I can't believe what BMW is charging for these. The fact that they're bringing a 320 to the American market so they can start the prices lower is a sad effort on their part. How about engineering a car that people feel justifies its price?
It's no secret BMW has sort of shifted their focus to appeal to the mainstream luxury buyer (and it became completely obvious when they tried to market 'JOY' for a short time) and while that's worked up till now, it may begin to backfire. I can't say I wish bad things upon them, but it would be nice for them to take notice and resume engineering vehicles with dynamic driving experiences.
Before I saw this post on the February sales, I had been thinking about what my next vehicle might be. Mine just turned 50k and while I will be keeping it, I don't want it to rack up tons of miles before it turns into a weekend car. While I would love another CAR, none of the current offerings from BMW interest me. I have always loved the X5, the e53 LCI and the current LCI as well. The fact that they're selling extremely well with an old platform is a testament to their engineering when it seemed like BMW cared more about 'the ultimate driving machine'.
Other than that, Audis and Mercedes have been catching my eye more often, although it pains me to say that. It's getting more and more difficult to justify my undying love for BMW. I only hope SOMETHING changes soon.