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      03-31-2008, 02:38 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by sayemthree View Post
fully agree that competition is good - with AMG, Audi and now Lexus close on thier heals it helps keep BMW honest.

its not so much that I discredit any other car maker for an attempt at the m3's market....but the fact that BMW is the target and those that own a Toyota or Lexus need to admit just that - its an attempt.
You're still pretty much off the mark here.

Mercedes started the current power wars, with Audi an eager player and BMW just beginning to get with the program. The M brand is (nearly) legendary, but not broad. The other guys allow broader high-performance choices, with more to come.

Lexus sees the market embracing the hot-car concept, and since they don't have anything to compete in that space, every time someone gets interested in high performance, they lose a buyer. Often someone who was a repeat buyer.

The answer for them is to offer high performance in the Lexus manner, so as not to open up their own offerings to further pirating. Therefore, for instance, the IS-F is automatic only and offers Lexus luxury. The other performance offerings from Lexus are mostly hybrids. If they were shooting for the M3, they'd offer manual transmissions and other items that would allow them to compete more directly. Their solution is not to compete directly with the M3, because from a marketing standpoint that would open them up for further encroachment on their own market - since an M3 clone means you're a me-too outfit.

This way, they get to keep their mainstream buyers who would otherwise have to bolt to another manufacturer if they're looking for speed and handling in addition to their luxury and nearly absolute reliability and dependability.

Sure the nutbooks and industry pundits say they're direct competitors, and if you're new to either brand, so they are. But that ain't why the IS-F came into being.