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      07-10-2012, 01:24 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highyo View Post
so?
so what yourself

anyone can stick an M badge on the back but that doesn't make it an M
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      07-10-2012, 01:25 PM   #68
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keep on making those track editions with new paints!
as a matter of fact why not even add those engraved race track interior parts and call it a Viper Edition!?

two words: So Sad.

While i see much whining from this guy, i totally understand where his arguments are coming from. Things need a change. But the concept of "M" should not have been influenced by these idiots like those who decided to put exhaust noise into the new M5 stereo. As soon as they went turbo "M", i knew this was the end of M era.
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      07-10-2012, 01:25 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
It's easy to oversimplify the M conundrum, but brand equity is not an easy thing to manage as scale increases. Think about it: how can BMW simultaneously keep the M brand special while making enough financial return on their investment in the brand? Scope creep is inevitable, especially as brand status gets figured into the equation.

I had a 1988 E30 M3 from '88 to '91 and it was the most special car I've ever owned. Unfortunately that car is not competitive by today's standards and BMW would be mocked by many if they attempted to introduce a car as simple and pure as the E30 M3 today. Like it or not, the Toyota/Subaru FR-S/BRZ is the closest modem equivalent to an E30 M3 and it sells for under $30K.

The "simple performance car" market is basically closed to BMW because there's a lot more competition in that arena today than there was 25 years ago at much lower price points (370Z, Mustang GT, etc.) and BMW has understandably decided to play in a more expensive space to keep their brand status and profits high. At the price points where M cars sell, most buyers want everything: all the power, all the comfort, all the "look fast" bits and all the technology. And at the same time, BMW has to meet increasing regulatory demands -- safety, fuel economy, etc. As a result, the M cars try to be all things to all people and they fail as pure performance cars. But they're selling in record numbers and BMW is a business before all else. If people weren't buying them, BMW wouldn't keep building them.

Realistically, what M car can BMW reasonably and profitably produce that would please the old M guard? I would have preferred that the 1M Coupe were a 260HP naturally aspirated N52 variant that was stripped of unnecessary technology and weighed 3,200 lbs or less. That would have felt more like a real M car to me (and I would have bought one for certain), but there's no way BMW could profitably sell that car for under $45K. Even at $45K, the armchair internet racers would lambast it for being underpowered and overpriced (which would also describe almost every NA Porsche for people who don't know any better). It would be an old school success, but a new school failure.

So I'm torn -- I am firmly against the idea of M SUVs (and Porsche SUVs) and 4,200 lb. $100K M Sedans but I understand that they serve to underwrite other BMW performance models that I may want, so I begrudgingly acknowledge their purpose. As I see it, the problem is this: I don't think BMW can simultaneously keep the old guard and the new guard happy while remaining profitable, so they're catering to the new, monied customers at the expense of the old school performance enthusiasts. It's really that simple -- they're chasing the new money and it hurts to recognize that fact if you feel left out of the party. The buyers are changing and BMW is changing with them.

But before attacking BMW for their strategy, ask yourself this: what M car can BMW realistically produce today that would keep both the old guard and new guard happy while maintaining profitability? It's a much harder question to answer once you really think about it.
Well written
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      07-10-2012, 01:25 PM   #70
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I love how only 2 or 3 people in this thread even know who Caswell is. Personally, I think he's spot on. M isn't what it once was.
It is amusing. A lot of people making those remarks are the very people he is describing in his article.

He does speak the truth. The death of the M-brand started well before the Lime Rock edition M3.
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      07-10-2012, 01:27 PM   #71
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Some of you guys just sound ridiculous! "I'm not gonna buy a BMW ever again" Seriously? BMW's cars are fun, handle great, powerful(depends) and sexy. I bought my BMW for a lot more reasons then the badge it's sporting on the back of it. I also didn't buy mine because of BMW's heritage. I do agree that the M badge has been abused long before the Lime Rock M3 came around but to seriously sit there and say that "you'll never give BMW your money ever again" or "never buy a BMW again" because of how they decide to use the badge is silly.
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      07-10-2012, 01:27 PM   #72
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I don't know why he simultaneously says he loves the 1M but then slams it since one didn't go racing.

Whether or not BMW goes racing with the 1M is separate from whether it is more of a return to the cars he seemingly wants.

Manual only with no electronic dampers (and fairly stiff) is certainly a departure from something like the E90 M3 Lime Rock.

Sure, the MPA cars do dilute the badge a bit, but it seems like he just wants to rant. Plus "M Sport" has been around for years, which is pretty darn similar to MPA.
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      07-10-2012, 01:27 PM   #73
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The article has good and valid points. There might be a little exaggeration here and there but to underrate it and its author despite all the signs and tendencies abundant is not fair imo. I hope that BMW and M division reads this and takes it seriously instead of planning projects like "M underwear line" as one member posted before. Sounds like a joke but I see that day is approaching, guys who wear that underwear and a a "limited edition" watch and very proud of showing their painted brake calipers at the red lights. This looks like the new target profile of BMW and M which can not be a cool thing to happen.
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      07-10-2012, 01:28 PM   #74
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The M brand is fine. They make great cars even better. I'm just like you guys. When it was time to buy my first 911, I decided, eff all this bullshit i'm gonna make it a GT3RS. That thing sits in my garage and only gets used like once a month on the street and if i'm lucky, every other month at the track. I also leased an E92 M3 which I used and enjoyed EVERY DAMN DAY until the lease was up. It was a GREAT car. M is a big step up from stock which they never strayed from. So is the M brand dying or in need of a makeover which may alienate the majority of their customers? Absolutely not. Should they take some of their profits to create an R or RS versions of M cars (something relatively affordable unlike the overpriced GTS) the way Porsche has with their GT3 and GT2 cars to meet racing homologation or just to satisfy a very small group of purists? Definitely.


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      07-10-2012, 01:29 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
It's easy to oversimplify the M conundrum, but brand equity is not an easy thing to manage as scale increases. Think about it: how can BMW simultaneously keep the M brand special while making enough financial return on their investment in the brand? Scope creep is inevitable, especially as brand status gets figured into the equation.

I had a 1988 E30 M3 from '88 to '91 and it was the most special car I've ever owned. Unfortunately that car is not competitive by today's standards and BMW would be mocked by many if they attempted to introduce a car as simple and pure as the E30 M3 today. Like it or not, the Toyota/Subaru FR-S/BRZ is the closest modem equivalent to an E30 M3 and it sells for under $30K.

The "simple performance car" market is basically closed to BMW because there's a lot more competition in that arena today than there was 25 years ago at much lower price points (370Z, Mustang GT, etc.) and BMW has understandably decided to play in a more expensive space to keep their brand status and profits high. At the price points where M cars sell, most buyers want everything: all the power, all the comfort, all the "look fast" bits and all the technology. And at the same time, BMW has to meet increasing regulatory demands -- safety, fuel economy, etc. As a result, the M cars try to be all things to all people and they fail as pure performance cars. But they're selling in record numbers and BMW is a business before all else. If people weren't buying them, BMW wouldn't keep building them.

Realistically, what M car can BMW reasonably and profitably produce that would please the old M guard? I would have preferred that the 1M Coupe were a 260HP naturally aspirated N52 variant that was stripped of unnecessary technology and weighed 3,200 lbs or less. That would have felt more like a real M car to me (and I would have bought one for certain), but there's no way BMW could profitably sell that car for under $45K. Even at $45K, the armchair internet racers would lambast it for being underpowered and overpriced (which would also describe almost every NA Porsche for people who don't know any better). It would be an old school success, but a new school failure.

So I'm torn -- I am firmly against the idea of M SUVs (and Porsche SUVs) and 4,200 lb. $100K M Sedans but I understand that they serve to underwrite other BMW performance models that I may want, so I begrudgingly acknowledge their purpose. As I see it, the problem is this: I don't think BMW can simultaneously keep the old guard and the new guard happy while remaining profitable, so they're catering to the new, monied customers at the expense of the old school performance enthusiasts. It's really that simple -- they're chasing the new money and it hurts to recognize that fact if you feel left out of the party. The buyers are changing and BMW is changing with them.

But before attacking BMW for their strategy, ask yourself this: what M car can BMW realistically produce today that would keep both the old guard and new guard happy while maintaining profitability? It's a much harder question to answer once you really think about it.
Brilliant post! Glad to see someone "gets it". Can't please everyone and those that want old school performance rarely pay for it- so cater to the audience that does.
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      07-10-2012, 01:32 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
It's easy to oversimplify the M conundrum, but brand equity is not an easy thing to manage as scale increases. Think about it: how can BMW simultaneously keep the M brand special while making enough financial return on their investment in the brand? Scope creep is inevitable, especially as brand status gets figured into the equation.

I had a 1988 E30 M3 from '88 to '91 and it was the most special car I've ever owned. Unfortunately that car is not competitive by today's standards and BMW would be mocked by many if they attempted to introduce a car as simple and pure as the E30 M3 today. Like it or not, the Toyota/Subaru FR-S/BRZ is the closest modem equivalent to an E30 M3 and it sells for under $30K.

The "simple performance car" market is basically closed to BMW because there's a lot more competition in that arena today than there was 25 years ago at much lower price points (370Z, Mustang GT, etc.) and BMW has understandably decided to play in a more expensive space to keep their brand status and profits high. At the price points where M cars sell, most buyers want everything: all the power, all the comfort, all the "look fast" bits and all the technology. And at the same time, BMW has to meet increasing regulatory demands -- safety, fuel economy, etc. As a result, the M cars try to be all things to all people and they fail as pure performance cars. But they're selling in record numbers and BMW is a business before all else. If people weren't buying them, BMW wouldn't keep building them.

Realistically, what M car can BMW reasonably and profitably produce that would please the old M guard? I would have preferred that the 1M Coupe were a 260HP naturally aspirated N52 variant that was stripped of unnecessary technology and weighed 3,200 lbs or less. That would have felt more like a real M car to me (and I would have bought one for certain), but there's no way BMW could profitably sell that car for under $45K. Even at $45K, the armchair internet racers would lambast it for being underpowered and overpriced (which would also describe almost every NA Porsche for people who don't know any better). It would be an old school success, but a new school failure.

So I'm torn -- I am firmly against the idea of M SUVs (and Porsche SUVs) and 4,200 lb. $100K M Sedans but I understand that they serve to underwrite other BMW performance models that I may want, so I begrudgingly acknowledge their purpose. As I see it, the problem is this: I don't think BMW can simultaneously keep the old guard and the new guard happy while remaining profitable, so they're catering to the new, monied customers at the expense of the old school performance enthusiasts. It's really that simple -- they're chasing the new money and it hurts to recognize that fact if you feel left out of the party. The buyers are changing and BMW is changing with them.

But before attacking BMW for their strategy, ask yourself this: what M car can BMW realistically produce today that would keep both the old guard and new guard happy while maintaining profitability? It's a much harder question to answer once you really think about it.
Brilliant post.
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      07-10-2012, 01:35 PM   #77
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Havent read the full article but i called this yesterday


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BMW is starting to piss me off with these wanker ass "special edition" cars. Do something "special" like a factory supercharger and make a limited run of those instead of badging a car like a fucking civic. Its Really getting old and becoming a poser brand. no wonder mustangs are catching up so fast
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And further more how bout you bring back a real fucking engine like a v12 7 liter monster that gets 5 miles to the gallon. But no we get a faggity electric powered by aaa batteries to hang our hat on.
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      07-10-2012, 01:38 PM   #78
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simianspeedster's post + s4awd's post = /thread.
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      07-10-2012, 01:40 PM   #79
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Regardless of his motivations,you must agree BMW doesnt build 3klb cars anymore. Porsche,GM,Mazda ... still do.
I think the problem BMW faces trying to build a 3,000-ish lb. car today is the lack of a suitable platform. BMW doesn't have a sports car model or chassis -- all their M cars start as 4 seaters. Had the current Z4 been offered as a fixed hardtop like the last model, they'd at least have a starting point though they'd have to do a lot of work to keep the weight down that low.
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      07-10-2012, 01:41 PM   #80
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I do not have any problem with the current M line up, much less with this Lime Rock Edition. We can say whatever we want but the E9x M3 is not -and never has been- that great of a seller, compared with the happy days of the E46 and much less the E36. So BMW AG and BMW NA did -and still are doing- what it needs to done to move the sucker.

That's the way a real business is run.

However -and the only thing that I agree with the article- somebody in BMW AG is taking this "got to do what we got to do" to absurd levels with the M Division: now we have this M Performance line that applies to M cars. And they have the nerve to show official photos of this M5M aberration to showcase the stupidity.

That's where I have to say, you are going to f**k this up.

IMO, there are only two European tuning houses that set the standard for anybody else to follow: M and AMG. They got the history of purpose. And somehow it still mean something even for customers that do not give a damn about that history. Why? Because word of mouth of that history was passed along by extremely satisfied previous owners with their cars somehow. That's perceived worth or value -maybe you do not know porn but you will know when you see it. The same perceived value that makes somebody to plunk $56,000 for a F30 M-Sport 245hp 328i and not in a 420hp Infiniti M56 of the same price.

The problem with initiatives like the M Performance line is that they should stay as far away from the M Division as possible. The M Division does not need this kind of crap, they need superior and distinctive products that can make current owners pass along their satisfaction to future customers -like it was done before. Whoever in marketing thinks that this is like selling expensive soap needs to step down.
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      07-10-2012, 01:44 PM   #81
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That dude needs to get laid. Seriously, I don't care much for the 'lime rock' edition either, but the lengths people will go to bitch about shit is beyond me.
+100

Most of the criticism in that article applies to the car industry in general right now, not specifically BMW, and it's nothing that hasn't been said already. Read like a regurgitated article that's as redundant as the new m3 colourways. The fact is that in a global recession ALL businesses are going to readdress their marketing and reign in their expenditure, the rich like posing more than they do serious track racing & motorsport isn't cheap, at least in this case BMW are still marketing one of the best road cars ever built.
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      07-10-2012, 01:48 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
.....

But before attacking BMW for their strategy, ask yourself this: what M car can BMW realistically produce today that would keep both the old guard and new guard happy while maintaining profitability? It's a much harder question to answer once you really think about it.
simple example:

Make the "Lime Rock" limited edition with the following:
- The australian S65 version of the engine (+20hp, etc)
- Make it slightly lighter (add performance seats, additional weight)
- add the M5 like brakes
- add Euro MDM and other similar features

and then charge me what you are charging this current "Lime rock limited edition"
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      07-10-2012, 01:53 PM   #83
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Brilliant post! Glad to see someone "gets it". Can't please everyone and those that want old school performance rarely pay for it- so cater to the audience that does.
Yeah because when BMW offers old school performance...light weight Recaro seats, rear bench delete,wider wheels and tires, coilovers,a 4.4L NA engine they want $140,000 for it.

It's not like a choice between a Boss 302ls or GT500 at similar prices or chosing between an E36 M3 or a E36 M3 LTW. Btw i know a guy who purchased an E36 M3 LTW new,there were no trunk money you've talked about.i dont know why you keep repeating the ltw was a commercial faillure.
He had to travell all the way to Cleveland OH to get one at msrp.

The M3 GTS is well over $140k, geez i wonder why there arent so many takers?
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      07-10-2012, 02:00 PM   #84
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sounds like a guy who can't afford an m car
This is one of the exact reasons I think he wrote this. Just think about how silly this sounds.

These are $35-50,000 used cars and $65-82,000 new. Not $150,000-500,000.

He is absolutely right though, I love the M3 for its origins, not for its present lifestyle. The 1M was a down right monster in comparison to the M3 for the price.

Bmw knows by now that most of the people who own these cars buy them as a status symbol. They are heavy, slow and the body is now dated and finally coming with a new style... They have absolutely been beating a dead horse with all these stupid frozen colors, and orange, and now lime rock edition. They are never faster than the previous model as stated truth.


I passed on a 2011 M3. Bored of car shows full of 20" wheels and duck tails trunk lids. I wanted a platform that would be open for growth, and I had a hard time accepting $15,000+ in mods to run 11's.
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      07-10-2012, 02:01 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssabripo View Post
simple example:

Make the "Lime Rock" limited edition with the following:
- The australian S65 version of the engine (+20hp, etc)
- Make it slightly lighter (add performance seats, additional weight)
- add the M5 like brakes
- add Euro MDM and other similar features

and then charge me what you are charging this current "Lime rock limited edition"
Sounds like a fun configuration, but I'm guessing your last line was tongue in cheek because you probably know BMW would charge at least another $10K to add these bits. So then the question is whether BMW would realistically sell many $80K-90K M3s with "only" another 20HP. Sales volume would surely be very low, so BMW would have to charge a stiff premium (at least $10K, maybe more) to make the effort worthwhile.

And remember, this variant could only potentially exist because BMW has already sunk 90% of the R&D costs into the existing base M3, so it goes back to the question about how to produce niche M cars at scale without the "tent pole" models.
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      07-10-2012, 02:03 PM   #86
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I do agree with article. BMW is making their M brand less exclusive. Their adding the M badge to anything they can put their hands on. It's sad, but that's the way of life and wealth.

But honestly I can't think of a better car than BMW. So I would still have an M car. Like the 1M or the future M2.
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      07-10-2012, 02:06 PM   #87
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I agree with everything you've said but your question can't be answered by the production of one car. I think many are asking for something widely available yet special. BMW has built a car like that before.. Just made it available to no one.

I find it hard to believe bmw wouldn't see a profit from a world wide variant of the GTS priced around the 90k-100k mark.
Indeed, it would be interesting to see how this would work, but I think at the $90K+ price point, BMW is going to have trouble competing without a proper sports cars chassis as a starting point. In that air, BMW will run into 911s, Vipers, Corvettes, GT-Rs, etc. most of which are designed from the ground up to be more sporting cars than the E9X chassis.

BMW's M roots are based on variants of production cars. I think that worked fine in the '80s because they had no real competition, but they are so many purpose-built sports cars in the market now that BMW may not be able to compete without a proper sports car of their own. I know BMW could build a real Cayman competitor, but they don't bother for whatever reason.
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      07-10-2012, 02:06 PM   #88
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What a load of crap and a dramaqueen. Here's the problem most people have these days. We romanticise things. Sure the M3 E30 was a great car, as a matter of fact it is one of my favorite BMW's, but this car wouldn't have hit the streets if the DTM rules at that time didn't stipulated that the racecar should be sold to the public. But times change, hell even the DTM changed, nowadays there aren't any championships with homologation rules. So you can dream about taking a standard BMW coupe tweak it (because that's what hapened with the E30) and compete against the Ferrari's and Porsche's of this world but that is you living in La-La land (no, not L.A.). If you want to compete with midengined and rearengined racers you'll have to adept the whole car as they did.
And they're doing a pretty amazing job in ALMS and DTM. They also didn't do a bad job in F1 it's a pitty but sensible retirement of F1 because business before pleasure. But the point is if you wanted BMW to make streetversions of the ALMS and DTM cars you will need to tone it down, make sure that it meets regulations, make it comfortable enough for the general public and after all that you need to keep costs down. So what will you end up with? Precisely the M3 as we know now.

So for as the roadcars. Sure the M3 isn't a homologation model but is it a bad or shitty car? No. Last time I checked it was still the standard for it's class. Hell it even competes with the Porsche 911's of this world. How good the M3 E30 was, it never challenged the 911 at that time. So there's progress.
Are the M5, M6 or 1M bad cars? No. They're fanastic cars. And that's the point as it ever was of M. They make the standard cars that are great even better. Remember the original M5?

So, is BMW M dead? No, not by a long shot, it's just BMW living in reality and not in la-la land.
Daaaadadundun is offline  
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