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      07-10-2012, 09:52 PM   #199
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Lamborgini and Ferrari are both part of large Multi-National corporations.
They are still very much their own brands
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      07-10-2012, 09:58 PM   #200
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BMW is in the business of making cars and money.

Without money, they cannot make cars.

Thus they must maximize profits in every way possible.
You don't have to maximize profit in every possible way to keep making cars, etc. Look at Lambo and Ferrari and the multitude of other specialized bands in various markets.
Please tell me your not putting BMW M cars in the same class as a Lamborghini or Ferrari. Those are super cars, I love my M but BMW is not even in the same league with them. About the only similarity is that they both make cars.
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      07-10-2012, 09:59 PM   #201
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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.
this is true
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      07-10-2012, 10:06 PM   #202
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One could just as easily say that the poseurs are the "track types" whose minority opinion is more valid than hundreds of thousands of M car buyers, or posing as superior judges of what's good for a company and its stockholders (oh and btw, BMW is a public company with traded equity for one of the prior posters who claimed it was private).

Stick to your tracking/racing/performance purity expertise and vote with your wallet if you disagree so vehemently and leave the psychology/consumer behavior/management consulting/cost accounting/profitability analysis (and even spelling --it's posEUR, btw) to others. Time will tell if BMW is in fact becoming the next Toyota.
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      07-10-2012, 10:20 PM   #203
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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.
gotta agree
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      07-10-2012, 10:22 PM   #204
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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.
Exactly
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      07-10-2012, 11:11 PM   #205
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What's sad to me is most people here don't get why he's upset.

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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      07-10-2012, 11:12 PM   #206
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Lot's of true statements in the article. I remember back when I used to lust after M3's and M5's in the 80's 90's and even as recently as e9x era because M cars were rare and special.Now almost every car BMW makes has an M variant.I'm quickly loosing interest in what BMW is doing and looking back at Porsche smiling.This will be my last M car sadly,I will keep it forever,but will buy a Porsche GT3 once again in the next few years
+1. As much as I love BMW, ///M really is headed towards ///Marketting. The E9X is a great car, but I fear what's coming. Already it's being stated that the F30 cars are *almost* as good as the E9X cars that they replaced. While powerful, the new M5 has lost some of the beautiful steering that ///Ms are known for... don't even get me started on the artificial engine sounds. C&D who are total BMW fanboi's even placed it lower than competing offerings from MB and Audi (I believe the comparo was with the E63 AMG and S6). The next M3 will not be N/A and now we know that it'll also lose hydraulic steering completely. It'll be lighter... but it's also going to be bigger.

I'll keep an open mind, but I don't like what I'm seeing. Next time around, I'll likely be seriously considering Porsche and MB AMG in addition to BMW ///M.
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      07-10-2012, 11:40 PM   #207
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I think the issue mostly is that BMW is using it past reputation as an awesome driving car, when it really in many of the models, no longer is. While I drift away from the M discussion for a bit, the F10 and F30 are really starting to point in that direction. People are buying them because they've always heard how awesome the BMW is, even though they may be have never owned one before. But several generations of cars from now and when BMWs really drive no better than anything else on the road, they may start to lose sales.

In many ways this applies to be the M brand as well.
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      07-10-2012, 11:49 PM   #208
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I beg to differ...he's trashing the guys who tend to buy these special edition cars (with no meaningful track upgrade) the intention of tracking it. This LRP edition is a joke by all means and is not a lightweight track specialist.

He's also trashing people who own these high revving M cars but never take them to the track. These high revving M motors need to be at the track to attain their full potential...otherwise its pretty tame on the daily grind.

This explains why folks on this forum start supercharging their cars to get that low end grunt and higher speeds which is going against the historical ///M philosophy. Hell if supercharging the M was always going to be in the cards...an american muscle car like the GT500 would more than suffice for straight line duty and the occasional turns. The M division now builds heavy turbo charged cars which provide that low end grunt but fails on all counts as a sensory delight (be it steering or weight).

The beauty of pure N/A motors was the ability of the average weekend racers with some mechanical inclination to be able to work on their cars. With the inclusion of more and more sensors and chips to attain that performance.....the only place where M cars win the battle is in the hearts of software engineers and tuners with a penchant for the occasional DIY.

New M cars have no FIZZ.
Haven't read to the end of the post, but I had to reply to this. Most people who own and M3 don't take it to the track. Only about 10% or people track their cars - good for them. Your infactuation (sp) with the N/A aspect of the M3 is false. The M3 is definately a great car. An M3 with SC is a fantastic car that can scoot around as a DD or tear up the track any day. As good as BMW's N/A engine "were" times do change and to stay competitive (and sell more cars based on the HP wars) companies are forced to adapt.

BMW's N/A engines as great as they are would never compete with boosted cars that were being produced from about 2002. Audi/VW 2.0T, MB kompressors, Jag's SC, and many more companies leaped forward in hp/tq ratings over BMW's N/A engines. When the 335 first came out in 2007, one article was headlined "if you can't beat them, join them". This just shows you that if a company stood still - being stubborn on an idea, they would lose themselves in the market. At the end of the day, its about how many cars you sell and how much profit you get from them.

BMW's forte was always balance and handling. This is why the E30, E36, and even E46 always held their own on the track vs higher horsepower cars. Comparing a SC E9x to a GT 500 is not fair because there is so much more to a car (E9x) in terms of balance, poise, drivability at the limit, that have been derived from the previous M cars.

To each his own, I think the E90 will land into history books as one of the last greatest M3s to be developed. Give it a SC and it becomes legendary.
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      07-10-2012, 11:51 PM   #209
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I was in a dealership today and I have to say it was saddening to get into a 640i Grancoupe and see a HUGE M badge on hte door plate sill the steering wheel...etc etc...

I know one can debadge but it just feels weird to an enthusiast to see it everwhere with no Motorsport cred.

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      07-10-2012, 11:57 PM   #210
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The first paragraph pretty much sums up the writer's apparent ignorance and decidedly nitpick approach on the matter:
"just launched a track edition M3 that offers no serious performance improvement over the current M3"

We all know there has been various "limited edition" on the M3 which is not much more than a limited run of specific color and equipment combo plus some available options. Who says anything about these limited editions are meant to be enhanced performance edition over the "normal" M3?

I'll probably read the rest of the article tomorrow when I get bored... but just for entertainment on how whiny this author went
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      07-10-2012, 11:59 PM   #211
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Everyone knows that BMW has to change to adapt to the taste of the largest segment of its market, which is definitely not die-hard racing fans or M car purists. The purists are being dropped in favor of the most profitable customers who will pay for all the luxury and perceived performance turbos have to offer. On the street turbos rule since you can feel it at legal speeds. Those of us who are lovers of the classic M just need to pick up which ever NA engine M car we can afford, keep it in good shape and enjoy the heck out of it on the track on the weekend.
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      07-11-2012, 12:01 AM   #212
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I love this. I was feeling damn near the same way when I heard about the Lime Rock edition and have felt the same about the ///Marketing Division for a while now. It looks like if you want to buy from a car brand that doesn't stray from its roots in such a drastic way then you'll have to fork out a little more for a Porsche.
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      07-11-2012, 12:06 AM   #213
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I love this. I was feeling damn near the same way when I heard about the Lime Rock edition and have felt the same about the ///Marketing Division for a while now. It looks like if you want to buy from a car brand that doesn't stray from its roots in such a drastic way then you'll have to fork out a little more for a Porsche.
A Cayman would be a good example of this
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      07-11-2012, 12:15 AM   #214
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Entirely agree with you however they are making what there clients asking for, living in the US I found out people love to have those big cars what's called SUV's, they care more about the options or how luxurious the car such as the Nav screen, speakers, iPhone integrated, they don't even know what real M5 or m3 w/ stick shift thing is all about! Glad to own the last decent generation E39 M5, although most of Europe, the middle east & Australia still into old ultimate driving machine.

E39 M5 In Australia is still worth $40,000 AUD, $39,717.95 USD, 24,862.90 GBP, why is that??
Cheers I always admired the e39 M5. In 1998 I bought a 98 E39 528i Sport although not the fastest car, very capable and drove excellent. IMHO E39 was one of the best BMW models ever made. Top 5 of all the BMW's I have owned.
Completely agree, cheers to you too BMW mate
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      07-11-2012, 12:16 AM   #215
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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.
Great post and well written.
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      07-11-2012, 12:25 AM   #216
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I love this. I was feeling damn near the same way when I heard about the Lime Rock edition and have felt the same about the ///Marketing Division for a while now. It looks like if you want to buy from a car brand that doesn't stray from its roots in such a drastic way then you'll have to fork out a little more for a Porsche.
Wait, you're recommending cars from a brand that:

1) Has an SUV (and before that, a convertible) as its best selling car?
2) Went to electric steering & a (possible) PDK for the GT3?
3) Intentionally nerfs the Cayman so that it doesn't intrude on the 911?
4) Has the most ridiculous options list outside of Ferrari?

I'm not sure if that is the brand you're looking for .

Actually, I think it wouldn't be a bad idea if BMW did follow the Porsche strategy. Make M-sport cars for the poseurs that care about slammed stances, 20-inch wheels & nonfunctional CF aero parts, while having the "true" M-cars come standard with cloth seats and a set of track-worthy brakes .
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      07-11-2012, 12:50 AM   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster
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.

Great post.

However,

1M was 46k. So just a tick over 45k.

Stripped of unnecessary weight... No auto/dct.. No moonroof.. stock car has no nav, no power seats.. Check.

Curb weight, 3296 lbs.

Are you seriously going to say that you didn't buy a 1M because it weighs 96 more lbs than 3200?


Donta make a mucha sensa.

Perhaps you are an NA motor snob? Yep. That must have been it. Because otherwise, sounds like the 1M should have been on your short list.

*shrug*.
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      07-11-2012, 01:22 AM   #218
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Rant aside...

The thing that got me fired up was BMW not painting or offering the car in Lime Green.
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      07-11-2012, 02:08 AM   #219
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I mean he does have a point to some extent. Shouldn't a "track edition" have special equipment on it meant for tracking? Like lighter weight/higher performance (├* la CRT)? Painting it a different color and adding some CF parts does not really count...

But he still does seem to be on a huge rant. Alas, I don't blame him...
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      07-11-2012, 03:04 AM   #220
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You know what I jet thought about- The car is LIGHTER!!! the M Performance exhaust drops some weight compared to the stock piece just had to throw that out there- oh and the added down force may shave a tenth

When your hands are tied what else can you do but offer the best thing you can- at least it has more substance than just "Frozen" unrepairable paint.
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