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      06-05-2008, 10:57 AM   #1
plien69
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Motive Magazine - We'll all be driving Alfa Romeo's soon

According to Motive Mag, we'll all be trading in our 1ers for Brera's once Alfa Romeo returns to the US:
http://www.motivemag.com/pub/feature...fa_Romeo.shtml

Discuss.
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      06-05-2008, 11:07 AM   #2
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Did not like that read at all.

So in effect, they bought out of disgust with their old cars (to which they were once loyal), not out of any genuine appreciation for the best attributes of BMW. They didn't buy because of an I-6 or a V-8 that sounds stonking at 6000 rpm, or the engineer's obsession with 50/50 weight distribution, or Bauhaus-influenced IPs, or (until recently) understated design, or stealth performance, or a dozen other things I could mention. They bought because of what other people thought of the brand.

That part pissed me off actually.
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      06-05-2008, 11:37 AM   #3
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He's not referring to us, the enthusiast community, in that paragraph. He's referring to the legions of BMW owners who buy for status, not for engineering and performance.

To a large extent, his essay touches on themes that we discuss everyday here at 1addicts: people who ask why we don't just get a 3 series, whether the 1 series will remain "exclusive," etc.

Does our identification with the BMW brand and what we think it stands for get diluted in any way if the BMW brand *in general* shifts due to a changing BMW target demographic?
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      06-05-2008, 12:17 PM   #4
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i hated the entire article except this.....thought it was hilarious

People communicate things about themselves by the brands they chose and the brands they reject. Think of the people you know that are obsessed with everything Apple. They're probably concerned with the climate crisis and are somewhat interested in organic foods. Pretty good chance they think Obama is the answer. Maybe even an Impeach Bush! bumper sticker on the Prius or Civic. Do I describe someone you know, or am I stereotyping? If I am, where did the stereotype come from? Yeah, brands communicate.


he is kinda right...some people dont really know what they are buying when then get one sometimes they get it because it cost alot and other people say they are good
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      06-05-2008, 12:28 PM   #5
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Well, if you agree with that paragraph, then you are implicitly agreeing with his premise, even if you disagree about the interpretation and/or conclusion.

Let's be honest here. How many of us 1 series owners are reveling in its current state of "semi-exclusivity?" Deep down, doesn't a part of you wish to be seen as cutting-edge and in-the-know? If we really could care less about exclusivity, why are there threads asking how many 1ers are coming to the US?
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      06-05-2008, 12:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plien69 View Post
How many of us 1 series owners are reveling in its current state of "semi-exclusivity?"
Hate to disappoint, but not me.

Per the Alfas, they are beautiful cars and they have tons of Italian passion (redundant?), but the reliability is just shy of a Maserati, i.e., in the dirt.
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      06-05-2008, 01:07 PM   #7
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FYI, EVO Magazine did a comparo between the Brera, the Mazdaspeed 3, the S3, and the 130i hatch, and the S3 and 130i hatch ate the Brera for lunch. Actually, the Brera came in last place.

The 135i will eat that group for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desert, appertifs and few snacks thrown inbetween.
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      06-05-2008, 01:09 PM   #8
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Good post. I actually think the article is spot on in one respect, and then completely bumbles reality in another. Let me expand.

He's right, BMW's have become somewhat ubiquitous. Yes, a lot of people buy one for the brand identity, not for the driving characteristics. And yes, that's driving the sales numbers through the roof - giving way to new propositions that further expand the line-up. So, we end up with a mixed bag of drivers. Some are multi-generationals (dad had a bimmer, son/daughter buys one...not much more to it than that), loyalists, newbie enthusiasts (myself - always wanted one, got a '1'), and, posuers gallore (brand association benefits).

And, so, there's a lot of BMW's out there. Does that diminish the brand's value for the enthusiast/elitist/legacy owners? Probably.

Where he misses the point is that BMW needs to deliver sales numbers. They need to deliver bottom line results. Brand management today is not a discipline with a 10 year or longer (generational) strategy horizon; but rather 'if it's not making a difference in next fiscal period, it's not worth doing'. BMW has been somewhat more immune than other brands, though financial pressures of a publicly traded company cannot be ignored. In other words, BMW's executive team has no other choice.

So what do they do? Well, they build monstrosities like the X6 (and even X5 4.8....I mean really), and they stretch the line to infinite price brackets. But, and this is where I'm still sure BMW is doing it right, they also give us cars like the 135i. Not perfect, but, for the mid-level enthusiast price category (and this has been discussed at lenght everywhere, not just here) it's hard to pin it against a direct competitor. They give us the new M3 - an awesome (and very exclusive) machine - the best of car industry engineering. And soon, they'll give us an M1.

So, all things considered, while BMW is satisfying the financial and share-holder communities by growing the profit pool, they are also satisfying the enthusiasts by deliver terrific cars with a fairly awesome support network. Come to think of it, MB has the same strategy.....and essentially so does Porsche. Volkswagen has long ago gone away from 'the people's car'. Jaguar's a disaster (GM's fault second, Jaguar's fault first), which is now being fixed....slowly.

Will we all switch to Alpha Romeo's? Yeah, and pigs will fly. No doubt some may contemplate an Alpha, perhaps, even buy one. I happen to really like the look of the Brera. But, most of us will still compare it to our bimmers on price, performance, reliability, service capabilities, and yes, no matter who you are..........and don't lie.....what the brand/car ultimately says about the driver.

So as I started in this lenghty (sorry folks) post, the author is both so right and also so wrong at the same time. Kind of like so many opinions of us and our 1's are bound to be out there by other driver's and observers.
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      06-05-2008, 01:18 PM   #9
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Numbers don't mean squat, and an autoscribe shouldn't think so. A car is better than another car based on tangible merit. Yugos are still made in very limited numbers. Does that make them more desirable than our cars?

Conversely, if Ferrari were to pump up production to 300k units a year, keep the passion and quality just as it is today, would it become a poseur or badge whore car? Why can't it stand on the merit of what it is, and not what some oblivious wank with a pen thinks it is, solely based on a single sales number?
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      06-05-2008, 01:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zbladejr View Post
BMW is ... growing the profit pool. ... Come to think of it, MB has the same strategy.....and essentially so does Porsche.
Good point here. This article at BimmerFile -- http://www.bimmerfile.com/2008/06/05/bmw-in-trouble/ -- has a similar theme to the MotiveMag article, and its author cites Porsche as a company that's doing it right: remaining focused.

But I remember Porschephiles rising up in arms over the Cayenne, which was essentially a badge-engineered VW Touareg (I believe that sells the Cayenne short, but that was the sentiment). You can't tell me all the Cayenne owners out there are buying it because of Porsche's racing history and the heritage of the 356, 911, etc. And I can only imagine the consternation the new Panamera is causing.
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      06-05-2008, 02:01 PM   #11
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^ exactly. But the Cayenne is just the beginning. Next will come the 4 door 'saloon', and following that, who knows. It's just that BMW got into this brand extension game a lot earlier. Porsche will get there....I'm sure of it. Just a question of time.
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      06-05-2008, 02:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zbladejr View Post
^ exactly. But the Cayenne is just the beginning. Next will come the 4 door 'saloon', and following that, who knows. It's just that BMW got into this brand extension game a lot earlier. Porsche will get there....I'm sure of it. Just a question of time.
My grey-haired mother, who is 74 years old, just bought a Cayenne. Too funny. She wanted an SUV, and couldn't understand why Jaguar (her predominant badge) hadn't entered the SUV market. I tried to steer her to a Benz or a Volvo (much more practical and comfortable by my observations) but she said there were too many of them on the road.

Good thing Alfa didn't have an SUV in the market, or she'd have gotten one of those!
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      06-05-2008, 04:17 PM   #13
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There's a reason they stopped selling here in the first place isn't there? Wasn't it because they were junk?

I imagine there is a small demographic of car snobs who aspire to an Italian brand and will re-embrace Alfa just by virtue of the fact it's the only one they can afford. (Lambo, Ferrari, and Maserati certainly dont qualify as affordable.)

I dunno, does Alfa make a high-powered, semi-affordable RWD sport coupe that doesn't look and drive like total crap and won't fall apart after two years? If they do, maybe I DO want one...:iono:
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