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      12-24-2007, 03:21 AM   #23
swamp2
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Scott,

Thanks for this information. It is good to have someone from BMW to at least acknowledge that DCT exists, and that it is being tested successfully.

I didn't know that the "European market has always significant priority for M cars." That is BMW's call, but it sounds absurd to me given 50% of production is targeted for the US market. I wonder about the rationale associated with such a strategy (and I don't expect you to articulate it or anything).

As to "the M3 had to complete additional US testing to make it compatible for the US Market, that is why it is taking too long to come to the USA": that also sounds absurd to me in this day and age, and I doubt that is the real reason. (If, currently, there was a true competitor to the M3 in the US market, BMW would be selling the car here as well.) That reasoning sounds absurd because global companies, for many reasons which include things like minimizing development costs, have long recognized the need to deal with such market specific issues in parallel with the overall development of the product--especially considering the size and importance of the US market. 15 years ago that global perspective wasn't in focus, but it is now the gold standard. If that is indeed the real reason for the delay, to redesign a product for a major market after it has been fully developed is really behind the times.

I realize my opinions are inconsequential in the greater scheme of things, but what you have expressed has influenced my perception of BMW as a leading global product development organization.

Regardless, thanks again for the information on DCT.
Excellent post lucid.

I read long ago that BMW explicitly stated that they were attempting to globalize cars meaning minimize design differences across markets. They will always exist, simply things like license plate width and more complex ones like emissions. Nonetheless the cars are becoming more and more alike. I also read that BMW is working toward more simultaneous global car launches (MT or C&D, I think).

BMWs seemingly euro-centric approach is clearly not driven enough by a simple evaluation of where their cars sell. To some extent they manufacture here what sells substantially better here, but for pride and location of team, M must remain euro-centric I guess.

Also note Scott never said anything about "DCT" nor "M-DCT" explicitly. He said the "new" transmission, then interpret as you like. He did add it had an automatic mode though.
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      12-24-2007, 10:20 AM   #24
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I also read that BMW is working toward more simultaneous global car launches (MT or C&D, I think).
This is definitely the trend in industry. I worked at Microsoft on Windows 3.1 many years ago, and boy, what a mess that was in terms of market specific product launches. I spoke to some people there recently, and it sounds like they have made significant leaps in making sure market specific issues are handled in parallel with the core development of the product.
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BMWs seemingly euro-centric approach is clearly not driven enough by a simple evaluation of where their cars sell. To some extent they manufacture here what sells substantially better here, but for pride and location of team, M must remain euro-centric I guess.
I guess one could say that the M division needs to focus on the German market to preserve its product identity, and the M cars might lose their focus and become diluted if they tried to address the global needs from the beginning. But there are ways to deal with that issue. For major markets like the US market, at t=0, one can form separate smaller teams that deal with localization issues and function separately but interface with the core development team. I think that is what Microsoft has done.

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Also note Scott never said anything about "DCT" nor "M-DCT" explicitly. He said the "new" transmission, then interpret as you like. He did add it had an automatic mode though.
Well, I don't know what else it could be. It surely cannot be a regular automatic!

Happy Holidays Swamp.
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      12-25-2007, 03:20 AM   #25
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...
Well, I don't know what else it could be. It surely cannot be a regular automatic!

Happy Holidays Swamp.
Yeah I guess we all know pretty well what it is, what it will be named and quite a bit about what it should deliver. Just pointing out the extremely non-commital nature of BMW folks.

Happy Holidays to you as well.
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      12-25-2007, 09:12 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
I didn't know that the "European market has always significant priority for M cars." That is BMW's call, but it sounds absurd to me given 50% of production is targeted for the US market. I wonder about the rationale associated with such a strategy (and I don't expect you to articulate it or anything).
Well, I guess it simply boils down to BMW being German first, European second and allowing the nearest countries the first cars as cars ratified for the EU can be sold in any of the member states without further testing. Therefore, why should its European customers wait for the needs of the other markets? If the NA market is the biggest, it'll remain that way, despite the added wait.
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      12-25-2007, 09:33 AM   #27
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Love the teaser, nice looking convertible... but the next M3 is for me not the wife.. so no convertible.

I would be happy with a date when the price will be released... never mind the price.

I still say it's being held up by the number crunchers. Crash testing, adding marker lights... all that adds no unexpected cost. Emissions may add some additional costs but some countries that the M3 is already released in have strict requirements.

No other reason than concern about profit vs market share.
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      12-25-2007, 10:01 AM   #28
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bmw has smart financial advisors that understand market fluctuations. there can only be so many courses of action. it should not take this long. bmw is jacked up.
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      12-25-2007, 12:29 PM   #29
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Yeah I guess we all know pretty well what it is, what it will be named and quite a bit about what it should deliver.
Hey, I wouldn't be surprised if BMW came up with some BMW-sounding jargon to try to differentiate from other DCT units that are on the market that pretty much operate in the same way.
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      12-25-2007, 12:35 PM   #30
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Therefore, why should its European customers wait for the needs of the other markets? If the NA market is the biggest, it'll remain that way, despite the added wait.
Executing a simultaneous launch would not necessarily require delaying the European launch. That is basically my point. It is possible to pull that off--mainly an organizational issue which can be accomplished with just incremental additional resources (since parallel development introduces certain efficiencies, it might even cut costs). The Microsoft example I gave above supports that argument. (No, I haven't analyzed Microsoft's books to see what happened to their development costs, but based on what I heard from my friends up there, things are moving along much more smoothly now compared to 15 years ago with the new organizational focus around concurrent development).

My other point is that BMW doesn't really care at this point since they can afford not to care; currently, there is no true competitor to this product that is on sale in the US market and they will not lose market share in the US because of the delay. (A few pissed-off guys on this forum will not change public opinion). That doesn't mean things will stay that way forever though.

Having said all this, the issue might have nothing to do with additional development for the US market, which is what I speculated in my initial response to Scott. I really have a hard time believing BMW would not be able to pull that off. It might be related to production ramp up issues instead for instance.
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      12-25-2007, 01:47 PM   #31
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If you look at worldwide products like games consoles etc initial demand is far greater than can be met so staged worldwide releases help meet inital demand. why build 20 factories when only 10 will be needed long term to meet demand.

My local UK dealer says he got M3 coupe allocation last week for next year and it's not enough to meet the names on his list so demand is very high while supply is short in europe.

I expect that's the problem with USA supply, BMW must meet euro demand first then worldwide is a small % and easy to meet, so in the meantime they are stocking up for US supply.

In the UK we hardly make anything now so we get used to getting products 6 months after america/asia
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      12-25-2007, 01:56 PM   #32
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If you look at worldwide products like games consoles etc initial demand is far greater than can be met so staged worldwide releases help meet inital demand. why build 20 factories when only 10 will be needed long term to meet demand.

My local UK dealer says he got M3 coupe allocation last week for next year and it's not enough to meet the names on his list so demand is very high while supply is short in europe.

I expect that's the problem with USA supply, BMW must meet euro demand first then worldwide is a small % and easy to meet, so in the meantime they are stocking up for US supply.

In the UK we hardly make anything now so we get used to getting products 6 months after america/asia
Sure. I'd buy this argument over Scott's "the M3 had to complete additional US testing to make it compatible for the US Market, that is why it is taking too long to come to the USA", which I've been saying doesn't make much sense in this day and age.
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      12-26-2007, 07:05 AM   #33
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hi all, the waiting time for a new car order in the UK is about 5/6 months at the moment and I imagine it's the same across Europe. Demand is still very high so I guess they're focusing production on meeting demand here. As for the non price issue for north America, I guess the euro/dollar issue isn't helping bmw north America to fix a price that would aceptable to US consumers?
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      12-26-2007, 08:49 AM   #34
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As for the non price issue for north America, I guess the euro/dollar issue isn't helping bmw north America to fix a price that would aceptable to US consumers?
That's been debated here and the finance folks are of the opinion that BMW would have hedged so the currency issues should not have a significant impact for some time.
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