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      01-15-2012, 07:03 PM   #222
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Originally Posted by Bunkei View Post
But as it was mentioned earlier in the thread, now that there's a M-Performance Line, BMW can now return to its heritage with the M-cars, instead of trying to please everyone. Instead of loading them up with technogadgets and such, they can leave those to the M-Performance Line and focus exclusively on performance. Perhaps the next generation M3 will return to its raw visceral lightweight heritage that it was once renown for.
I do not agree with this at all. Based on BMW's past actions:
1) BMW never acknowledged that M is loosing its edge. So why fix something that is not acknowledged.
2) The M Gmbh is a small division. The resources are spread out to focus on a lot more projects. M used to focus on a handful of cars and even less engines. Look at them now, they are everywhere. Talk about resource dilution which inherently brings less focus and less solid products.
3) The M cars (especially the M3) have always proved themselves on the track, in GT series. Name a series that BMW fully committed the e9x to.

BMW in the past years has shown no interest in keeping M Gmbh as a race oriented group that would build 2-3 terrifying machines.

Originally Posted by Bunkei View Post
I wouldn't use Porsche as a comparison model because I'm willing to bet the farm that BMW has way more overhead than Porsche (# of facilities, employees, etc), not to mention that it would have significantly lower margins on their cars given Porsche's stratospheric pricing. But even Porsche has been accused of the destroying their heritage with the Cayenne and Panorama!
Porsche is the best example, as it is a small firm that faced extinction by building only the 911. The 911 profit margin is extremely thin as the Porsche's R&D is VERY expensive due to "passion" engineering. We all know that passion and profit do not mix.

Porsche decided to build other models to allow them to survive. I was among the nay sayers when the Panamera and Cayenne came to light. However, they showed their true intentions when the 911 (997 and 991) turned out to be true to the pedigree and shut all of us up.

As much as the Cayman has great potential to be better than the 911, Porsche will never take it to that level. This is what I call sticking to your heritage and taking a loss just to preserve your hard core followers.

So why can't BMW build 1, 3, 5, x series for the masses and give M to the fanatics? They are big enough to afford this plan.

Originally Posted by Bunkei View Post
We have to understand that BMW is a business first. A great heritage means very little if the company who created it goes out of business. We'll see if you're right about the pricing for the next-generation M cars, although it is worth mentioning that the new M5 is cheaper than its predecessor from what I remember.
BMW will stay in business whatever M exists or not. That's actually the point I am trying to make. BMW are using M not to survive, but to "pad" their profit at a calculated expense. In reality M Gmbh is such a small entity, that it barely impacts the balance sheet. Its existence was to satisfy a small market and create a "soul". BMW decided to stick it up and turn M into profit making machine. However, they did not have to "whore out" M.