Originally Posted by simianspeedster
I respect your perspective, but the concept of branding does very little for me. I've owned a Pontiac, a Mazda, a Mercedes, a few VWs, a few Audis and a few BMWs.
When evaluating cars, nothing matters more to me than the driving experience. We currently have an E92 (mine) and an F30 (my wife's) and IMO the F30 driving experience is a significant step backwards from its predecessor. Add in the unnecessarily complicated and restrictive F30 packaging strategy and the uncompetitive pricing, and I think BMW has seriously missed the mark this time around.
I'm definitely BMW's target market for the F30 but there's very little chance I will select an F30 when my lease is up next spring. I may opt for an E82 before they stop making them (the last of the naturally aspirated BMWs) or I may change brands. BMW is still growing by selling more SUVs, but I think they need to be careful not to lose car enthusiasts like me who used to form the core of the brand.
I couldn't agree more. I've purchased 4 new BMWs and 2 Minis in the last 12 years. I don't mind that they're offering product for non-enthusiasts, but it does bother me that they seem to be drifting too far from the philosophy that built such a loyal following. (Sporting cars with exceptional handling and an orientation toward people who love to drive - combined with great efficiency, comfort, and engineering quality.) This doesn't seem to be built-in to every BMW anymore.
I'm not buying a car for a couple of years, but I'll probably at least look at other brands next time - something I haven't done in a long time.