I'm going to keep going.
What BMW needs to really do is bring their wider product range to all countries. I know it's not so much BMW but the general public (USA) that sees BMW as a higher brand. But they have proven they can fulfill ranges from $18k and beyond. The 318i hatch just wasn't the car to prove that to Americans in the mid to late 90's.
They need to bring their lower 4 banger and diesel engines in the 3er and 1er. If they did this and opened their product line their sales would jump considerably. Think about it, what would you rather have if you could only afford..... a $24k Mazda 3 or 6.... or a $24k nicely equipped 1er or 3er? The current 1er starting at $29k just $5k shy of the 3er is way to close in price and hopefully doesn't hurt either car. BMW has accomplished a wider product range in other countries but seems to scared to hurt their image in the US. Same goes for Benz and Audi, Audi wouldn't particularly want to due to killing or drastically having to change VW.
BMW and Benz are prime to do this. Who ever takes the steps first will force all of the auto industry to change. If there are more cars that people trust, want, love that are affordable while still having BMW or Benz safety, engineering, performance and characteristics all other brands will be forced to raise their standards.
BMW or Benz would then have enough money to R&D every stupid idea that gets drawn on a cocktail napkin.
retired 06 E90 325i
New: 09 VW Platinum Grey Jetta Sportwagen 2.0T SEL w/DSG, panoramic sunroof and Ipod adapter