Originally Posted by tony20009
Audi already has a common-market brand and MB doesn't, unless you count the Smart Cars, which weren't a huge success outside Europe. I doubt BMW wants to be the last premier brand to have a mass market line. ...
I was always under the impression that MB is the common brand, and Maybach is the 'nice' brand - and the entire lineup is just scaled towards a slightly better off crowd of folks.
There's the C series for the regular folks, with a stripper E rounding things out.
The 3 isn't exactly unattainable, with a stripper 5 rounding things out.
BMW also has the 1 series, and will soon have the 2 series.
I do think that if BMW wants to make cheaper cars, they need to do it under a different brand than BMW.
Part of why people buy BMW's is for the "I have something exclusive" factor.
When you make them too affordable, and every Joe Smith has one, then you start to evaluate the brand less on symbolic value, and more as simple transportation.
That can't bode well for an up-scale make, since the only direction they have to go is down.
They need to maintain the psychology. Otherwise, the aura will fade, and people will start to ask "So, why does
this thing cost more than a lexus?"