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      05-10-2008, 07:05 PM   #1
grumpybear
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Has BMW become the "old" GM???

and is GM quickly becoming the "old" BMW??

The Roundel this month has a comparo article between the new CTS4 and the 535xi and while the overall nod goes to the BMW (of course, it's a BMW mag), the author speaks very highly of the CTS4 and likes it alot. He even goes so far as to say that the BMW is not 15K better unless your blood runs BMW blue. (The exact quote is "Not by a longshot-at least to anybody whose blood is any other shade than Bavarian blue")

That is not surprising given that the new CTS has been getting good reviews but what is surprising is the picture he paints of BMW and GM. For too long, as the biggest and "best", GM just spit out crap designed for "everyone" and expected people to line up and buy it. Now, they are trying new things, stretching their talents and producing some of the best and exciting new cars out there and quickly closing the gap on european cars. In the words of the author, GM "seems to be overreaching and trying for something greater."

BMW on the other hand according to the same author (and it's completely true) "stopped making cars exclusively for us enthusiasts" long ago. Most of what BMW makes now is trying to appeal to the largest crowd possible and the only way to do that is to sacifrice some of the things that made you great. In a way, that's almost what GM did and look at where it got them.

Don't get me wrong, BMW still makes good cars but while everyone else seems to be stepping up their game big time (GM, Audi, Lexus, etc..), BMW seems to be doing just enough to get by in fear of making a big mistake and hoping their name will carry them. (again other "old" GM move).

All that being said, is BMW quickly becoming the "old" GM who tried to get by on name alone while GM is quickly becoming the "old" BMW who focused on listening to the core customers and produced fun, new cars to drive that got people excited??? Time will tell but anyway you want to look at it, BMW better step it up and they're going to get passed by and they can't let that happen. They have driven away alot of their "old" customers over the last several years and the new customers are not as loyal to the brand, they'll leave for a another car maker faster then you can say 'BMW". Of course, it's one persons opinion but put it all together and the overall picture for BMW is not as bright as some would have you believe. Granted it's not a sinking ship either, but BMW does have some decisions to make in regards to what kind of customers do they really want for the long haul.
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      05-10-2008, 07:10 PM   #2
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It's not that BMW isn't dropping the ball, it's that everyone else is getting the picture and closing the gap.

The only thing that bothers me about BMW right now is the interior design - needs changing.
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      05-10-2008, 07:21 PM   #3
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the problems im having with BMW right now (and if it keeps up, im switching brands), is the dead-awful designs they've been coming out with. First with the 7 series, and then, no offense to alot of members here, the 3 series sedans, and ESPECIALLY the 1 series that just came out. The 3 series headlights are heaven-forbid, not beautiful at all.
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      05-10-2008, 07:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer Loyalist View Post
It's not that BMW isn't dropping the ball, it's that everyone else is getting the picture and closing the gap.

The only thing that bothers me about BMW right now is the interior design - needs changing.
to a certain extent, they are dropping the ball. They can see what is going on around them, but they're not responding in a way that makes you think they get it.

If someone or something is a problem, to make a point to others and show them you mean business, you don't just slap the problem lightly, you beat the problem down into the ground.

For too many years, GM thought that people would just come running back to "Big Blue" because they always did. Their grandparents bought GM, their parents bought GM, they thought they had a customer from the womb no matter how bad the product sucked. BMW seems to be thinking the same thing which is "let's update, but not anything too exciting..We're BMW, our people will come back no matter what."
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      05-10-2008, 07:28 PM   #5
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BMW seems to be thinking the same thing which is "let's update, but not anything too exciting..We're BMW, our people will come back no matter what."
+1000000000000

The brand alone, literally sells the ugly cars. Very few cars actually sell themselves. You just don't walk into a BMW dealership and go "OH SHIT! That new 1 series is TIGHT! I'm going to buy that for sure!". Hell no, now it's like "Well, it is a BMW, and it does have that engine from the 335i. The front and back doesn't look THAT bad. It'll grow overtime".
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      05-10-2008, 07:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by xT4iw4n3zx View Post
the problems im having with BMW right now (and if it keeps up, im switching brands), is the dead-awful designs they've been coming out with. First with the 7 series, and then, no offense to alot of members here, the 3 series sedans, and ESPECIALLY the 1 series that just came out. The 3 series headlights are heaven-forbid, not beautiful at all.
that's the problem, nothing BMW is putting out right now is exciting. Nothing in the current list of vehicles makes you want it like the old M cars and other BMW's of "old". Everything (including the new M3) is too civilized and tame, it's like owning a tiger that's had it's balls cut off. Yea, it's a tiger but the thrill is gone and it acts like it. Others are now producing the thrill and people are going to start moving to them.
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      05-10-2008, 07:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xT4iw4n3zx View Post
+1000000000000

The brand alone, literally sells the ugly cars. Very few cars actually sell themselves. You just don't walk into a BMW dealership and go "OH SHIT! That new 1 series is TIGHT! I'm going to buy that for sure!". Hell no, now it's like "Well, it is a BMW, and it does have that engine from the 335i. The front and back doesn't look THAT bad. It'll grow overtime".
only 2 BMW's have ever done that for me and it's been years since BMW made them. I couldn't tell you the last time I went to a BMW dealership just to look at their cars which is normally a tell-tale sign of a winner. I have spent alot of time at Benz, Lexus and GM dealerships recently just to look because that where the "magic" is happening right now.

I like my E90 325i but is it the best car for the money, not even close.
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      05-10-2008, 07:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xT4iw4n3zx View Post
the problems im having with BMW right now (and if it keeps up, im switching brands), is the dead-awful designs they've been coming out with. First with the 7 series, and then, no offense to alot of members here, the 3 series sedans, and ESPECIALLY the 1 series that just came out. The 3 series headlights are heaven-forbid, not beautiful at all.
+100. The only good looking 3-series is a coupe right now. The more i look at sedans, the less i like them, unless they are HEAVILY modified. Don't get me started on supposed "face lift" '09. Same goes to 5-series. The back on those is so ridiculous, I start to wonder is the designers were on crack.
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      05-10-2008, 08:39 PM   #9
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couldnt agree more. when i used to look at an e46, i would just go like God thats beautiful... the e90 is okay but never the same... not to mention the interior design and quality. BMW better step it up or Audi and Mercedes are going to storm them and burry them. I have never seen so many enthusiasts complaining about a brand before.
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      05-10-2008, 08:50 PM   #10
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couldnt agree more. when i used to look at an e46, i would just go like God thats beautiful... the e90 is okay but never the same... not to mention the interior design and quality. BMW better step it up or Audi and Mercedes are going to storm them and burry them. I have never seen so many enthusiasts complaining about a brand before.
it's not just Audi and Merc lining up to storm by them. GM, Lexus, hell even Hyundai are lining up to take their shots at BMW. The other problem is this, the number of "enthusiasts" that own BMW's are dropping as we speak and the day has past when BMW's were primarily owned by enthusiasts. The "new" owner is someone looking for a status symbol to impress their friends or the opposite sex and will buy another car in a heartbeat if it serves that purpose better.

Case in point, the majority of people on this forum aren't enthusiasts in the sense of the classic BMW owner. They may think they are but they're not. Most people are badge whores or kids who aren't old enough to know what a true enthusiast is.
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      05-10-2008, 09:07 PM   #11
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Well I just ordered my first bimmer. I've been loyal to toyota and honda since I could afford my own cars. The wife drives an acura TL, and for the money, I don't think there is a better value.

Having said that, the performance is what drove me to bimmer in the first place. I seem to like the new design, but it seems alot of older enthusiests hate the new design. BMW can't be doing too much wrong, because I would've never thought I'd buy a bimmer, and I just did. The only thing selling the Lexus IS is the looks, and if you notice, it's mostly women driving them---that's what turned me off from lexus. Hate Benz cuz that whole chrysler thing, and don't know much about audi to comment.
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      05-10-2008, 09:17 PM   #12
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Yes it has. I can easily see BMW becoming the new Ford in a couple of years. They are building too many products and aren't even doing what they do well well enough. The E90 3er (non sport) drives almost like a C-Class, however, it does have the special BMW charm in it (just really hard to find).
If the new A4 is anything like the A5/S5 and new TT, I might even make the jump. Hell, even the new C350 sport is a really good car, and would consider one, if my dad wasn't looking to get one.
I think BMW is trying to cater to the people with money, while using the image the OG's produced. Something has got to give.
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      05-10-2008, 09:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWI6 View Post
couldnt agree more. when i used to look at an e46, i would just go like God thats beautiful... the e90 is okay but never the same... not to mention the interior design and quality. BMW better step it up or Audi and Mercedes are going to storm them and burry them. I have never seen so many enthusiasts complaining about a brand before.

+1

If I had the choice of a brand new off the factory line e46 M3, I'd take it in a heartbeat compared to the new M3. The new M3, although gorgeous, just doesn't have that same appeal as the old M3 did. It's hard to pin point where it lossed the "magic touch" that just made your heart beat crazy everytime you walked around it. Maybe it's just me, but whenever I walk around the new M3, there's nothing that makes me wanna leap out and buy the thing without hesistation that I will be 100% satisfied.

As for Mercedes and Audi. Oh boy do they have some nice looking cars out right now. The tailights on the Audi make me go "Damn, now those are some nicely designed tailights". You can tell that Audi spent some consideration into making them. The e90 tailights are like "hmm, take the old tailights, wedge it in the side, put lines thru em, DONE". And that Mercedes C-Class is like WOW!!! Now that thing was built with some PASSION in the design. You take a 3er sedan and a new C-class, and you compare them look wise, i think it's hard to say that you wouldn't spend a long time considering which sedan to get.
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      05-10-2008, 10:08 PM   #14
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The only thing selling the Lexus IS is the looks, and if you notice, it's mostly women driving them---that's what turned me off from lexus. Hate Benz cuz that whole chrysler thing, and don't know much about audi to comment.[/quote]
+1
Total girl car all my gf talks about is how cute her car looks, it literally drives me crazy. As for BMW I have never had a problem with them so I don't see myself buying anything else.
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      05-10-2008, 10:33 PM   #15
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going back into the Lexus thing----don't get me wrong, they are nice ass cars and I'm looking forward to seeing what the IS-F has to offer, but I'd never buy one.....those engines are not that fast! 300hp/300 torque---now that's what i'm talking about!
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      05-10-2008, 10:39 PM   #16
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      05-10-2008, 10:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
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going back into the Lexus thing----don't get me wrong, they are nice ass cars and I'm looking forward to seeing what the IS-F has to offer, but I'd never buy one.....those engines are not that fast! 300hp/300 torque---now that's what i'm talking about!
yea they're short on the power but the styling and interior is better then BMW. In terms of power, you can get a fully loaded G8 GT with 360+ HP and 380+ lbs of TQ for 6K less then the base price of a 335i. It's not just a straight line car either, it can handle the curves too. Half way load up the 335i and it's at least 10K-15K more expensive. It is a 10-15K better car?? Not to most reviewers and anyone with an open mind.

That's the problem, so many good choices out there but BMW gives giving us the same stuff like there's no other places to go.
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      05-11-2008, 01:13 AM   #18
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While I agree with the general mood of this thread relative to the United States market, I think it is important to look at what BMW sells to the rest of the world. The “old BMW” is alive and well, or at least alive. It is BMW of North America that is GM’izing the brand. Cars like the 130i, the 520d--DENIED.

And I also agree that most of the North American sales are to badge whores. And they will flock to other brands at the drop of a hat (if they can break out of their lease trap). Meanwhile people who like driving and used to lust for a BMW, and are the reason the masses of badge whores think BMW is cool, are pretty much gone.
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      05-11-2008, 02:06 AM   #19
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BMW is different from GM and Chrysler. It's not a bad thing that others are coming to get BMW - competition is great for everyone, but at this point, I don't think BMW is going the GM way. As a company, BMW needs to offer the products to a variety of customers. The 1 series shows that BMW can still give stuff to enthusiasts - yeah design may be a bit tame (don't forget that the basic design has been out since 2004 in Europe), but it's back to the roots. BMW had to get into the SUV game for financial purposes, and it has the guts to offer products such as X3 (small sporty SUV) and X6.

BMW also continues to lead with its engine technologies. Turbo charging is the way for the future.

The fact that there's a huge club of BMW fans providing feedback and constructive criticism to the company will significantly help the company stay on top.
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      05-11-2008, 02:16 AM   #20
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I dont think BMW's name is going down the drain because of their design. Looking at the e46's interior, it is not as nice as the e90's (This is just a matter of opinion). The e90's design if you look closely have some resemblance to the older models. BMW is not like Lexus where almost every car is modeled after the Camry. To me the design keeps on getting better with every generation.
However, I do feel that BMW is just an overpriced car. When we buy a BASIC 3 series we do not get leather, homelink, powerseats, or emergency. While Mercedes, Lexus and Infiniti most of these things are standard. Also, there are just too many damn electronics, a sensor for every freaking part of the engine, which i find unneccessary. These things are just lowering BMW's standard.
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      05-11-2008, 03:03 AM   #21
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Also, there are just too many damn electronics, a sensor for every freaking part of the engine, which i find unneccessary. These things are just lowering BMW's standard.
But in a sense, BMW has to do this. You have to remember that the new age of BMW buyers are growing up in a highly technological environment. Cellphones, computers, tv's, all high-tech, etc. They will go for the car that reflects the current up-to-date situation. No future customers born in this time frame, will even consider to buy a BMW if it's all engine and no electronics.
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      05-11-2008, 03:34 AM   #22
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<chiming in>

Regarding sensors...
They're there for performance, fuel economy, and emissions. Period.
Don't want, say, oxygen sensors? Too bad, then you don't have a car in the U.S. -- won't meet EPA emissions spec.
Don't want an electronic manifold air pressure sensor? Too bad, you're then stuck with a mechanical equivalent. Or you're stuck with a carburetor; fuel injection requires the controller figure out how much air is coming into the engine.


In essence, you don't have those sensors on the engine, you don't get direct injection and turbos.

I could go on, but you get the idea.
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