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-   -   Ultimately, what drives us to drive the 5 GT - Who are we? (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=542151)

Capobranco 05-17-2011 12:56 PM

Ultimately, what drives us to drive the 5 GT - Who are we?
 
BMW did not have an established target market demographic for the GT. The GT was a very courageous bold foray into uncharted territory, and BMW has allowed the GT to find its own customer. BMW understands that cars in general are very quickly evolving away from traditional forms, and that BMW must provide new solutions for a new age of emerging hip forward thinking enthusiasts not bound by convention. BMW is exploring a multitude of power train solutions – hybrid, efficient diesels, electric, and in terms of form, vehicles that can multitask such as the GT. All share BMW DNA and vision.

We often think of car enthusiasts as being a very hip adventure seeking group. The reality is that many, if not most, are invested in the ideas and technology of the past. Nostalgia is powerful. Design language must incorporate traditional styling cues in a manner that is both fresh, but pays homage to the past. Threading this needle is an art, fraught with insecurity – hence the inclination to play it safe. I would contend that BMW does a very good job understanding the nature of the customer for their core product lines – 3 – 5 - 7 series, and BMW targets appropriate conservative products to satisfy that core demand. BMW has been far more adventurous, and innovative, in their effort to redefine traditional concepts of the SUV, sports cars and multi-tasking 5 doors.

I understand the reasoning of BMW to make the 5 GT a bridge between the 5 and 7 series – 7 series architecture and features – 5 series pricing. Conceptually, this makes sense, except it has also sown confusion, and has fomented a culture clash. Witness the animosity of F/10 Forum to anything GT. The F/10 is perhaps the most conservative design from BMW in recent years. BMW would answer – yes, we were absolutely spot on given the evolving market demographic for the F/10. It would be improper to conclude that drivers of the F/10 are ipso facto conservative – but from a marketing perspective - I would anticipate finding many mid level corporate accountant-types. – which is perfectly fine – but hence the ultra conservative retrenchment of the F/10 v. the E60, dynamically and in terms of design. Perhaps many consider the anonymity of the F/10 as a positive attribute reflecting their quiet good taste.

I suspect that the F/07 crowd is a very different group –if not younger in actual years – certainly younger in spirit. In the most general terms, we are a hip group – forward thinking, not afraid of innovations or new ideas. We love adventure, travel, and outdoor activities. I suspect a few of us engage in extreme sports. Non-conformist art-types are a natural customer base. The GT being a flexible platform can be outfitted to meet the needs of those seeking luxury, utility, and comfortable cruising, as well as those who want a fast ride. I am certain, more than a few entrepreneur types, who need space for clients, but don’t mind a little showboating, inhabit our ranks. In general the GT accommodates independent thinkers who make their own decisions and seek luxury, performance, utility, and value. We are an eclectic successful independent group bound together by our passion for BMW.

My pop analysis maybe off, but seriously, which party do you want to attend on New Years Eve – the conventional 3 box F/10 gray suit party….or the hip, uninhibited F/07 diversity party? :cool:

darbyogill 05-17-2011 01:16 PM

Your demographic description fits the average BMW buyer, but you are very far off the target demographic of the GT.

The GT was always planned as a conquest vehicle--a car that would attract buyers from beyond the traditional BMW customer base. This is largely why there is animosity from the more traditional BMW owners--because they're having to open up the tent to noobs. The only thing the GT customer shares with other BMW owners is socio-economic status. Other than that, GT owners are older, whiter, more likely to live in the suburbs, more likely to have adult children and more likely to have owned multiple Japanese (and even American) automobiles, and favor driving comfort and practicality above performance, style and even efficiency.

GT buyers will be "younger and hipper" than most Lexus, Acura, Infiniti and Cadillac buyers, but they will not be "younger and hipper" than other BMW owners.

In the end the GT was a margin play. The E61 sold less than 1000 units in NA each year of production. If they could double that volume with the GT then it would be a smashing success. So far, it's been a push. But curiously there is much discussion about a 3GT and even a 6GT... so clearly BMW is quite enamored with the form factor, even if the market in general is not.

11gt535 05-17-2011 04:19 PM

I had the perception that the GT was an "older car" than I really was. Other hatches were distinctly younger than I am.

First day driving it here in the US someone stopped me walking away from it and told me that the car was beautiful and asked me what it was. Seems like there's room for all kinds of cars on the road.

car-fan 05-17-2011 07:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darbyogill (Post 6071781)
Your demographic description fits the average BMW buyer, but you are very far off the target demographic of the GT.

The GT was always planned as a conquest vehicle--a car that would attract buyers from beyond the traditional BMW customer base. This is largely why there is animosity from the more traditional BMW owners--because they're having to open up the tent to noobs. The only thing the GT customer shares with other BMW owners is socio-economic status. Other than that, GT owners are older, whiter, more likely to live in the suburbs, more likely to have adult children and more likely to have owned multiple Japanese (and even American) automobiles, and favor driving comfort and practicality above performance, style and even efficiency.

GT buyers will be "younger and hipper" than most Lexus, Acura, Infiniti and Cadillac buyers, but they will not be "younger and hipper" than other BMW owners.

In the end the GT was a margin play. The E61 sold less than 1000 units in NA each year of production. If they could double that volume with the GT then it would be a smashing success. So far, it's been a push. But curiously there is much discussion about a 3GT and even a 6GT... so clearly BMW is quite enamored with the form factor, even if the market in general is not.

With all due respect I think you are way off base. This is BMW number 7 for me, since 1994. IMHO the GT offers those BMW enthusiasts/owners a vehicle that offers BMW performance and more flexibility than the standard 3er, 5er, 7er saloon err sedan. All types of folks drive GT's, and trust when I say I'm not a stodgy, old, tight lipped, individual in any way ;)

So your assessment of GT owners is a bit misguided, make that way misguided:rofl:

psmatharu2011 05-18-2011 08:42 AM

Im not white, im dark brown (as my wife would say)
Im 30
I live in the subs
Hate Jap cars
Love BMW's

darbyogill 05-18-2011 08:54 AM

Don't take any of this personally fellas... Remember demogrpahics are just a collection of averages, and if you hang out here you're almost certainly an outlier.

psmatharu2011 05-18-2011 08:59 AM

Nothing personal at all :)

Capobranco 05-18-2011 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darbyogill (Post 6073723)
Don't take any of this personally fellas... Remember demogrpahics are just a collection of averages, and if you hang out here you're almost certainly an outlier.

Given the small but growing numbers of GT owners, this is just fun speculation, based on personal experience and perhaps a hope. Given the confusing introduction of the GT in NA, and lack luster follow up marketing efforts by both BMW and dealers, I find it surprising that the GT continues to meet its sales quotas. The GT is not an obvious easy choice – poor marketing, confusion on the dealership level, and animosity from traditional BMW enthusiasts creates significant barriers to purchase.

The GT is a flexible platform that can be equipped in very different ways to satisfy a myriad of requirements and desires. Some view it as a luxury car, a luxury SAV, a performance SAV, a performance luxury sedan that has great utility, a crossover, whatever….. Indeed one local DC dealer calls the GT a "Station Wagon" in its inventory on its website….yuck. Each of these characterizations will tend to attract a certain type of buyer. I would anticipate a very eclectic diverse buyer pool. Beyond a passion for BMWs I would imagine most potential buyers share a very independent – out-side the box mentality, as well as courage, and knowledge. The GT is not an easy purchase.

Personally, I know only two GT drivers – myself and another in the DC area...

I do not begin to fit your profile – I am urban/suburban, arts oriented, independent and entrepreneurial. I enjoy participating in canine protection sport with my German shepherd, work out daily, trek and climb mountains on weekends, and have studied in and traveled to Europe on a regular basis. I have had a life long passion not only for the arts, but also sports cars especially BMWs and Porsches.

I think I will fit in just fine at the GT Diversity Party

Capobranco 05-18-2011 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darbyogill (Post 6073723)
Don't take any of this personally fellas... Remember demogrpahics are just a collection of averages, and if you hang out here you're almost certainly an outlier.

I am curious - who are we? - this is definitely not personal - just fun

darbyogill 05-18-2011 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Capobranco (Post 6073764)
I am curious - who are we? - this is definitely not personal - just fun

If I were to use political terms, you (the collective you, not you-you) are the base.

http://halftimeadjustment.com/wp-con...-snowflake.jpg

Capobranco 05-18-2011 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darbyogill (Post 6073814)
If I were to use political terms, you (the collective you, not you-you) are the base.

http://halftimeadjustment.com/wp-con...-snowflake.jpg

LOL!:rofl:

Dude - I'm not so sure about the collective me being the base - I' m an unusual snowflake:rofl:

BTW - I do not and have never smoked tobacco - aviator disco glasses ...please

PS Brad Pitt image - Fight Club?....client a few years ago - very nice guy...liked my protection trained German shepherd!

magnumforc 05-18-2011 12:06 PM

Upper echelon executive, worked in law enforcement, investigations, lived in urban and suburbia. Traveled extensively nationally and internationally, kids, wife, delivered pizza and chicken and worked in a grocery store before and while on the way up. Worked two and three jobs at a time when times were rough and found the light at the end of the tunnel could be a runaway locomotive bearing down on you as well as daylight! Made enough money to buy anything I wanted and pissed more away on cars than I could ever count. A centrist, a veteran, and one who appreciates all the finer things life has to offer. One who doesn't care whether others like what he owns, as long as I like them. Because I never asked anyone else to pay, or sacrifice for them. That's the beauty of having been there, done that and gotten the tee shirt with the bullet holes to prove it.

No, not bragging at all. Just a happy GT owner.

Capobranco 05-18-2011 12:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by magnumforc (Post 6074259)
......One who doesn't care whether others like what he owns, as long as I like them. Because I never asked anyone else to pay, or sacrifice for them. That's the beauty of having been there, done that and gotten the tee shirt with the bullet holes to prove it....

+1

Amen....I have a few bullet holes myself...:thumbup:

darbyogill 05-18-2011 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by magnumforc (Post 6074259)
been there, done that and gotten the tee shirt with the bullet holes to prove it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Capobranco
I have a few bullet holes myself

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j6..._worthless.jpg

Capobranco 05-18-2011 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darbyogill (Post 6074465)


ok ...here's a useful "picher"....cheers:beerchug:

http://soundcheckdublin.files.wordpr...er-pitcher.jpg

Jenny51 05-20-2011 05:19 AM

5GT user
 
Hi there, we went for a GT as we wanted to fit our mountain bikes inside and move the odd large piece of furniture, and can sleep in the car if necessary under the stars - moved to a GT from having 7 Series cars. We found the handling of the car over potholes very poor compared to 7 series, and it wandered a bit at speed. Perhaps it was the run flat tyres? Hubby has just put 21" wheels and normal tyres on it so we can pretend that we are young and have a hot hatch! These new - NON run flat - wide tyres have cured the handling problems and it now feels far more secure. Very happy with car now. (self employed 50 year olds)

innerloop 05-20-2011 09:33 AM

Interesting topic.

I consider myself someone who puts a good bit of thought into each car I buy, and I put a high premium on picking stylish and interesting cars.

Demographically, I am late-30s, married, one toddler and another on the way. Love to travel internationally, dive, hike, etc. Work hard to never travel coach. Like to pick a car that stands out a bit from the crowd.

For reference, my last few cars have been mostly Euro, but jumping around between Audi (A4, S4) and BMW (330i, 335iC) and one Japanese (M45).

My last car was an Convertible 335i that I picked up on Euro delivery, which was a great experience, and was a great blend of style, outdoors, and love of travel.

In the last 3 years, however, I've gone from zero kids to (soon) 2, so I definitely had to move to a more practical car.

Initially I searched for Euro SUVs, looked at the X3, X5, Q5, Q7, etc. Was disappointed to find that most of them were not actually built in Europe (so no Euro delivery), and even the ones that seemed well styled just felt wrong.

I stumbled across the GT randomly, had no idea it existed, and the more I researched it, the more it seemed like the perfect mix for me. More practical than my E93, but didn't have the "I give up on style completely" feeling of going to an SUV or a Wagon.

So to me it was a perfect blend of:

- I can fit 2 kids and a dog in there (and then some)
- Doesn't look like an SUV or a station wagon, looks and handles like a big-ass car
- Still has spirited power & handling for fun mountain drives
- Isn't something you see 20 of in every parking lot

This was the first time I ever had back-to-back cars with the same manufacturer. I tend to get bored with things, so I constantly hopped back & forth between Audi, BMW, and occasionally looked at Japanese luxury brands. I briefly flirted with the A7 which looks AMAZING, but in terms of practicality & comfort, seemed like it missed the mark.

Was a tough decision and I'm sure I'll be a bit jealous every time I pass an A7 on the street for the next few years, though.

Capobranco 05-21-2011 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by innerloop (Post 6078727)
Interesting topic.

I consider myself someone who puts a good bit of thought into each car I buy, and I put a high premium on picking stylish and interesting cars.

Demographically, I am late-30s, married, one toddler and another on the way. Love to travel internationally, dive, hike, etc. Work hard to never travel coach. Like to pick a car that stands out a bit from the crowd.

For reference, my last few cars have been mostly Euro, but jumping around between Audi (A4, S4) and BMW (330i, 335iC) and one Japanese (M45).

My last car was an Convertible 335i that I picked up on Euro delivery, which was a great experience, and was a great blend of style, outdoors, and love of travel.

In the last 3 years, however, I've gone from zero kids to (soon) 2, so I definitely had to move to a more practical car.

Initially I searched for Euro SUVs, looked at the X3, X5, Q5, Q7, etc. Was disappointed to find that most of them were not actually built in Europe (so no Euro delivery), and even the ones that seemed well styled just felt wrong.

I stumbled across the GT randomly, had no idea it existed, and the more I researched it, the more it seemed like the perfect mix for me. More practical than my E93, but didn't have the "I give up on style completely" feeling of going to an SUV or a Wagon.

So to me it was a perfect blend of:

- I can fit 2 kids and a dog in there (and then some)
- Doesn't look like an SUV or a station wagon, looks and handles like a big-ass car
- Still has spirited power & handling for fun mountain drives
- Isn't something you see 20 of in every parking lot

This was the first time I ever had back-to-back cars with the same manufacturer. I tend to get bored with things, so I constantly hopped back & forth between Audi, BMW, and occasionally looked at Japanese luxury brands. I briefly flirted with the A7 which looks AMAZING, but in terms of practicality & comfort, seemed like it missed the mark.

Was a tough decision and I'm sure I'll be a bit jealous every time I pass an A7 on the street for the next few years, though.

Hmmm…like so many fine young things…always seems to be another waiting to audition for the part…however when you see the real deal …you recognize substance and inherent goodness over the ephemeral whim and the lure of fad.

The A7 allure, sure, but what an expensive weekend affair— maybe the moment of climax would be be very sexy, but the next morning I would be asking myself – “wut-wuzithinkin?” - now I need to try and live with this - because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. This is not to say that you won’t have a good time with the GT too – only that – after the rush of the first encounter – you hang on because you know you have something unique and special.

Enjoy the 5 GT – I think it is a very cool car…one of the coolest designs BMW has done in many years. I relate to space for a dog – large German shepherd – no kids but lots of friends – the romance of driving a BIG BMW that oozes street presence, and has the power and handling to make mountain drives fun. As a great athlete - the GT allows you to drive very fast when you must – effortlessly.

I too, came to the GT from a 335iC 6MT – the GT ramps up the BMW experience to whole different level – yeah - the 335i was a pretty and fun but the GT is seriously delicious.

darbyogill 05-23-2011 06:28 PM

"officially a mistake"
 
Interesting.

http://www.worldcarfans.com/11105233...ally-a-mistake

GTGuy 05-24-2011 04:57 PM

The GT is my first BMW and I couldnt be happier. My wife and I have had SUV's for the past 10 years. I am 6'6 50 years old and wanted a vehicle that we could carry people as tall as me in, sitting behind me when I drive, have decent trunk space so I could pick up said tall people from airport, get decent gas mileage, defined as 20+ MPG combined. So I looked at a bunch of crossover vehicles - X6, SRX, ZDX, Infinit FX series and the Lexus RX, R-Class. The only car that met all the criteria was the 535 GT. I would have preferred the 550, but it didnt meet the MPG criteria. In addition I got a vehicle that is fun to drive - no it isnt an M sedan but i will put this car up against any other for smoothness, quiet, responsiveness (in sport mode) and appointments. The technology in this car is tremendous - Fortunatly I have an engineering degree so I consider iDrive to be an intellectual challenge:thumbup: I also maybe one of those few who actually like the way the car looks - but I have received nothing but compliments since picking it up last Friday!

gbelton 05-24-2011 05:23 PM

Glad to see some interesting commentary on the GT.

Owner of the GT550i.

mason 05-24-2011 08:39 PM

My reasons were such:

- The car (hybrid) was getting near 100,000 miles
- We like BMW
- We want a station wagon but we don't want SUV
- We want a car that allows us to do European Delivery

Given that GT might be the best alternatives.

What we are:

- Late 30s professionals.

ProRail 05-26-2011 07:21 PM

Whaddayamean WE, Kimosabe?

Maconit 02-05-2013 07:06 AM

WE are diverse
 
New to the forum, but echo many sentiments as those posted above. Laughed at the "whiter" comment, but never took it personal. My reasons were:
- tired of driving "daddy" SUV with sucky mpg
- wanted something different
- wanted to feel the road and power

I grew tired of the Audi dealer blowing me off. I knew them and looked at the A7 (wrong/lack of function) and A8 (too old manish) and I missed my Q7 TDI S-Line. When I described what I was looking for, they told me I was all over the place. I told them there is a car.....I didn't knw what it was, but there is such a car. A co-worker of mine told me about the GT. referenced it as a "sleeper" and that got me going. That evening I saw a GT for sale and was mesmerized. I went home and did my research....stayed up all night. The next morning I found one for sale from a dealership CPO bought it that night. Knew it was love halfway throught the test drive.

I have owned and sold a Yukon XL, Cadillac Escalade ESV, Ford F-350 dually, Audi Q7 TDI, S-Line, VW CC, Toyota FJ....traded a Toyota Sequoia for the GT. Happines and JOY!!!!

Demographic: HBCU grad, engineering type, retired vet with 3 teens. We are diverse.

tonyscv 02-05-2013 10:55 AM

In my case it wound up being a perfect vehicle for me in August of 2012. I previously owned a 2010 Q5 and absolutely loved the car. My intention was to go with another Q5 Hybrid/Diesel, but I was really disappointed with their new Hybrid model (the premium cost + scarce availability in CA at the time were deal-killers) and their TDI model isn't coming until later this year / 2014. I looked at the A7 but there wasn't one available with the color combo I wanted and at 6'2" I was finding ingress and egress a bit tight.I like a high driving position and with the seat up in the A7 my head was scraping the roofline when getting in / sitting in the vehicle. Nothing from Lexus really interested me all that much. The Q7 just looks like a boat. Even though I drive a GT, the Q7 just *felt* too big. I don't have the need for seating for 7.

I considered the F10 5 series because the looks are gorgeous on the outside. The interior was nice enough, but I really didn't want to get back into a sedan again. The X5 is long in the tooth and due for a refresh this year. I owned a X5 previously as well so there was a bit of been there, done that in my mind. The X6 is terrific-looking as well but again, it's in need of a refresh (having to stick the key in a slot in the dash is just silly in a $80,000 car in 2012/2013). I wasn't looking for a GT at all, but they had a 550GT in the color combo I absolutely love (Carbon Black / Ivory) and they were offering almost a $10k discount off sticker for the 2012 models they had in stock, so I was essentially getting a 7 series for the price of a loaded 550 F10. The driving position is higher and the comfort and roominess overall is outstanding. It being fast as hell is a nice bonus. :)

When August 2014 rolls around I'll be looking seriously at a Tesla Model X (if it exists by August of 2014), Q5 TDI or X5/X6 post-refresh. The higher driving position is what I enjoy the most.


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