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Old 01-15-2013, 01:11 PM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is offline
Lost but making good time
Location: Here, there or in transit
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4,109
Mein Auto: '11 335xi 4dr; '03 330Ci
Originally Posted by JoeFromPA
... no rev-matching on downshift feature that's coming out on Nissan and Porsche. ... To be fair, I don't know how much it costs to federalize a model with a different engine/transmission combo.
If federalizing is, say, $100k to add such a model then the breakeven point would be fairly low.
The new M5 has downshift rev-matching (probably the M6, too).
Cost to federalize and obtain EPA approval for a drivetrain is well into seven figures, i.e., millions of dollars, per engine & transmission combination.

Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
With all the advanced robotics and just-in-time production capabilities in the Munich plant it would seem the low-production argument is just an excuse used by BMWNA....
It is a matter of sales, not production. Vehicles equipped with a manual transmission now account for 3% or less of 3 Series models sold in the US. The percentage of total sales across all models is far lower.

The problem with MT cars, as with other low-demand (in the US) models like the 5 Series Touring (wagon), is simply this: We say we want them, we wring our hands, we beat our chests and the tables, we storm and bluster on the Internet...and then we buy something else. BMW NA/AG have listened to letter-writing campaigns and such, but each time the demands are not backed up by large sales numbers, they are less inclined to accommodate the next one.

The previous-generation 5er wagon, despite a large and vocal following, sold fewer than 900 units nationwide in the last full calendar year it was available in the US. That's fewer than 75 cars per month. Wagon fans were failing to convince their friends to actually buy the darn things, while SAV sales kept climbing. So BMW said nein to bringing the next one.

Manual transmissions are headed the same way: A lot of people who want a manual option end up actually taking the auto instead, for a variety of reasons (spousal disagreement, aging joints, city commuting, etc.). Every such sale is another nail in the coffin. And this was happening when a manual cost $1000-$2000 less than an automatic. Now, it's merely a no-cost option and the slide continues. Add a $1000 premium to order a manual in a 3er and it will be gone overnight (i.e., in one generation).

An MT in a BMW is a tough sell in the US because most people here think of BMW as luxury first, sport second. We fans of the stick are a tiny, tiny minority of the US driving public. When I sold my E46, fully 50% of otherwise-interested parties hung up the phone when I told them it was a manual (never mind that I plainly said so in all advertising... ). I can't even imagine how many never even called, for an otherwise pristine car. I don't expect selling this one someday to be an easy task (in fact, I doubt I will even bother advertising it outside the BMW community).
2011 335xi Individual 6MT - Azurite Black Metallic / Oyster & Black / Anthracite Maple + all the good stuff
2003 330Ci Sport 5MT - Black Sapphire Metallic / Natural Brown / Myrtle + the important stuff

   N47 35' 30.13" E11 10' 33.36" - End of can guess what came next. BMW CCA

Last edited by Zeichen311; 01-15-2013 at 01:15 PM.
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