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Old 01-18-2013, 06:55 AM
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1985mb 1985mb is offline
Location: Tri-state area
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by gcreese View Post
The 320 also follows the "Goldilocks Rule" in marketing: If you offer 3 choices, most people will buy the middle option (328). With just 2 choices, most people will buy the bottom option, because they don't want to spend too much. With three options, you have price-constrained people buying the bottom option (320) and most people buying the middle option (328) -- because it's still not the most expensive option (so they're being prudent) but it's also not the least expensive option (so they avoid looking cheap). In short, the 328 becomes the safe middle option. The 320 not only brings in new customers that BMW never had before, it also gives BMW an upsell model it never had in the past.

This is classic marketing, using a three-tier product structure to increase sales. There's a reason BMW has had the 3, 5, and 7 Series, Mercedes has had the C, E, and S Series, and Audi has had the A4, A6, and A8 Series. BMW's 2, 4, and 6 Series are now bringing the Goldilocks Rule to coupes.
Except that the 3-series has always sold very well in the US with typically two models throughout its run (318-325, 323-328, 325-330, 328-335, etc.).

It sells well in the UK and continental Europe with a ton of engine choices, not just three.

The 3 series coupes did well whether they were 1 of 1 (no 6 series) or 1 of 2 coupes in the lineup.

The eco-credits and dealer discounting, the last years of the E90 had the 335d as the middle priced option. That didn't sell very well.

If you ignore diesels, BMW's 3 series was actually 328, 335, and M3.

Among 3, 5 and 7 series, most people buy the 3 series, negating the idea that the middle product always does well.

Audi's B8 sales started with a 2.0T, 3.2, and S4. Sales diverged to both ends to such an extreme extent that the 3.2 barely sold and was removed.

Not everything follows a marketing textbook.
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