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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 02-16-2013, 12:28 AM
Stu3 Stu3 is offline
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German BMWs - No Badges - Why?

Can anyone tell me why German BMWs do not have any badging on them? Been in Stuttgart for a month and noticed that 99% of all BMWs do not have any identifying badges on them. No 335, 535 or 530 or 528.....nothing. You may see the odd X-Drive logo on the back but that's all.

Mercedes cars seem to have badges on them (but not all of them).

Is there a reason for this?

God I want a F11 5 series wagon. They are even better looking in person. But they are expensive as hell here.
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2013, 12:50 AM
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I was under the impression that most German cars were badged these days.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:53 AM
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When I was in Germany, there were tons of Domestic (German) cars with no badges. BMW's, M-B's, etc. It was interesting because in the States is has a kind of negative connotation do to the reasons most people do it.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by K-A View Post
When I was in Germany, there were tons of Domestic (German) cars with no badges. BMW's, M-B's, etc. It was interesting because in the States is has a kind of negative connotation do to the reasons most people do it.
I've only have positive connotations for debadging. I like the clean look and I've liked it since I first saw it during my first visit to Germany in 1993. I reserve my negeative connotations for ///M & AMG rebadgers.

As of last week, I can confirm the practice is still quite common. In Germany (and much of Europe) most higher end cars are offered the option not to badge from the factory. In the US, Porsche might be the only one to offer it as an option. I really don't see any reason to adorn your car with additional sparkly factory bling.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
In Germany (and much of Europe) most higher end cars are offered the option not to badge from the factory. In the US, Porsche might be the only one to offer it as an option. I really don't see any reason to adorn your car with additional sparkly factory bling.
This is from the German configurator:
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  #6  
Old 02-16-2013, 07:08 PM
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I really don't see any reason to adorn your car with additional sparkly factory bling.
I find your point hypocritical.

On your old car you put a DINAN badge. So you are saying if your car has been tuned by Dinan then it's okay to add a badge, but if it was tuned by say BMW M using a much wider array of component upgrades, then it is not okay?
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
I really don't see any reason to adorn your car with additional sparkly factory bling.
I find your point hypocritical.

On your old car you put a DINAN badge. So you are saying if your car has been tuned by Dinan then it's okay to add a badge, but if it was tuned by say BMW M using a much wider array of component upgrades, then it is not okay?
Everyone has their personal perferences. If you want a 528i badge, ///M badge, or an Individual badge and your car meets that associated criteria there's nothing wrong with keeping the badges on your car. For me, I don't care for the factory look. Whereas, a DINAN badge is conversation starter, for which dozens of people have approached me to ask about my DINAN 5. If I had bought an M6 this time around, I would have removed the factory badging. If I had significant mods by Dinan, Hartge, or Hamann (even on an M car), I would have one of their badges affixed. A DINAN badge is a signal to other enthusiasts that you have done something special over the generic factory car, no matter the initial performance level. So nothing hypocritical, I like the clean look, but I like something unique even more. I'm still trying to get Mrs D to let me pop off her X5M badges. She's finally agreed the body colored non-M grills and the non-M wheels look much better, so maybe the rear badges will be next.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:16 PM
mikeriley mikeriley is offline
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Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
Everyone has their personal perferences. If you want a 528i badge, ///M badge, or an Individual badge and your car meets that associated criteria there's nothing wrong with keeping the badges on your car. For me, I don't care for the factory look. Whereas, a DINAN badge is conversation starter, for which dozens of people have approached me to ask about my DINAN 5. If I had bought an M6 this time around, I would have removed the factory badging. If I had significant mods by Dinan, Hartge, or Hamann (even on an M car), I would have one of their badges affixed. A DINAN badge is a signal to other enthusiasts that you have done something special over the generic factory car, no matter the initial performance level. So nothing hypocritical, I like the clean look, but I like something unique even more. I'm still trying to get Mrs D to let me pop off her X5M badges. She's finally agreed the body colored non-M grills and the non-M wheels look much better, so maybe the rear badges will be next.
So you like the clean look, unless you of course you can impress people with a DINAN badge? Really? You seem like a very decent person, but obviously love attention given your car build footnotes,constant Mrs D references, and seeking DINAN approval. Overall this is not a bad thing and am not critical of that, believe me. But having a DINAN badge being a conversation starter about your car?!!!!! OMGosh really? How about personality being a starter, or even better not caring what others think.

Again, I am really not trying to pick a fight or be snarky. You really do seem like a nice person and a great contributor to this forum. But euro folks do what they do because thats what they do. They like debaging. Nothing more than that. They are not better, less pompous, or less self absorbed. Its what is in style for them. Why do europeans like espresso for breakfast vs standard coffee? Its what they like, I love my morning coffee and what ever is on my car, I don't care, and love this country.

Last edited by mikeriley; 02-16-2013 at 10:37 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-16-2013, 06:12 AM
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God I want a F11 5 series wagon. They are even better looking in person. But they are expensive as hell here.
Please pardon my language but here in the U.S. a lot of people refer to cars like the F11 wagon as a " Fcuk you!" car (it's a compliment to the car and its driver).

Last edited by mryakanisachoad; 02-16-2013 at 06:15 AM.
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  #10  
Old 02-16-2013, 06:49 AM
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Germans don't feel the need to advertise that they have the biggest engine variant to humble themselves I guess, while in the U.S. most do it to hide the fact that they have the smallest engine while some do it for the cleaner look.
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  #11  
Old 02-16-2013, 07:05 PM
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Germans don't feel the need to advertise that they have the biggest engine variant to humble themselves I guess, while in the U.S. most do it to hide the fact that they have the smallest engine while some do it for the cleaner look.
Logically your argument can't be correct.

1) something like 90% of f10s and F30s sold in Germany are four cylinder variants 523i, 528i, 520d, 525d.

2) therefore if most German BMWs are debadged, it can't be because the guys with big engines don't want to show off. Because even if that were true, that would only account for less than 10% of the cars.

3) therefore, the explanation has to lie with the behavior of the people with the smallest engines.

4) Luxury branded products are very popular in Germany and you regularly see people wearing or carrying logo products from Porsche Design briefcases, to Prada handbags and Gucci wallets.

5) the recent trend in logo luxury branded products has been to make the logos more prominent (e.g. Gucci switched from embossing to using metal logos on their wallets).

6) given the Germans affection for wearing and carrying branded merchandise, it is hard to conclude they have any affinity for debadging.

My Conclusion
Given the points above, I think people are ashamed of their small engines. Points 3 and 6 cannot support any other conclusion.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
My Conclusion
Given the points above, I think people are ashamed of their small engines. Points 3 and 6 cannot support any other conclusion.
In 9 out of 10 cases, your conclusion is right. Since I grew up in Germany and have German roots (mum, grandma & grandpa German), I know what's going on..

However, if customers in the US had the same choice of (smaller) engines and an option to "de-badge" right from the factory, I think it's only fair to assume that we, in the US, wouldn't act any different.

Personally, I don't mind de-badging or having a badge in the first place. Yes, I admit, we even rebadged a 540i when we owned a CPOed one in Germany.

However, if you really want to make a fool out of yourself, you go ahead and put a poser-badge on your car - like an M5-badge on a 528i etc...

Last edited by 760Lifan; 02-16-2013 at 09:08 PM.
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  #13  
Old 02-16-2013, 09:26 PM
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This regards culture. Generalizing things:

The US is about capitalism and flaunting wealth; whether one has a 528, 535 or 550, people want others to see what they have, regardless of it being the low, mid or high range model. The US is also about advertising and marketing, which is why BMWNA doesn't offer designation delete.

Europe is about understatement and modesty, which is why models such as the M5 and E63 AMG exist; with their wolf's in sheep's clothing body work, they're at the opposite end of the visual spectrum of American muscle, which has traditionally had decals, pinstriping, etc. Truth be told, Mercedes design has become so gaudy that the facelifted E63 AMG will have a special body work delete option in Europe to remove much of its nasty body, retaining its performance figures.

So, America is about conspicuous consumption, while Europe is the opposite, and when someone debadges a 528 in the US, the first thought that crosses my mind is the owner has good taste, not: this person is ashamed of their car.

Last edited by dbs600; 02-16-2013 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:04 PM
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I'm a German living in the US and here are my 2 cents. Some Germans probably want you to believe they drive a 'bigger' car, there are others who see de-badging as a way to keep a level of understatement, some just like the clean look. Style probably plays somewhat of a role for most and 'understatement' as a style is more en vogue in Europe.

Engine sizes are generally smaller compared to the same models sold in the US for several reasons, some of which were mentioned here. Environmental consciousness is big in Europe. But it is also true that luxury cars are expensive, actually significantly more expensive than in the US (ironically this includes German manufactured cars), therefore not that many can effort a luxury car with a large engine either. When they can effort it, people of course still like to show off, but most want to do it in an understated way.

For those who care about driving a big engine/fast car I think the perceived power of a car is often measured by how authoritatively you can pass other cars on the Autobahn at higher speeds.

The biggest satisfaction a German car enthusiast gains from passing a sports car on the Autobahn in a de-badged 'sleeper' station wagon at speeds upwards of 130mph.

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Old 02-16-2013, 10:06 PM
mikeriley mikeriley is offline
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Originally Posted by ScottF10 View Post
Germans don't feel the need to advertise that they have the biggest engine variant to humble themselves I guess, while in the U.S. most do it to hide the fact that they have the smallest engine while some do it for the cleaner look.
why the pro euro slant and negative USA slant? Id say the exact opposite or more of a neutral take on why euro debages. It may be what is considered vogue for them or they may want to not to let others know how small their engines are. Enough of the euro people are so great and americans aren't slant, its old and tired. Get over your self and and stop bashing your own country.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeriley View Post
why the pro euro slant and negative USA slant? Id say the exact opposite or more of a neutral take on why euro debages. It may be what is considered vogue for them or they may want to not to let others know how small their engines are. Enough of the euro people are so great and americans aren't slant, its old and tired. Get over your self and and stop bashing your own country.
Not bashing anyone, just what I've noticed. How often do you see a high performance luxury car without badges in the U.S.?
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mryakanisachoad View Post
Please pardon my language but here in the U.S. a lot of people refer to cars like the F11 wagon as a " Fcuk you!" car (it's a compliment to the car and its driver).

Que?

Not sure I understand. There are no F11s in the USA.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:50 AM
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I agree that de-badging shouldn't have a negative connotation for everyone, since many really do it for the cleaning up the look (a "big engine" guy doing it certainly has no reason to have to explain why he'd do it, as there's no "poseur-ish" inclinations there.... unless trying to make others think you have a lower-designated car ).

However, I guess those many who DO do it to try and pass off as something they're not, without actually doing something so ultimately classless as RE-badging as something they're not, has drawn a sort of negative connotation toward it, at least from what I've seen. I de-badged my E350's as the "E350" name/badge just doesn't look cool, you see it everywhere slapped on the back of the gazillions of E's driving around, and IMO it REALLY cleaned up the look back there, however I was the first to tell anyone who would listen that it was an E350.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by K-A View Post
I agree that de-badging shouldn't have a negative connotation for everyone, since many really do it for the cleaning up the look (a "big engine" guy doing it certainly has no reason to have to explain why he'd do it, as there's no "poseur-ish" inclinations there.... unless trying to make others think you have a lower-designated car ).

However, I guess those many who DO do it to try and pass off as something they're not, without actually doing something so ultimately classless as RE-badging as something they're not, has drawn a sort of negative connotation toward it, at least from what I've seen. I de-badged my E350's as the "E350" name/badge just doesn't look cool, you see it everywhere slapped on the back of the gazillions of E's driving around, and IMO it REALLY cleaned up the look back there, however I was the first to tell anyone who would listen that it was an E350.
+1 I debadged my E350 as well because that is one car where you truly get that "cleaner look", it actually looks so good that I would probably debadge an E550. On the other hand, I am split on whether or not I should debadge my 5er because someone could easily think that it's a 3 series because the rears look very similar.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:29 AM
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+1 I debadged my E350 as well because that is one car where you truly get that "cleaner look", it actually looks so good that I would probably debadge an E550. On the other hand, I am split on whether or not I should debadge my 5er because someone could easily think that it's a 3 series because the rears look very similar.
Lol. Agreed there. BMW's design language is so close that is very true.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:39 PM
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I've been in Europe for about 5 yrs now, and heard it has to do with Socialistic society and you are almost looked down upon if you're successful. Didn't France's richest man apply for Belgium citizenship after a purposed tax of 75% on over million on yearly income, and then he was ostricized, and called un-patriotic? If your wealthy in Europe, most people down play it.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:12 PM
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I've been in Europe for about 5 yrs now, and heard it has to do with Socialistic society and you are almost looked down upon if you're successful. Didn't France's richest man apply for Belgium citizenship after a purposed tax of 75% on over million on yearly income, and then he was ostricized, and called un-patriotic? If your wealthy in Europe, most people down play it.
I've got to say, if this is true, then they are an inferior society.

The most successful people should be recognized and celebrated if the human race is to better itself. I understood this growing up on a council estate in England, and that is what got me where I am.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:40 PM
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Europeans do not hide wealth more than Americans do. They often dislike talking about it though and try to be tactful and tasteful about it. When it comes to cars it's not wealth but pollution and energy consumption that gets you the evil eye these days. Large SUVs runs a big risk of being keyed.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:46 PM
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This is from the German configurator:
That's awesome!!!
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:13 PM
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why the pro euro slant and negative USA slant? Id say the exact opposite or more of a neutral take on why euro debages. It may be what is considered vogue for them or they may want to not to let others know how small their engines are. Enough of the euro people are so great and americans aren't slant, its old and tired. Get over your self and and stop bashing your own country.
"Amen to that brother!" - Hulk Hogan

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