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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #51  
Old 01-17-2013, 09:47 PM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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The brass at BMW AG may be amused by all the rationalizing from US folks, probably they simply have to move the unsold 320i allocation in Europe to the US(and Asia).
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  #52  
Old 01-18-2013, 02:56 AM
gcreese gcreese is offline
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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.
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  #53  
Old 01-18-2013, 03:35 AM
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I personnally love that BMW is coming out with the 320i. I'm not ready to buy another BMW yet, still loving my 05 545i, but I would much rather buy a new stripped down 320i new then buy used again. I dont' care about all the bells and whistles. Leatherette is just fine with me.

Sunroof, blah, I wish BMW would come back with the moonroof that had no glass and was the same body color.
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  #54  
Old 01-18-2013, 05:22 AM
shabadoo25 shabadoo25 is offline
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I've discussed this issue with my CA before. The majority of 3ers that his dealership sells (really leases) and therefore stocks are the ones that matched the advertised lease deal: 328i w/premium, no other options.

Their #1 3er customer that leases these are mid to late 20s guys with a better than average 1st or 2nd job who want the badge for perceived prestige, nothing else. People like those on this forum that custom order 3ers with loads of options are in reality few and far between.

Therefore, that typical customer will now take a 320i instead and save $60-100/mo. on their lease payment.
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  #55  
Old 01-18-2013, 06:34 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
The brass at BMW AG may be amused by all the rationalizing from US folks, probably they simply have to move the unsold 320i allocation in Europe to the US(and Asia).
No, the Euro 320i wold have to be modified and tested (quite expensive) to meet US emissions stds. It's a conscious decision for BMW to add a lower priced 3 series to our market.
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  #56  
Old 01-18-2013, 06:55 AM
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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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  #57  
Old 01-18-2013, 07:20 AM
shabadoo25 shabadoo25 is offline
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You know, I used to love to talk about the stereotypes and the stigmas, but guess what: You're wrong.

I live in the BMW 3 Series capital of the world, Bergen County New Jersey, only 12 minutes from BMW USA Corporate Headquarters in Park Ridge. And I can tell you, without exaggeration, I must see 30 E90's and F30's a day. And that's if I drive 30 minutes. If I drive an hour or two, forget it, I can't even count how many I see.

When I drive by these other cars, I look straight through the windshield to see who's driving them. You know, maybe get an enthusiast to give me the look, maybe get an admirer to give me the ol' thumbs up. They never do. What I see through those scores of 3 Series windshields are mostly women, mostly 46 years old, all hauling kids around town at 28 MPH.

I'm not sure what college town you live in, but there aren't any college kids that I see on the roads around here. I'd say 1 out of every 100 E90's I see on the road are driven by 18-22 year olds, and almost all of them are in dad's car.

I'm sure that at BMW HQ some marketers do modeling around age demography, but what they've done to the F30 doesn't support your "get younger" theory. The car is bigger, softer, and more luxurious. The lower price helps, but this isn't a Civic, never will be.

BMW lowered the price to go after more-of-same. Plenty of 50-somethings out there who want a BMW and can afford a BMW but were tired of having to live with a firm suspension and powerful engine they didn't want and eschew features like a garage door opener or nav that they did want in the process. BMW forced you to pay for more engine and more suspension than you really needed; now they've corrected it, now you can delete that performance and put the $4,300 to goodies instead. It's as simple as that.

BJ
Your area is an exception. Mine is also in that no one has an xi unless they moved here with one.

For Central Florida, here are the typical 3 Series drivers:

E46: young apartment dwellers and/or modders. Mostly bought used for under $15k.
E90: The 06s, 07s and 08s are being driven by current college students who got them used. 09s and newer are older, upscale buyers/leasers.
F30: Older, upscale buyers/leasers. I don't see many of these, but they are almost always "no lines" when I do.
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  #58  
Old 01-18-2013, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
BMW lowered the price to go after more-of-same. Plenty of 50-somethings out there who want a BMW and can afford a BMW but were tired of having to live with a firm suspension and powerful engine they didn't want and eschew features like a garage door opener or nav that they did want in the process. BMW forced you to pay for more engine and more suspension than you really needed; now they've corrected it, now you can delete that performance and put the $4,300 to goodies instead. It's as simple as that.
Is there a difference between the suspension of the 320 versus the 328 and 335?
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  #59  
Old 01-18-2013, 07:47 AM
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  #60  
Old 01-18-2013, 07:58 AM
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i wish i could get my next one like that. seriously. dont even care.
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  #61  
Old 01-18-2013, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
You know, I used to love to talk about the stereotypes and the stigmas, but guess what: You're wrong...
BJ
You made it sound like you no longer do
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  #62  
Old 01-18-2013, 08:54 AM
shabadoo25 shabadoo25 is offline
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Is there a difference between the suspension of the 320 versus the 328 and 335?
No, that was an issue with the E90. It's not on any trim level of the F30 (though I can't speak for the 335i).
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  #63  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:06 AM
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Damn, my mind is going blank from reading all the tradeoffs. Get the car and options she wants. Hand the dealer cash and get it over with. Hey, a 73 year old mom, retired I assume, pays cash for her stuff. At her age and my age, financing is not an option.
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  #64  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:14 AM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
No, the Euro 320i wold have to be modified and tested (quite expensive) to meet US emissions stds. It's a conscious decision for BMW to add a lower priced 3 series to our market.
It is true our lineup now better matches what others see(e.g. Canada, Germany, UK). Since the 320i engine is the same US-spec N20 as in 328i, it probably is just an incremental emission qualification The advanced manufacturing capabilities at Munich should allow them to move allocations(as in production numbers) easily to direct inventories around the globe.

Last edited by namelessman; 01-18-2013 at 10:03 AM.
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  #65  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:26 AM
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No, that was an issue with the E90. It's not on any trim level of the F30 (though I can't speak for the 335i).
I'm not quite sure what this means. Can you clarify?
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  #66  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:47 AM
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You made it sound like you no longer do
You seem to be a bit slow to the fact that I no longer do.

I'm sorry you miss the old BJ 1.0 days. They're over. I'm just a guy with a car now.

BJ
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  #67  
Old 01-18-2013, 10:06 AM
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I think my favorite part of this picture is the giant sticker behind the steering wheel that says dont text and drive. As if that would even be a possibility in that thing. Too funny.

The scary thing though is it was probably added because some dumb ass tried to and slammed into a wall because of it.
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  #68  
Old 01-18-2013, 10:19 AM
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Their #1 3er customer that leases these are mid to late 20s guys with a better than average 1st or 2nd job who want the badge for perceived prestige, nothing else.
And they don't know how to drive stick.
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  #69  
Old 01-18-2013, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyCMonkeyDo View Post
I think my favorite part of this picture is the giant sticker behind the steering wheel that says dont text and drive. As if that would even be a possibility in that thing. Too funny.

The scary thing though is it was probably added because some dumb ass tried to and slammed into a wall because of it.
I took that photo in the paddock at the Rolex Grand-Am race at Lime Rock last autumn. The picture is of the interior of the Turner Motorsports #93 M3. As you can see the car is very different than the production version of the M3 that is sold to the general public. The "No Texting" sign was obviously a joke.





Note the Bimmerfest logo on the rear bumper.

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  #70  
Old 01-18-2013, 06:55 PM
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Interesting discussion here.

Personally, I think BJ has pretty much hit the nail, dead on with his analysis of the 320i being positioned for the non-afficiado lessor.

It will be very interesting to watch the rollout of the F32/F33 and see if it follows suit with a 320i variant.

(My hope is that it does not. I am still mourning the loss the the NA IL6.)
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  #71  
Old 01-18-2013, 06:59 PM
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Interesting discussion here.

Personally, I think BJ has pretty much hit the nail, dead on with his analysis of the 320i being positioned for the non-afficiado lessor.

It will be very interesting to watch the rollout of the F32/F33 and see if it follows suit with a 320i variant.
First off, welcome to Bimmerfest. I think you'll enjoy it here.

Next, please continue to feel free to tell BJ how right he is as I'm told it makes him feel good. BJ does not feel that the 4 Series will be taken downmarket at the very moment it's being taken upmarket, but you never know.

BJ
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  #72  
Old 01-18-2013, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
First off, welcome to Bimmerfest. I think you'll enjoy it here.

Next, please continue to feel free to tell BJ how right he is as I'm told it makes him feel good. BJ does not feel that the 4 Series will be taken downmarket at the very moment it's being taken upmarket, but you never know.

BJ

It will be interesting to see how the 320 does. The 1 Series, which theoretically took BMW down market does not seem to be selling very well. I probably see about 20 times more 7 Series than 1 Series. Actually the ratio may be higher than that. I think I see about 5 1 Series a year not counting the ones in the showroom when I take the car in for service.

CA
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:07 PM
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It will be interesting to see how the 320 does. The 1 Series, which theoretically took BMW down market does not seem to be selling very well. I probably see about 20 times more 7 Series than 1 Series. Actually the ratio may be higher than that. I think I see about 5 1 Series a year not counting the ones in the showroom when I take the car in for service.

CA
I think the problem with the 1 series as a "downgrade" is that by the time you add back all the niceties that we have on the 3er's especially things that are standard on the 335 and E93 (both 328 and 335 variants) you are pushing a pricetag very close if not totally in the range of the 3ers. Unless, you just like the smaller chassis, well equipped, it's not a base priced car. One day I was playing around on the BMWNA build your own page, and without much effort built a 135i cabrio for a price (at that time) equivalent to a nicely equipped 328i E92. Yes, apples to oranges, but with the package system (zsp, zpp, etc) to get adaptive xenon lights, motorized front seats, etc., were all costly addons to the 1 series, incidentally at a ratio much higher than the cost of adding the same package onto a 3er.

As much as I cringe at the idea, I think the 320i 3 series will have better success as the "downgrade" especially in the US where a bigger bodied car is perceived as better. The overall size of the car along with the Roundel will be the selling points. The engine size and specs will be purely incidental. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Camry will finally be able ditch the Camry for a BMW and radiate with the afterglow emanating from the Roundel sparkling in the sunshine.
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  #74  
Old 01-18-2013, 08:51 PM
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It will be interesting to see how the 320 does. The 1 Series, which theoretically took BMW down market does not seem to be selling very well. I probably see about 20 times more 7 Series than 1 Series. Actually the ratio may be higher than that. I think I see about 5 1 Series a year not counting the ones in the showroom when I take the car in for service.

CA
The 1 Series is an enthusiasts car.

Being a 2-door, very compact, very edgy (trying to be kind here) design it's not a downmarket car so much as it's a souped-up Mini. I think the combination of impracticality and fugly design turns off a lot of buyers, but those who buy the big engine likely find it exhilarating.

BJ
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  #75  
Old 01-18-2013, 08:58 PM
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As much as I cringe at the idea, I think the 320i 3 series will have better success as the "downgrade" especially in the US where a bigger bodied car is perceived as better. The overall size of the car along with the Roundel will be the selling points. The engine size and specs will be purely incidental. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Camry will finally be able ditch the Camry for a BMW and radiate with the afterglow emanating from the Roundel sparkling in the sunshine.
That's the strategy.

You're new here, but I posted three configs the other day that sort of illustrate how BMW is finally allowing 3 Series buyers to trade horsepower for creature comforts. From memory, looks sort of like this:

The build that my mother passed on, too expensive for her:

328i Auto $42,645
Premium w/Leather
Heated Seats
PDC

The build that my mother would have taken if available:

320i Auto $38,595
Premium
Heated Seats

That's $4,100 less, a 10% savings, simply for trading off horsepower & leather.

Now, if she wanted to put that back into the car, get to that same $42,645 level as the 328i, her build would have looked like this:

320i Auto $42,595
Premium Package
Driver Assistance Package
Lighting Package
Navigation
BMW Assist
Enhanced Bluetooth & USB
Heated Seats

So, instead of running to Acura, she'd have had two choices:

1. Get a 320i with the same options, save $4,100

2. Get a 320i with extra options Driver Assistance Package, Lighting Package, Navigation, BMW Assist, Enhanced Bluetooth & USB for the same money.

And that's the entire point. As I said in the first post, it allows someone to either hit a $299 monthly payment practically stripped -or- to hit a $399 monthly payment fully loaded.

The 320i is a $4,300 Performance Delete Option that allows someone to trade off horsepower for gobs of goodies. It's a very smart move. Would have kept my mom from Acura, thousands of other moms too.

BJ
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