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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F36 (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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  #26  
Old 02-04-2013, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
I knew sooner or later you would come up with a reason, but it took awhile because supply is no longer an excuse, and 4,800 is about the lowest monthly in the 3 series past several years history.

Although I hardly think ATS hit it out of the park, but nearly 3k with only a sedan version to show for, in its 4th month since inception, no coupe, no convertible and no wagon, an utter failure? It sold more than Audi A4. Is Audi A4 an utter failure?
There's more-of-same going on here, no new-news.

Mercedes woke up, invested effort in making the C a non-boring and aesthetically hot looking car, and took away E90 sales, now hitting F30 too no doubt. I don't look at that as a BMW failure; I look at that as MB waking up from a coma and washing the stupid off its face. BMW stole MB sales for a decade, they woke up, took it back. Nothing BMW can do about a competitor deciding to not be stupid anymore.

If we're looking for commonalities, during both the E90 and F30 transitions, in the first 9-12 months the 3 Series had three consecutive quarters of sales drop with two of them in double digits, the Coupe/Vert/Wagon nosediving badly in anticipation of a new bodystyle. We discussed this months ago, I did a ton of research into 2005-2008 BMW sales reports:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...8&postcount=91

This was the quote from the E90's 13 month point which is approximately where we are right now with the F30 lifespan (note this is a quarterly report for March/April/May, not a single month like January):

"The sales volume figures for the BMW 3 Series Coupé and of the BMW 3 Series Convertible were lower than in the previous year as a result of life-cycle factors. 11,401 units of the BMW 3 Series Coupé were sold, (35.4)% fewer than in the same period last year.

The BMW 3 Series Coupé model change will take place in September 2006. With 13,838 units sold, the sales volume of the BMW 3 Series Convertible was (22.7)%
lower than one year earlier
."


BJ
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  #27  
Old 02-04-2013, 05:27 PM
LegendsNeverDie LegendsNeverDie is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
I think MB did a good job at styling lately, just read the comments on the CLA. Personally, since the brands in this segment are so close than ever before, the exterior design will have a greater impact on sales. The fact the C class has kept the sales strong shows how important to keep a model fresh looking throughout the model years.

Sooner or later this segment will resemble the mainstream family car segment, in which cars like Honda Accord facelift itself every year

The pressure of downward movement is huge, with the 320i beating the ATS base by $500, and CLA starts at below $30k. The line between the entry level luxury and mainstream is blurry.
I agree. I just read the MT comparison with C350, 335i and ATS 3.6. MT actually picked the C350 over the 335, just goes to show how close these cars are. I still like the ATS the most since GM was brave enough to give this car such a sporty and stiff chassis (although it may hurt the sales a little) while BMW played it safe and softened up the F30.
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  #28  
Old 02-04-2013, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
There's more-of-same going on here, no new-news.

Mercedes woke up, invested effort in making the C a non-boring and aesthetically hot looking car, and took away E90 sales, now hitting F30 too no doubt. I don't look at that as a BMW failure; I look at that as MB waking up from a coma and washing the stupid off its face. BMW stole MB sales for a decade, they woke up, took it back. Nothing BMW can do about a competitor deciding to not be stupid anymore.

If we're looking for commonalities, during both the E90 and F30 transitions, in the first 9-12 months the 3 Series had three consecutive quarters of sales drop with two of them in double digits, the Coupe/Vert/Wagon nosediving badly in anticipation of a new bodystyle. We discussed this months ago, I did a ton of research into 2005-2008 BMW sales reports:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...8&postcount=91

This was the quote from the E90's 13 month point which is approximately where we are right now with the F30 lifespan (note this is a quarterly report for March/April/May, not a single month like January):

"The sales volume figures for the BMW 3 Series Coupé and of the BMW 3 Series Convertible were lower than in the previous year as a result of life-cycle factors. 11,401 units of the BMW 3 Series Coupé were sold, (35.4)% fewer than in the same period last year.

The BMW 3 Series Coupé model change will take place in September 2006. With 13,838 units sold, the sales volume of the BMW 3 Series Convertible was (22.7)%
lower than one year earlier
."


BJ
BMW is losing at its own game.
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  #29  
Old 02-04-2013, 05:35 PM
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Here is the link to the MT article, BJ should be happy to know the reason for the slowdown for the 3 series is because they were trying to get rid of all the E90s and make room for the new F30s
The article is making the wrong assumption.

There are three things going on:

1. The comparable Coupe transition period of 2007 saw sales nosedive (-35.4%).

2. The comparable Convertible transition period of 2007 saw sales nosedive (-22.7%).

3. Unlike 2007, Mercedes woke up and took the C segment seriously, made a fine looking car.

The F3X has a 7 year lifespan but a messy 2 year transition. What we're seeing here is historically representative on the BMW side. Mercedes woke up from the coma they had with the prior C models, decided to take things seriously. Nothing BMW can do about that during a transition. Talk to me in 2 years when the C is long-in-the-tooth and all versions of the 3 and 2 are available and then we can see where we stand.

BJ
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  #30  
Old 02-04-2013, 05:38 PM
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I never understood why BMW takes 2 years to introduce all of the body styles of the new model.

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  #31  
Old 02-04-2013, 05:39 PM
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I never understood why BMW takes 2 years to introduce all of the body styles of the new model.

CA
Yeah, I'm not sure either. Seems like the M is usually always last too...
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  #32  
Old 02-04-2013, 05:40 PM
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BMW is losing at its own game.
No. In the F30, BMW has created the greatest 3 Series ever. They've done their job.

Mercedes Benz completely dropped the ball for a decade, the 2000's featuring some of the most pedestrian and matronly looking C Class cars ever. It was to BMW's benefit, clear runway, took full advantage.

In the current C Class, Mercedes woke up and took the segment seriously. As such, they grew their market share very easily and it is at BMW's expense. Again, nothing BMW could do to prevent MB from taking stupid pills for another decade. The clear runway that BMW had in the 00's is now incremental growth for MB in the 10's. The segment is being right-sized.

BMW's job was to create a compelling 3 Series for the next 7 years. In the F30 and new F32 they've more than achieved that goal.

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  #33  
Old 02-04-2013, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
No. In the F30, BMW has created the greatest 3 Series ever. They've done their job.

Mercedes Benz completely dropped the ball for a decade, the 2000's featuring some of the most pedestrian and matronly looking C Class cars ever. It was to BMW's benefit, clear runway, took full advantage.

In the current C Class, Mercedes woke up and took the segment seriously. As such, they grew their market share very easily and it is at BMW's expense. Again, nothing BMW could do to prevent MB from taking stupid pills for another decade. The clear runway that BMW had in the 00's is now incremental growth for MB in the 10's. The segment is being right-sized.

BMW's job was to create a compelling 3 Series for the next 7 years. In the F30 and new F32 they've more than achieved that goal.

BJ
No. If anything E46 was arguably the greatest 3 Series ever. The F30 is far from it, quite contrary. MB still carries a lot more prestige and status than BMW, whether you like or not. The 3 was always a sporty cheaper alternative but now the game has changed. The 3 Series got too big, too soft, too bland and too expensive.
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  #34  
Old 02-04-2013, 05:49 PM
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BMW and Mercedes built their model lineups from different directions. At one point BMW did not have any offerings at the top of the line and Mercedes didn't have anything at the bottom.

The modern BMW brand was built on the 1600/2002 and the 3 Series. There were higher end models like the 2800/3.0 CS and the Bavaria but they were never big sellers.

Mercedes built high end luxury cars and did not directly compete with BMW. Eventually BMW moved upscale with the 5 and the 7 and Mercedes moved downscale with the C Class.

For a number of years now BMW and Mercedes have gone head to head in the entry, mid and high end luxury markets but the C Class never had the performance image that the 3 Series did.

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  #35  
Old 02-04-2013, 05:58 PM
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No. If anything E46 was arguably the greatest 3 Series ever. The F30 is far from it, quite contrary. MB still carries a lot more prestige and status than BMW, whether you like or not. The 3 was always a sporty cheaper alternative but now the game has changed. The 3 Series got too big, too soft, too bland and too expensive.
I'm not going to get into the used car debate, again. BMW's actions tell the story as do the cars themselves. They spend tens of millions on market research, they know who their customers are, and this is what they've done:

1. Built an F30 which is larger, softer, wider, features a "luxury" line and a "comfort" mode and a "technology" package that would be the envy of any Apple engineer, all to hit a lease pricepoint of $499.

2. De-emphasized the performance elements from the base and all 'line' models except the Sport lines.

3. Announced a new $30,000 budget line 320i which trades horsepower, handling, and performance enthusiasm for cushy, luxury creature-comforts to hit a lease pricepoint of $299.

It's all about luxury, comfort, and technology now. If BMW's customers wanted a reincarnated E46, they'd have given us one.

BJ
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  #36  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:04 PM
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For a number of years now BMW and Mercedes have gone head to head in the entry, mid and high end luxury markets but the C Class never had the performance image that the 3 Series did.

CA
Precisely.

And now with Mercedes CLA going downmarket against the 320i and with BMW going upmarket with the 4 Series we're going to have an all-out war in this segment, a German performance car for everyone at every age and every price level, no need at all to dabble with Lexus, Audi, Acura, or Cadillac.

For years, Honda, Toyota, GM, and Volkswagen have had their cake and eaten it too, had their low-end brands and their luxury brands. Mercedes and BMW have decided to put an end to that dubious practice, going to feast on those Accord, Camry, LaCrosse, and Passat owners. "Spend the same money, get a Mercedes or a BMW, step right up..." All the while, pummeling the A4, IS, G, and ATS at the same time. Matching price on the lesser brands, undercutting the luxury brands. Going to be a bloodbath.

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  #37  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I'm not going to get into the used car debate, again. BMW's actions tell the story as do the cars themselves. They spend tens of millions on market research, they know who their customers are, and this is what they've done:

1. Built an F30 which is larger, softer, wider, features a "luxury" line and a "comfort" mode and a "technology" package that would be the envy of any Apple engineer, all to hit a lease pricepoint of $499.

2. De-emphasized the performance elements from the base and all 'line' models except the Sport lines.

3. Announced a new $30,000 budget line 320i which trades horsepower, handling, and performance enthusiasm for cushy, luxury creature-comforts to hit a lease pricepoint of $299.

It's all about luxury, comfort, and technology now. If BMW's customers wanted a reincarnated E46, they'd have given us one.

BJ
GM took saw the opportunity and gave us one disguised as a Cadillac (they literally targeted the E46 when making the ATS and for a very good reason). If its all about luxury, comfort and technology now then I would get a Lexus. It is superior in all of the three aspects and costs less.
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  #38  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:09 PM
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Precisely.

And now with Mercedes CLA going downmarket against the 320i and with BMW going upmarket with the 4 Series we're going to have an all-out war in this segment, a German performance car for everyone at every age and every price level, no need at all to dabble with Lexus, Audi, Acura, or Cadillac.

For years, Honda, Toyota, GM, and Volkswagen have had their cake and eaten it too, had their low-end brands and their luxury brands. Mercedes and BMW have decided to put an end to that dubious practice, going to feast on those Accord, Camry, LaCrosse, and Passat owners. "Spend the same money, get a Mercedes or a BMW, step right up..."

BJ
I am not convinced that is going to happen. Accord and Camry have very loyal customer bases and the 320i will not match the equipment level of a similarly priced Accord. There is a huge market out there who are very happy with their Accords, will keep buying them and have no interest in BMW. Audi is posting record sales numbers and will probably continue to do so.

CA
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  #39  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:11 PM
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GM took saw the opportunity and gave us one disguised as a Cadillac (they literally targeted the E46 when making the ATS and for a very good reason). If its all about luxury, comfort and technology now then I would get a Lexus. It is superior in all of the three aspects and costs less.
Cadillac is failing because they chose to create some E46 wannabe instead of listening to its own customers who'll have nothing to do with a small, firm, uncomfortable RWD car. There aren't enough young executives on planet Earth to want an ATS over a 3 or a C or a CLA or a 4.

BMW's customers have spoken, and it seems that they indeed do consider "getting a Lexus" or a Mercedes Benz for that matter.

You seem to want to have this battle over the E46 as if this is 2006 and the E90 was just released and BMW has made some tragic "mistake" by alienating the performance enthusiasts.

We're well past that point now. The E46 argument is one for the ages, dead and buried.

BJ
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  #40  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:14 PM
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I am not convinced that is going to happen. Accord and Camry have very loyal customer bases and the 320i will not match the equipment level of a similarly priced Accord. There is a huge market out there who are very happy with their Accords, will keep buying them and have no interest in BMW. Audi is posting record sales numbers and will probably continue to do so.

CA
We'll see what happens.

We know that badge whores are BMW's biggest market segment. They sell $329 base leases all day and all night, about 90% of all F30's I see on the road these days are all the stripper-special. The sacrifice that was made by the Honda Accord buyer will be a thing of the past in the 320i.

BMW used to make people pay for the performance. Now, they don't have to. For even-money or perhaps $20 more a month someone looking at a fully-loaded Accord can now be in a very well appointed 320i. That's a game-changer.

BJ
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  #41  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:17 PM
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Cadillac is failing because they chose to create some E46 wannabe instead of listening to its own customers who'll have nothing to do with a small, firm, uncomfortable RWD car. There aren't enough young executives on planet Earth to want an ATS over a 3 or a C or a CLA or a 4.

BMW's customers have spoken, and it seems that they indeed do consider "getting a Lexus" or a Mercedes Benz for that matter.

You seem to want to have this battle over the E46 as if this is 2006 and the E90 was just released and BMW has made some tragic "mistake" by alienating the performance enthusiasts.

We're well past that point now. The E46 argument is one for the ages, dead and buried.

BJ
Apparently in January there were 2,781 young executives that preferred a Cadillac ATS over a Mercedes or BMW.

According to these figures the C class outsold the 3 Series by about 50%. The lack of availability Coupe and Convertible models in the new body style does not completely explain this as BMW did sell some E9x coupes and convertibles and those numbers' however small, would still be included in the 4,831 figure for the 3 Series. Also I doubt that Coupe and Convertible sales amount to one third of total 3 Series sales and they would have to if the lack of those models was the sole reason for the C Class larger sales.

Of course we are looking at a single month. 1st quarter sales or 1st and 2nd quarter sales numbers will tell more of a story.

January 2013 segment sales numbers

MB C Class: 7,214
BMW 3 Series: 4,831
Audi A4/5: 3,955
Infiniti G: 2,815
Cadillac ATS: 2,781
Acura TSX: 1,806
Lexus IS: 1,386
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Cadillac is failing because they chose to create some E46 wannabe instead of listening to its own customers who'll have nothing to do with a small, firm, uncomfortable RWD car. There aren't enough young executives on planet Earth to want an ATS over a 3 or a C or a CLA or a 4.

BMW's customers have spoken, and it seems that they indeed do consider "getting a Lexus" or a Mercedes Benz for that matter.

You seem to want to have this battle over the E46 as if this is 2006 and the E90 was just released and BMW has made some tragic "mistake" by alienating the performance enthusiasts.

We're well past that point now. The E46 argument is one for the ages, dead and buried.

BJ
The truth is that the ATS is succeeding exactly for the same reasons earlier 3 Series generation did. BMW is not longer a leader in this class, a class that the 3 Series created.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:23 PM
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Apparently in January there were 2,781 young executives that preferred a Cadillac ATS over a Mercedes or BMW.
Or, more likely, the Cadillac CTS and Buick Lacrosse took a hit and ATS inventory right-sized for interested Acura and Infiniti customers. Aging baby boomers headed to The Villages will certainly give the budget-Caddy a look, but they'll be replaced with 320i buyers fresh out of law school.

BJ
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:23 PM
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We'll see what happens.

We know that badge whores are BMW's biggest market segment. They sell $329 base leases all day and all night, about 90% of all F30's I see on the road these days are all the stripper-special. The sacrifice that was made by the Honda Accord buyer will be a thing of the past in the 320i.

BMW used to make people pay for the performance. Now, they don't have to. For even-money or perhaps $20 more a month someone looking at a fully-loaded Accord can now be in a very well appointed 320i. That's a game-changer.

BJ
Because they are not getting any. A fully loaded Accord is much faster and it is FULLY loaded compared to a base 320i and has a six cylinder.

Last edited by LegendsNeverDie; 02-04-2013 at 06:25 PM.
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  #45  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:32 PM
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The truth is that the ATS is succeeding exactly for the same reasons earlier 3 Series generation did. BMW is not longer a leader in this class, a class that the 3 Series created.


Cadillac's are bought and driven by 70 year old men.

Very few ATS sales are going to so-called "performance enthusiasts". Instead, they're being bought by "fixed income retirees" who like the cheap CTS they've been presented with. RWD is just fine in Florida, the smaller cabins are okay for the 4PM early bird special crowd.

This is the Honda Element redux. Honda builds a car for beach-going Gen X'ers straight out of college, turns out its a cheap, large car that's perfect for the irritable bowel set and becomes grandma's favorite wheelchair mover.

BJ
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
Because they are not getting any. A fully loaded Accord is much faster and it is FULLY loaded compared to a base 320i and has a six cylinder.
No. One. Cares. About. Performance. In. The. Big. Picture.

Enthusiasts who have the slightest clue about that crap are about 2% of the overall BMW population. I could care less that I could get a fully loaded Accord that is much faster and more loaded and less expensive.

I want a BMW.

BJ
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  #47  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:37 PM
LegendsNeverDie LegendsNeverDie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
No. One. Cares. About. Performance. In. The. Big. Picture.

Enthusiasts who have the slightest clue about that crap are about 2% of the overall BMW population. I could care less that I could get a fully loaded Accord that is much faster and more loaded and less expensive.

I want a BMW.

BJ
Most people are not like you.
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  #48  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:38 PM
LegendsNeverDie LegendsNeverDie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
No. One. Cares. About. Performance. In. The. Big. Picture.

Enthusiasts who have the slightest clue about that crap are about 2% of the overall BMW population. I could care less that I could get a fully loaded Accord that is much faster and more loaded and less expensive.

I want a BMW.

BJ
You are very wrong. They do care.
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  #49  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:42 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
You are very wrong. They do care.
You care.

I respect that. I totally do.

But the other 98% of the American population does not care in the slightest about performance. I'm sorry. Look at the configurations. Look at what's selling. Look at 3 Series drivers you see on the streets. That shouldn't surprise you. That's just hard-fact. Instead of wishing for the 3 Series to become something it will never be, embrace the 1 Series or find another brand. Being your crying towel is getting tiresome.

BJ
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  #50  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:46 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
Most people are not like you.
I'm in Bergen County. Where are you?

I'd like to invite you up here for coffee. We'll get two lawn chairs, hang out on Saddle River Road, eventually mosey over to Route 4, talk BMW's. You'll see no less than 50 3 Series cars in a few hours. We'll bring some graph paper and pencil and mark up all the cars we see, how they are configured, what their drivers look like.

Or, I can spare you the effort and tell you right now:

The average driver you will see is a 50 year old female driving a three-year-old 328i in base trim with a $349 lease payment and a hair appointment.

BJ
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