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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 07-22-2010, 09:05 AM
x5mr x5mr is offline
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550i F10 pricing vs. "Competition"

Does anyone feel that BMW has pushed its premium relative to its competitors too high with the F10? The base MSRP gap is reasonable, but the pricing of the options and bundling of the options creates a HUGE premimum when I configure a 550i like I want it. Just for some background, I am a huge BMW Fan. I currently drive a 335i (6 speed manual, premium, sports, satellite) and prior to that I drove a 2004 BMW X5 4.4. I did get drawn over to the dark side 2 years ago and purchased a Mercedes GL450 because we needed an SUV with true third row seating. While I love the GL450 as an SUV, I far prefer the handling of BMW over Mercedes for my sports sedan.

So it's time to replace my 335i because my factory warranty is about to expire and I need something a little bigger. I had originally planned on replacing my 335 with an F10 550i, but I'm having a hard time choking down the price of the 550i when optioned comparably to it's competitors.

Here's my best apples to apples comparison (note I used the USAA buying service price as rough a gauge for my negotiated price)

..............................Base MSRP....MSRP with options*.....USAA Price
BMW 550i................$60,575.........$66,475....... .............$64,169
Mercedes E550.........$57,175.........$61,575.............. ......$56,901
Jaguar XF Premium....$57,000.........$57,000................ .....$53,297
Infiniti M56..............$58,415.........$58,415.......... ...........$54,123


* BMW includes ventilated seats (a must in Florida), premium 2, and smart phone integration
* Mercedes includes Premium P1. Jaguar and Infiniti include all options I need in the base model

This leaves the BMW with a $5k premium over MB, a $9K premium over the Jag and a $8K premium over the Infiniti based on MSRP. If I use the USAA car buying service as a gauge for the price I could negotiate, the premium is even greater ($7K over the MB, $11K over the jag, and $10K over the Infiniti). I feel I could probably negotiate another $1K off the BMW myself vs. the USAA price so perhaps the final price gap is lower by $1K for each of the competitors. Still, that's a hefty preimum


And further, and I'll qualify this by saying that I have not driven the F10 yet, my undestanding is that to get a BMW that really drives like a BMW, you need to get the Dynamic Handling Package which also requires the sports package. This pushes the price of the BMW to $71,375 with a USAA price of $68,624. This is no longer an "apples to apples" comparison, but one of the reasons for getting the BMW is because of the way it handles so I really feel that I would need to get the DHP and sports package on the BMW.

............................Base MSRP.......MSRP with options*......USAA Price
BMW 550i w DHP.....$60,575................$71,375............ .....$68,624

At this point the price of the BMW is staggeringly higher than the competition ($12K vs. the MB, $15K vs. the Jag and still just $10K for the infiniti as I need to add the sports package to the M56 to be fair)


One further thing for me to consider is that since I live in South Florida, all roads are flat and straight. So while I love the way BMWs drive, if I'm honest with myself, I rarely get to take advantage of the BMW's superior handling.

Am I missing anything in my price comparisons? I realize that I will get a BMW biased view on a BMW message board, but I myself am BMW biased and I'm having a hard time convincing myself to go with the BMW just based on pricing alone. I've only driven the E550 at this point (along with an E60 550i) so it's premature for me to form too strong an opinion, but the price factor alone is really a concern for me.

I apologize for the long winded post, but does anyone else think BMW has pushed its price gap too high?
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  #2  
Old 07-22-2010, 10:25 AM
kssod kssod is offline
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I also find the price gap to be quite high. Looking to replace my 06 RL, I am finding it difficult to justify the increase in both the 535 or 550 when equipped with the same features as the RL (AWD, heated/cooled seats/comfort access/nav). Drove a M37x, nice but not that much better than current 06 RL. I would recommend that you add the touring package to the M56, to get the better stereo, and seats.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:27 AM
snowfreak323 snowfreak323 is offline
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This is a BMW board so.... GET THE BMW!!!!!!

Seriously though, have you factored in that you do not have to pay for maintenance on the BMW?

Also, do the other cars have ventilated seating/sport/handling packages on them (I am not as familiar with these models and what they have)?
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:24 AM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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I agree with you. Time will tell if BMW's gamble pays off.

Personally, I think they'll have to stick to the pricing or it will sink resale values, but will bundle more standard features and have subvented lease support rates to partially offset the price disparity.

At the end of the day, get the car that best meets your needs that is within your budget. Consumers are getting spoilt for choice in this segment - I don't think there have been so many competent choices in the segment than at any other time. It makes for an interesting competitive landscape. Competitors are definitely eyeing the fat profits that BMW makes on the 5er, and want some of the action.
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  #5  
Old 07-22-2010, 11:33 AM
snowfreak323 snowfreak323 is offline
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Originally Posted by chrischeung View Post
I agree with you. Time will tell if BMW's gamble pays off.

Personally, I think they'll have to stick to the pricing or it will sink resale values, but will bundle more standard features and have subvented lease support rates to partially offset the price disparity.

At the end of the day, get the car that best meets your needs that is within your budget. Consumers are getting spoilt for choice in this segment - I don't think there have been so many competent choices in the segment than at any other time. It makes for an interesting competitive landscape. Competitors are definitely eyeing the fat profits that BMW makes on the 5er, and want some of the action.
+1

Side-note... I really enjoyed your ED posts
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:44 AM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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You're welcome.

Further to the discussion, Merc is coming out with new engines for the E, Infiniti's M has never been more competitive, Jaguar has taken a fresh design perspective, Audi will shortly replace the A6, and likely Lexus the GS. None are really (or likely to be) bad or incompetent cars. And they all offer some form of "sport" package.

Look back just 10 years, and it was really only a 2 pony show. If you wanted sport, you went BMW. If you wanted luxury, you went Benz. Now you can get a bit of everything in almost any of the cars. If real world competency is roughly the same, what's the differentiator?
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  #7  
Old 07-22-2010, 12:03 PM
snowfreak323 snowfreak323 is offline
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True, although I am most interested in Jaguars revival. The previous E550 and A6 were pretty good cars (blend of luxury and performance), however Jaguar's previous S-type (what I believe the XF is replacing) was rather lacking...I drove my friend's and was unimpressed
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:54 PM
x5mr x5mr is offline
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All, thanks for the feedback

Snowfreak323... good point on maintenance. I can't believe I missed that obvious one. I think it's ~$1K to prepay for Mercedes maintenance. Not sure about the Infiniti or the Jag but I think maintenance on the Infiniti is relatively inexpensive. Also, all of the cars have ventiliated seats included in the base model with the exception of BMW. As far as sport packages, the MB either has a "sport" model and a "luxury" model both of which are the same price. But there is no separately priced Sport package for the Mercedes. The M56 has a separate sport package which I factored in for comparison to the BMW with DHP and sport. The only options on the Jag are an upgraded sound system and upgraded leather.

I guess I really need to get out and test drive all the cars to start narrowing down my choice. I've read some positive reviews on the Infiniti so I'm interested seeing how that drives. Sounds like the new V8 is a beast and I've heard they have done a good job upgrading the quality of materials inside the cabin.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:58 PM
snowfreak323 snowfreak323 is offline
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I would also consider resale and insurance costs when choosing a car,

However, I am a firm believer in a MT which is why, to me at least, I would prefer the BMW.

Lets us know how they drive when you go out and test drive them
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:45 PM
lindros2 lindros2 is offline
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If you're going to compare or evaluate on price, why not include the Hyundai Genesis?

A BMW is a luxury item, and if demand equals or is greater than supply, BMW can justify its premium price.
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:02 PM
MooseF10 MooseF10 is offline
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I looked at the S6, A6, S5 Audi as well as the C63, E550 (coupe and sedan) and the 550i and M3. I also have USAA. The Audi dealer would not budge from sticker on the S6 and it was the least exciting to drive when compared to the 550i and E550 coupe. I briefly looked at the Infinity M but the materials quality is just not up to BMW standards. The performance and quality of materials made the 550i my leading candidate. The Merc was a close second because of the great USAA pricing. I bought a new M5 in 2000 for 72K. Now I can get a far superior car in the 550i for a few thousand less than what I paid for that M5 10 years ago. The 550i is still the best in class given all that it offers.
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:33 PM
nlk10010 nlk10010 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowfreak323 View Post
I would also consider resale and insurance costs when choosing a car,

However, I am a firm believer in a MT which is why, to me at least, I would prefer the BMW.

Lets us know how they drive when you go out and test drive them
A second to the OP letting us know his (her?) impressions.

Apropos of the comment you made in your second paragraph, I too much prefer MT (my new 550i is a 6-speed) but because of sciatic nerve problems my doctor advised me to "get rid of it" (easy for him to say); I drive frequently in heavy traffic and could pump oil with the number of times that clutch goes up and down. I will need to look for an automatic replacement and would be most interested in how the OP feels about the various transmissions; e.g. do they kick down quickly and smoothly, up shift seamlessly and generally exhibit a lack of jerkiness? I know the Infiniti Ms have developed quite a reputation for jerky automatics, don't know about the others (although I'll probably start test driving soon).

Last edited by nlk10010; 07-22-2010 at 02:34 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-22-2010, 02:37 PM
x5mr x5mr is offline
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Originally Posted by lindros2 View Post
If you're going to compare or evaluate on price, why not include the Hyundai Genesis?

A BMW is a luxury item, and if demand equals or is greater than supply, BMW can justify its premium price.
I've thought about looking at the Hyundai Genesis. In all honesty though, I'm guess a bit of a brand snob (as bad as it sounds to hear myself say that), and I'm not sure I could bring myself to spend $40K+ for a Hyundai.

Regarding BMW as a luxury item, I agree. But Mercedes is also a luxury item... as is Jaguar... and to a lesser extent as is Infiniti. I'm just questioning for MYSELF, whether the BMW "luxury" is worth that much more than the Mercedes "luxury". Believe me, I fully understand supply and demand. If BMW is able to command a significant premium over Mercedes in the long run... more power to them. But when the price differential causes a BMW fan like myself to start looking towards the other brands, I think there's a risk that BMW pushed the premium too far. Time will tell, I guess.
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:46 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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In some respects, the brand is becoming less premium. Witness the 1 series. And we still have the same 7 series being the top car, so no real movement at the top end.
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  #15  
Old 07-22-2010, 03:20 PM
x5mr x5mr is offline
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Originally Posted by nlk10010 View Post
A second to the OP letting us know his (her?) impressions.

Apropos of the comment you made in your second paragraph, I too much prefer MT (my new 550i is a 6-speed) but because of sciatic nerve problems my doctor advised me to "get rid of it" (easy for him to say); I drive frequently in heavy traffic and could pump oil with the number of times that clutch goes up and down. I will need to look for an automatic replacement and would be most interested in how the OP feels about the various transmissions; e.g. do they kick down quickly and smoothly, up shift seamlessly and generally exhibit a lack of jerkiness? I know the Infiniti Ms have developed quite a reputation for jerky automatics, don't know about the others (although I'll probably start test driving soon).
My impression of the E550: Solid car, "richer" looking interior than E60 5 series (I can't yet compare to the F10), but not as nice as the interior in my GL450 (which is pure S-Class). The engine is very responsive and the kick down is smooth. Normal upshifts are extremely smooth and almost undetectible. The ride is firm, but comfortable. It "feels" faster than my 335, but I always felt the throttle response on the 335i (or perhaps it's the "non-existent" turbo lag) was a little slow. Mashing the accelerator in the E550 immediately presses you back into your seat. If I do the same in my 335i the power comes on a little more gradually (at least in every day driving scenarios where I'm not reving the engine upon downshifiting). I didn't get much of a chance to test the handling of the Mercedes. I think there are 3 or 4 curved roads in all of south florida and none of them are near the Mercedes dealer. It certainly felt bigger, heavier and less nimble than my 335i (as you would expect) but it also felt bigger, heavier and less nimble than an E60 535i and 550i. Overall I really liked the Mercedes. If I was back in the mountains of Virginia, I'd pick a BMW hands down, but for commuting, accelerating onto the highway, and driving around town in south florida, the E550 is a nice option.

Next up is probably the Infiniti
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Old 07-22-2010, 03:56 PM
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Remember, you get what you pay for. When you drive a BMW it gives you the sporty and fun driving experience that no other car can give you and that's what the premium is for. However, with all things being equal, driving a Mercedes gives you that smooth luxury feeling that no car can give you and that's what you pay for. You can buy a Hyndai Genesis for $40k to save some $$$ but i guarantee you the driving experience will not compare to that of a BMW.

Sometimes you have to pay a tad extra to enjoy that feeling that the competitors cannot truely offer, IMHO.
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:31 PM
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FWIW I would add the CTS-V to your list. Amazingly competent car, with great room, steering, braking feel and throttle response. It also has traditional niceties like a full sized spare. On the downside, the number of buttons and switches will make you homesick for iDrive, and the instrument lighting is a bit garish. But I would take one over an Audi (hate the thumping suspension) or a Merc (been there, done that, and the maintenance costs are obscene) any day.

Then again, for 75 large you could get a Genesis AND either a decent BMW motorcycle, or a 5-year old Grady White. Just sayin'
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:33 PM
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I do agree with you. I was comparing the Lexus GS460 and the BMW 550i when I bought my 2008 Lexus GS460. I saw a $10k price gap, more like $15k when you look at the negotiated prices you can get. However in resale they were closer together. I think BMW is over-pricing across the board and that's why BMW depreciation is worse than it used to be 10 years ago.

That said, the BMW driving experience is the best, and the F10 is by far the best car in its class which could not be said of its predecessor.

I'm gonna hold out a bit longer for the F10. Will either buy used after a year, or wait till I can get ED at $1k over invoice.

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Old 07-23-2010, 07:09 AM
nlk10010 nlk10010 is offline
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Originally Posted by x5mr View Post
My impression of the E550: Solid car, "richer" looking interior than E60 5 series (I can't yet compare to the F10), but not as nice as the interior in my GL450 (which is pure S-Class). The engine is very responsive and the kick down is smooth. Normal upshifts are extremely smooth and almost undetectible. The ride is firm, but comfortable. It "feels" faster than my 335, but I always felt the throttle response on the 335i (or perhaps it's the "non-existent" turbo lag) was a little slow. Mashing the accelerator in the E550 immediately presses you back into your seat. If I do the same in my 335i the power comes on a little more gradually (at least in every day driving scenarios where I'm not reving the engine upon downshifiting). I didn't get much of a chance to test the handling of the Mercedes. I think there are 3 or 4 curved roads in all of south florida and none of them are near the Mercedes dealer. It certainly felt bigger, heavier and less nimble than my 335i (as you would expect) but it also felt bigger, heavier and less nimble than an E60 535i and 550i. Overall I really liked the Mercedes. If I was back in the mountains of Virginia, I'd pick a BMW hands down, but for commuting, accelerating onto the highway, and driving around town in south florida, the E550 is a nice option.

Next up is probably the Infiniti
Nicely comprehensive review.

It's funny, you go on the MB boards and people are complaining how the W212 E-class looks "cheap" compared to the W211 (previous model).

Was the transmission you tried a 5 or 7 speed? Reason I ask is that my previous car was an MB E63 with a 7-speed transmission and it felt like 5 of those gears were overdrive. Engine speed never got above 1500-2000 RPM in auto mode, presumably to get good gas mileage. I hated it and never could get used to the shift paddles. Just an awful all-around experience. The 5-speed might be better, however. MB is not my first choice but, again, if the transmission is as good as you imply it might become a possibility if the BMW SAT isn't up to snuff.

Thanks for the hard work.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:47 AM
lindros2 lindros2 is offline
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Originally Posted by chrischeung View Post
In some respects, the brand is becoming less premium. Witness the 1 series. And we still have the same 7 series being the top car, so no real movement at the top end.
This is an excellent post (albeit incorrect).

A brand does not become "less premium" because products are a smaller size. The 1-series serves a niche vacated by the 3-series as it became larger and more of a mainstream, mid-size car (please don't flame me over this comment).

Further, BMW expanded its brand through Rolls and MINI, since the BMW marque only goes so far.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:52 AM
x5mr x5mr is offline
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Originally Posted by nlk10010 View Post
Nicely comprehensive review.

It's funny, you go on the MB boards and people are complaining how the W212 E-class looks "cheap" compared to the W211 (previous model).

Was the transmission you tried a 5 or 7 speed? Reason I ask is that my previous car was an MB E63 with a 7-speed transmission and it felt like 5 of those gears were overdrive. Engine speed never got above 1500-2000 RPM in auto mode, presumably to get good gas mileage. I hated it and never could get used to the shift paddles. Just an awful all-around experience. The 5-speed might be better, however. MB is not my first choice but, again, if the transmission is as good as you imply it might become a possibility if the BMW SAT isn't up to snuff.

Thanks for the hard work.
It was a 7 speed. I didn't even realize there was a 5 speed.

It's intersting you mention the comments on the MB boards because I've since noticed them too. I think there's probably a couple factors at play.

First, change always brings criticism. Go to any automotive board and people long for the "good ole days" and complain about changes to the new model.

Secondly, I test drove the E550 over a month ago on a whim when I had my GL450 in for service. I wasn't seriously looking for a new car at the time and didn't spend a lot of time poking and prodding for hard plastic and cheap materials in the interior.

3rd, and this is probably the biggest factor for me, is that I own a GL450 with the full leather package. Leather dash, leather door inserts, wood trim everywhere, and the seats are of a very high quality leather. As I posted earlier, it feels like an S-class cabin. So some of my memory of the E550 from over a month ago may be warped by my image of the GL450 that I drive just about every day. I also test drove a CLS (which has since been ruled out because my wife hates the way it looks) so I could be mixing 3 MB interiors in my mind for my impression of the E550. When I go back to do another test drive, I'll certainly take better note of the interior.

Oh, and a 4th factor. I'm comparing the interior to an E60 5 series (and also a e90 3 series which is my daily driver) not to the previous E class.

Last edited by x5mr; 07-23-2010 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:21 AM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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Originally Posted by lindros2 View Post
This is an excellent post (albeit incorrect).

A brand does not become "less premium" because products are a smaller size. The 1-series serves a niche vacated by the 3-series as it became larger and more of a mainstream, mid-size car (please don't flame me over this comment).

Further, BMW expanded its brand through Rolls and MINI, since the BMW marque only goes so far.
Additional examples - Benz with the A/B class. Porsche with the Boxster and Cayenne. Yes the 1-series is smaller than the 3, but it is also cheaper. And BMW is looking at a FWD car below the 1 series which is based on the Mini. Further evidence of the brand moving into a lower market category.

It may be just me, but when I see a Boxster/Cayman, I think it's someone who couldn't buy a 911.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:32 AM
m4hk33 m4hk33 is offline
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yeah, i feel that the prices are a little high, with a tune and some bolt ons it will out run the current m5 so it is one hell of a car.

im looking ti trade my 650i in on a lease return in a couple years, it seems like the 550's and 650's get absolutly hamered in depreciation, they are loosing close to 50 percent by the end of the second year

just doing a quick search on autotrader, there are 60 550i's with sport package( the only real option im interested in) for under 40 k, with at least half being in the mid 30's

so yeah, they are high, but ill let some fool pay there lions share of deprecation so that he can be the first on the block to get the nwe f10.

with the money saved, ill get a dinan tune and be pushing over 500hp for about about half of what they go for new
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:11 PM
lindros2 lindros2 is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischeung View Post
Additional examples - Benz with the A/B class. Porsche with the Boxster and Cayenne. Yes the 1-series is smaller than the 3, but it is also cheaper. And BMW is looking at a FWD car below the 1 series which is based on the Mini. Further evidence of the brand moving into a lower market category.

It may be just me, but when I see a Boxster/Cayman, I think it's someone who couldn't buy a 911.
I don't fully agree with that statement - my father-in-law (and myself) could have both purchased 911s, but each of us chose Boxsters for different reasons (the 911 felt too big to me). The Cayman is a joke (in my opinion), but Porsche found a way to charge *more* for the *hardtop* (talk about brand equity).

Brand dilution is a tricky subject. Wal-Mart will never be a "premium" brand; it would go against the grain of EDLP (every day low prices).

BMW, on the other hand, does not compete on cost. It verges on arrogance, as witnessed in pricing of the current 5 series ("Oh you don't want to pay $950/month for a lease? That's fine because someone else will...").

But cost has to be balanced with quality. If my 535i pulls to the right or something else goes wrong, I have a right to be pissed off. Similarly, if you own a Lexus, how disappointed are you with all of the recalls (could this be another reason BMW is charging more - since a competitor is "down" so to speak?).

Finally, note that BMW has different brand profiles around the world. The USA and China are similar (albeit there is the CDM 535Li), compared to Europe's much larger model portfolio (when will you ever see a 4-cylinder 5-series in the United States?). Conversely, Brazil only has very expensive, well-optioned cars, since most of the market opportunity is in smaller, cheaper, more frugal automobiles.

Last edited by lindros2; 07-23-2010 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:44 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindros2 View Post
I don't fully agree with that statement - my father-in-law (and myself) could have both purchased 911s, but each of us chose Boxsters for different reasons (the 911 felt too big to me). The Cayman is a joke (in my opinion), but Porsche found a way to charge *more* for the *hardtop* (talk about brand equity).
Which statement don't you agree with? I'd be very surprised if you didn't agree that I actually think a Boxster is someone who couldn't afford a 911 - since that would imply that you knew me better than I did myself .

What is your take on why Porsche developed the Boxster in the first place? Was it to create a sportier car (the reason you purchased it), to have a cheaper offering, or some other reason? Personally, overall I think they did it to create a cheaper car. And I think overall it diluted the pre-Boxster Porsche brand for greater profit. Which is fine if you're a shareholder or management. Not so much if you own a 911. Certainly, the overall value of the brand may have increased, but it may be diluted over a wider range of cars/broader base of buyers.

I still think that BMW management has and would further dilute the brand if it led to greater production quantities, and long term higher profit.
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Last edited by chrischeung; 07-23-2010 at 02:02 PM.
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