February 20, 2017, 4:02 pm
Originally Posted by Alpine300ZHP
Hey Mikey, I have to beg to differ on your defense of BMW's decision to gut the free service plan. How is the reduction to 3/36 and removal of brake coverage justified by the fact that most cars are 3 year leases when BMW already made it so that the free service only applies to original purchase??? This was done back in 2014 IIRC. The most recent move, to me, smacks of chasing profits pure and simple and it penalizes people like me who do 45k-50k miles (or more) on a lease. I confess that I have only needed 2 brake jobs over the 23 BMW's I have owned, but I surely would like to have kept the other free service up to 50k miles. I would have been much happier with a 3/50 free service plan. I understand that you and other CA's are defending BMW's recent moves, but the reality is that most of the moves are indefensible. They are pure profit grabs and everyone needs to be honest about that. BMW is chasing margin and everything they are doing is to further that agenda. I have no problem with them chasing margin and it is their right to do whatever they want with their product. However, it has affected the decisions I make when it comes to buying/leasing BMW's and I am sure that I am not the only one adjusting my buying habits accordingly. BMW's recent changes prompted me to take advantage of a company car offered by my employer. In the old days, I would have turned that perk down and said "I ll keep driving my M4". These days, I am taking that perk and giving up a BMW (I am either selling the M4 before the lease is up or I am finishing out the lease and walking away without replacing it.....I have been in talks to dump the M4 and x6 for a x6m/x5m). After 23 BMW's since 2001 (ranging in price from 105k to 32k), I think BMW should take notice that some of us are voting with our wallets.
Also I have said it once and will say it again...
BMW executives are on the record stating this very fact. They weren't chasing the sales crown in 2016, and they were focusing on margin. I'm sure that wasn't a 6 moth strategy.
In fact you can see this change starting back in 2014, little by little they have been changing the little things which add up to a big increase. It's like the airlines going for bag charges, then seat charges, then selling snacks and drinks. Sure it's just one little change here or there but it made huge gains in profits for them. It's that slow nickel and dime, but when you add up the change in lease cost of a new 3 or 4 series today compared to the same way I did mine in 2013, it's a big change across the lifetime: 1% of invoice increase, 2% ED increase, no free brakes for car now versus the front and rears I had replaced on my 435i in its 36,004 miles that I did on the car, that's probably 750-1000 bucks, the increase in the lease origination fee from 725 to 925. Start doing the math. Essentially, if you wanted to spend same dollars you're either moving down in car you buy from BMW, moving to other brands to see what the value is, or considering buying a CPO or leasing a demo. (In fact I'm sure people were leasing some demo and loaner 16 cars at the end just to avoid ending up with a 17 and no brake service, the biggest bummer of my 2017 3er is knowing I'm hosed on they service and driving in LA stop and go, I will certainly burn thru a set before turn in).
Anyway, BMW is increasing their profit. There is nothing wrong with it. I'm not angry, they owe me nothing more than the current contracts I have with them. However, they are sure to have understood, as the CA's here should, that changing this structure means some loyal customers (I'm on my 4th BMW and helped get my dad into 3, my brother into 1, my sister into 1, and three friends into theirs all thru Greg) will move on looking at other options. Frankly, BMW opened the door for this.
If you offer such an amazing product at a great price, people feel like that is value. However, if the cars are very similar to the competition in terms of amenities and driving, then, my ability to compromise brand gets easier: "well I like the BMW but the Giulia is also super fun to drive, and right now Alfa is offering me more equipment for 420 a month after taxes and BMW wants to nickel and dime me...so, I can try something new."
You see how this works? Offer me an unbeatable product at an unbeatable price, I have no need to look elsewhere.
I love the wife's new X1. However, let's be straight we have transverse engine FWD sDrive truck: if they keep nickel and dime-ing me, do I really need a BMW badge? A VW Tiguan is similar in size and design and cheaper, and there are literally so many options for this design of small SUV.
I like my 340i a lot. However my e46 zhp has better steering. My f30 is as big a 3 series as I ever want. And I'm sure the new G20 330i will be starting at 40k without leather without a lot of standard equipment. Which means a 340i G30 will basically be a 50k car, and that's when a 3 year old design XE and Giulia will be sitting around with their starting price being low to mid 30's...
BMW built a brand for themselves and now they are cashing in. Chasing Chinese buyers who don't want drivers cars, but are new money and want expensive European brands. They are also chasing people like my wife with their SUV development. That's fine. But competing directly with everyone is dangerous in some ways because you just become part of that pack. BMW is great but it will never be Mercedes with that prestige. It's prestige was drivers cars.