An excellent critique article regarding the direction of the BMW brand published recently at Peter de Lorenzo’s Here are some excerpts:

>But that wasn’t all, because it wasn’t just on the auto show floor that BMW’s strategy was becoming glaringly apparent. BMW marketing had embarked on an aggressive, sales-at-all-costs mentality, with the idea of a BMW being in “every garage in America” seemingly the thinly-disguised goal. End of year sales “events,” massive incentive marketing gambits, and every sales trick in the book were used by BMW marketers to push the brand on the American consumer public. And because of that BMWs were becoming as ubiquitous in some parts of the country as Camrys – and it was a giant bowl of Not Good, especially for an automaker that built its reputation on the inherent goodness of a boxy little sport sedan that was a blast to drive, the now legendary 2002.

>BMWs were never about being all things to all people. If you drove one of those original 2002s back then you marched to a decidedly different drummer and when you think about it – what with the 2002 being introduced to this country at the very end of the muscle car era – you couldn’t have driven a more different vehicle if you tried. But not surprisingly driving enthusiasts flocked to them, and the BMW “thing” grew exponentially over the years.

>But where BMW grew to was another thing altogether. The brand was in danger of losing its connection to whatever it was that was magic about the 2002 to begin with, and not only that, it was veering dangerously close to becoming just another car company.

[ Rants 464 ]