BMW: Models Should Be Differentiated by Driving Feel

Interesting, News | December 14th, 2018 by 5
2018 BMW 640d Gran Coupe review 18 830x553

The BMW line-up is indeed offering more variety than ever and that could lead to some confusion among petrol heads and BMW aficionados alike. That’s …

The BMW line-up is indeed offering more variety than ever and that could lead to some confusion among petrol heads and BMW aficionados alike. That’s not happening though, as BMW claims, their research showing that customers are actually quite on par with the line-up, knowing the differences pretty well. Sure, at times, it can get a bit confusing, according to BMW Product and Strategy planner Ralph Mahler, but overall, the experience a customer has in a showroom is still good.

Speaking to AutoGuide, Mahler said that their dealers claim “the feedback we get is it’s not confusing” and that’s great news for the brand. However, according to the same BMW exec, the difference between the cars shouldn’t be just in the name but in the way they feel on the road. The reason why BMW is offering so many alternatives, from Gran Coupe to Gran Turismo versions and so on, is to make sure they cater to every taste.

2018 BMW 640d Gran Coupe review 7 830x553

“Of course, what we are trying to do is always to differentiate as much as possible and really tailor it to our customer needs,” said Mahler, adding that, for instance, the Gran Coupe models “are more driving and handling oriented,” something customers should notice when they take a test drive. Whether that happens in real life or not depends on a number of factors, but BMW will continue to offer a wider variety of cars, as long as they can sell them globally.

That also makes sense business wise. In the US, BMW is still a niche seller compared to other manufacturers. Therefore, some of its cars are developed for other countries exclusively, while some are best sellers in the US. For example, there’s no business case for the 1 Series hatch in the US or for the 3 Series wagon, which is why they are not on sale on this side of the Atlantic at the moment. At the same time, there’s also no business case for a body-on-frame truck in the rest of the world, even though in the US it would be a welcome addition, as Mahler points out.

[Source: AutoGuide]

5 responses to “BMW: Models Should Be Differentiated by Driving Feel”

  1. raleedy says:

    Maybe BMW knows its customer base, but they’ve passed me by even though I have bought new BMW’s (eight of them that I can recall) since 1986. Where’s the 5-series wagon? The tight, compact 3-series sedan or coupe? The manual transmission, RWD setup? The direct rack and pinion steering with strong feedback? The lag-free pull of a naturally aspirated in-line 6? It looks as if my 228i is my last BMW, the way things are going. A coupe or SUV with a flattened roof isn’t for me; the X4 and X6 look just ridiculous, and the X7 is an embarrassment. A 1-series hatch or a 3-series wagon? That’s something that I could look at twice.

    • cnet-970ad33b278bd3b05502252be3640ea5 says:

      Damn them for not living in the past! Perhaps you’d like a 3,000+ lb. Civic? A Kuwaiti/Chinese Mercedes? A Cadillac before GM finishes culling the line? One of the many overpriced rebadged VAG SUVs? Since BMW volume X (due to paying customers) subsidize their largest M lineup ever, I don’t see the problem. In ’86 I owned an E9, would HAPPILY take any of their new models today. Maybe it’s time for you to admit you are a vintage car guy. While BMW are a 21st century brand. bringatrailer or Hemmings can help you out.

      • Mountainous Man says:

        We’re on the precipice of self-driving, electric cars, so none of it will matter, soon, and, just as quartz replaced the need for mechanical watches 40 years ago, we’re likely going to see a bifurcation of drivers: those who don’t care about the ultimate driving machine vs. those who still do. Those who still do will likely hold on to what they have, which is what I’m planning on.

        • cnet-970ad33b278bd3b05502252be3640ea5 says:

          I was a kid who loved cars, I used to go to all the annual new car reveals @ local dealerships every Sept. in the ’60’s. Most new cars depress me. I started following BMW in 1970 so I’ve watched them evolve & still enjoy doing so. Most typists here seem to want them to remain in the 20th century or be something they never were. I understand the lure of nostalgia, but as someone who owned a decade old E9, I want new & warrantied.

  2. cnet-970ad33b278bd3b05502252be3640ea5 says:

    Any BMW I’ve driven has varied by feel, even within same models, 4 cyl. vs. 6, tire size, size, weight.

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