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    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Quote:
    VKSF said:
    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:
    BMW has finally now beaten Merc in terms of volume this last year, something that had not happened in ten years.
    But I'm with Fanch on this one, as much as I preffer the dinamics and handling of the BWM in the other classes, in this luxury segement I prefer Mercedes, they are just the best at it in this class were luxury, confort, ride, creature conforts, pose, etc is fundamental and that Mercedes territory. Just my opinion though.



    Volumes can be misleading....if one considers how many $100K+ cars Merc sells/yr vs BMW, seems BMW purposely avoids this more difficult sales territory. Also consider that BMW is pricing its new M5 below E55's price....what does that reveal about BMW's own view of its brand/pricing power? Bangleization (and notable lemon rate) of 7-series (and its effects on sales and discounting of 7-series) has probably saved Merc from having to rush out an updated S-class....let's just hope Merc doesn't abuse its effective monopoly on the $100K+ sedan class....



    Sure are, volumes are volumes, period. BMW doesn't sell a mass production high volume A-class equivalent to boost up their total sales volume either. But the point is BMW has outsold Mercedes por the first time in 10 years... and this inspite of Bangle. And with their daddy Chrysler hurting and trying to get rid of the Mitsu failure, its even more significant.

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Volume is profit , because most of it is in service work, not new sales . In the industry, it's well known that many MBZ are never brought back to dealerships unless it's warranty work, since there are many independent " Hanz and Franz " dusty German repair shops, many with better reputations than dealership. Not the case with Lexus - owners continue to bring even their older cars back to dealerships for the lucrative off warranty work because of the way they are treated. Doesn't matter to a dealership owner if he is fixing the Nav system on an S-class or C-class- gets paid the same amount for time . Same goes for a dealer fixing a 7er or 3er. There's a reason a Lexus dealership changes hands for 4-8x what a MBZ store changes hands for ( if you can even buy one ) : the number crunchers know what the profit potential is over the next decade.

    The " passion " here has nothing to do with the cars each sells - it's all about the $$$.

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Quote:
    MKW said:
    Volume is profit , because most of it is in service work, not new sales . In the industry, it's well known that many MBZ are never brought back to dealerships unless it's warranty work, since there are many independent " Hanz and Franz " dusty German repair shops, many with better reputations than dealership. Not the case with Lexus - owners continue to bring even their older cars back to dealerships for the lucrative off warranty work because of the way they are treated. Doesn't matter to a dealership owner if he is fixing the Nav system on an S-class or C-class- gets paid the same amount for time . Same goes for a dealer fixing a 7er or 3er. There's a reason a Lexus dealership changes hands for 4-8x what a MBZ store changes hands for ( if you can even buy one ) : the number crunchers know what the profit potential is over the next decade.

    The " passion " here has nothing to do with the cars each sells - it's all about the $$$.



    Volumes and revenues for car cos. are interesting superficial stats, but smart investors may then ask "what are the profit margins?". Selling lots of units w/0% financing, dealer incentives, etc is a great game....just ask Ford, GM, etc.

    Obviously, dealers have different economic drivers vs mfrs. in terms of profit from new car sales, used car sales, svc, warranty work, etc....

    If Bimmer truly has won the volume, margin, overall profits and branding games vs Merc, it's not clear why M5 wouldn't be priced at a material premium to E55 and why BMW wouldn't be able to outsell S55/600 w/its 760....I doubt Bimmer is holding back on premium pricing or on attacking the $100K+ league just to be more affordable to an allegedly hipper/ more driving-focused buyer base....I suspect an analysis of the net worth/income stats of the Merc vs BMW buyer base may shed some light....

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Maybe its different in the US but here, but as far back as I can remember, BMW pricetags were always just under the equivalent Mercedes models, same with the ///M and AMG divisions. Just like Audi is just unde BMW pricetags, VW under Audi, and Opel under VW. So its expected that the M5 is under the E55 pricetag I guess.

    As far as January goes in sales, in the US, Mercedes sales droped 20% and BMW increased 22%.

    But like I said, when it comes to the luxury sedan class I think Mercedes has the best product with the S-class (just my opinion though), and in this class, I believe it outsells BMW's 7-series which reflects upon that.

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:
    Maybe its different in the US but here, but as far back as I can remember, BMW pricetags were always just under the equivalent Mercedes models, same with the ///M and AMG divisions. Just like Audi is just unde BMW pricetags, VW under Audi, and Opel under VW. So its expected that the M5 is under the E55 pricetag I guess.

    As far as January goes in sales, in the US, Mercedes sales droped 20% and BMW increased 22%.

    But like I said, when it comes to the luxury sedan class I think Mercedes has the best product with the S-class (just my opinion though), and in this class, I believe it outsells BMW's 7-series which reflects upon that.



    Carlos, US pricetag differentials are similar btwn Merc and BMW....where BMW always seems to underprice Merc and stays out of the $100K+ league....very insightful pricing patterns IMO. Personally, I'm not a fan of limos, but if I had to live in NYC/London, etc, I would opt for S600/65 for a decent-looking limo w/fairly robust crash safety systems and effective air cond systems...areas where Bimmer is a bit more sketchy...and I've never been particularly impressed w/BMW steering and brakes...if I want to drive myself, the debate is really P vs F, and I tend to favor P for its roughly equal/better performance and notably more robust crash safety engineering....

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    still ugly. hah

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Roundel (the magazine of the BMW Car Club of America) just published some interesting sales numbers: For 2004 BMW Group sales in the USA were up 7 %, however these included the X3, X5 and MINI. BMW car sales were actually down 5%. Here is the comparison of car sales (SUVs excluded):
    Lexus - 136,130, up 7%
    MBZ - 194,149, up 4%
    BMW - 190,250, down 5%
    Audi - 77,917, down 8%
    Jaguar - 45,875, down 16%

    Infiniti, Acura and Porsche were all up but no breakout for cars was given.

    Regarding specific BMW models, all were down except the X3, the new 6 series and the MINI. The 3 series was down 5% to 106,549 (MB C class sales were 69,251); 5 series down 3% to 45,894 (the MB E class was up 6% to 58,954)); 7 series down 21% to 16,155 (MB S class down 10% to to 20,324, Lexus LS430 up 35% to 32,272); X3 sales zoomed 72% to 34,604, the X5 was down 13% to 35,225 (Lexus RX330 sales were 106,531, Land Rover 35,506). MINI sales were virtually unchanged at 36,032 (capacity/dealer limitations).

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Very nice! A subtle but very nice improvement!

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series




    I agree. Also IMO the facelift looks better than than the first version, but it still is sooo UGLY!



    I agree!

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:
    ... thats why it hurts me so much to see what Bangle et al are over at California are doing with the german company. If it were another company, say Lexus or VW, I couldn't care less. ...


    Carlos, are we complaining about the California design center or just Bangle himself, or that he graduated from the Pasadena Art Center (I believe)? The Porsche CGT was also designed by an Art Center alumni.

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Funny thing - BMW tried to get into Merc's territory of stately limousines and sacrificed their long-lasting design theme and their very, very loyal 7-series customers for that issue! In fact according to market surveys BMW has the most loyal customers in the upper product range of any manufacturer.

    The facelift has a rather sporty bumper design at front and rear, the back reminding me of the 3-series coupe - the front looking rather dull and indeed very outdated already.
    Looks like they try to convince their initial target group for the product with those changes.
    In fact the rear hatch design is neither an invention of BMW nor of Merc. It can be found on several luxury limousines of the past, just check back on Rolls-Royces design! This design theme was in fact already visible on design sketches for Mercedes' current S-class (W220) but ditched in the development process! So we can rather speak of a revival. I am pretty sure that quite an attractive variant could be developed out of this - but I fear that they were running out of time for the Bimmer...

    Zzboba, I cannot see the highlights in Bangle's design and many design-affluent people can't either. Maybe he's an unrecognized genius?
    What I mind is the lack of proportions, the Z4 does have them and it looks like the new 3-series does the same. The 5-series seems a little bit too shortdated to me - I am pretty curious on the future facelift!
    The Z4 is one of the better examples and as far as I know it was mainly developed in BMW's US design center.

    VKSF, regarding sales volumes you should bear in mind that BMW lacked products in several niches that Mercedes successfully occupied in the past. Besides that I don't think that Mercedes is more successful in earnings - they had to pay HUGE amounts for ironing out the flaws of the past - A-class handling desaster, SL- and E-class braking system etc. and they are constantly losing reputation if this doesn't end!
    In fact not BMW sells their cars to a higher price than Mercedes but the later charges more because people are willing to pay it! In Europe MB products are up to 10k Euros more expensive than BMW's and Audi's products because people believe that they are worth the premium.

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Quote:
    vtrader said:
    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:
    ... thats why it hurts me so much to see what Bangle et al are over at California are doing with the german company. If it were another company, say Lexus or VW, I couldn't care less. ...


    Carlos, are we complaining about the California design center or just Bangle himself, or that he graduated from the Pasadena Art Center (I believe)? The Porsche CGT was also designed by an Art Center alumni.



    I'm complaining about designing a german maker's line-up, whom we all love for its "german'ness", on the other side of the globe and in an enviroment that can't be more different from Bavaria. I would feel the same way if GM decides to design the corvette in Japan for example, even though one of my favorite designers is from Japan (Okuyama), but he works over in Italy for Pininfarina. I'm sure that if the design studio would of been at least in europe, the BMW designs would be more conservative and in tune with BMW's german engineering, german build, german chasis setups, etc. as they had been before in pre-Bangle disarter.

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:
    Quote:
    vtrader said:
    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:
    ... thats why it hurts me so much to see what Bangle et al are over at California are doing with the german company. If it were another company, say Lexus or VW, I couldn't care less. ...


    Carlos, are we complaining about the California design center or just Bangle himself, or that he graduated from the Pasadena Art Center (I believe)? The Porsche CGT was also designed by an Art Center alumni.



    I'm complaining about designing a german maker's line-up, whom we all love for its "german'ness", on the other side of the globe and in an enviroment that can't be more different from Bavaria. I would feel the same way if GM decides to design the corvette in Japan for example, even though one of my favorite designers is from Japan (Okuyama), but he works over in Italy for Pininfarina. I'm sure that if the design studio would of been at least in europe, the BMW designs would be more conservative and in tune with BMW's german engineering, german build, german chasis setups, etc. as they had been before in pre-Bangle disarter.


    It may have been designed in Calfornia for its largest market, but I have not come across any Californians yet that like the shape of it.

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    hmmm... paradogically the bavarian BMW board seems to love it

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Carlos,

    all major German manufacturers have a design office in the US, including Porsche. So why do you think it is a bad thing? As you said, Bavaria is so much different and in fact rather conservative. I know that this doesn't have to mean that Bimmers have to look conservative but getting the vibe in other regions seems vital nowadays!

    As I mentioned above also other BMW models were designed or at least initiated in the US center - in fact, it is just as important WHO designed the car as where this happened!

    You probably know that London and the Barcelonian region are quite common for brands' designstudios!

    Besides that about any Japanese manufacturer has development and design studios in Europe, employed with mainly Europeans, to get an impression of Eurpean demands - something they could achieve from the Land of the rising sun!

    Concerning your comment regarding Chevrolet I have to tell you that they have a European design studio as well, amongst them are former students of Pforzheim's tranportation design school!

    Greetings and good night!

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Quote:
    Ferdie said:
    all major German manufacturers have a design office in the US, including Porsche. So why do you think it is a bad thing? As you said, Bavaria is so much different and in fact rather conservative. I know that this doesn't have to mean that Bimmers have to look conservative but getting the vibe in other regions seems vital nowadays!



    Having a subsidiary design office in their mayor markets is one thing, just like other markes (but Corvettes still look american, Alfa Romeos still look italian, Subarus still look japanese, and AUDIs still look german inspite of this), but letting Bangle and his crew take completely over BMW's design is another, with obvious results. They got the vibe allright, but I'm just not sure its from any region on this planet or a naturally induced vibe

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    I don't think that it is due to their subsidiary or Bangle himself being American. I do have the feeling that they are missing a few carnuts in the offices right now.

    Reitzle, do you still want to sell industry goods at Linde AG?

    Reitzle/Pischetsrieder were a superb combination, similiar to Simon and Garfunkel (or Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora ), but they didn't as well on their own!

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    An old saying applies here.

    You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

    Yuck.....

    Re: Facelifted BMW 7 Series

    Quote:
    RossN said:
    An old saying applies here.

    You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

    Yuck.....



    I agree. Too ugly to be caught dead behind the steering wheel. As a passenger it's a different story. This pig has the best backseat of any sedan below $150k. Not too firm, not too soft. Good thigh support. Though, it could do with another foot of legroom.

     
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