Acura TSX Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
, Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

·
, Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
10,086 Posts
Hip, a question for you (and anyone else).... I wanted to put this on the "topless Mini" thread, but couldn't find it, so.....

On the BMW 1-series thread, regarding what the price for it might be, I suggested it would have to be higher than the base price for the highest Mini. I figure that since the Mini is made by BMW, and the Mini is going to be sort of a comp for the 1-series (albeit in a vague way), and BMW would never want one of "its own" to be seen as "lower" than the Mini (wonderful and lovable though it is) -- that there's no way BMW wouldn't price the 1-series at least a notch above the top Mini.

Y'all think this is logical, or does the 1-series have nothing to do with the Mini?
 

·
, Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
larchmont said:
Hip, a question for you (and anyone else).... I wanted to put this on the "topless Mini" thread, but couldn't find it, so.....

On the BMW 1-series thread, regarding what the price for it might be, I suggested it would have to be higher than the base price for the highest Mini. I figure that since the Mini is made by BMW, and the Mini is going to be sort of a comp for the 1-series (albeit in a vague way), and BMW would never want one of "its own" to be seen as "lower" than the Mini (wonderful and lovable though it is) -- that there's no way BMW wouldn't price the 1-series at least a notch above the top Mini.

Y'all think this is logical, or does the 1-series have nothing to do with the Mini?
My feeling is that BMW is won't make or allude to any comparisons. Though BMW now owns Mini, it will be marketed as it's own unique brand.

Others may try to compare the two but I think it will be equivilant to what we discussed on how Nissan may be using the Maxima as cross over competitor to the TSX and to the TL simultaneously?

IMO, this could be BMW's first serious foray into invading the low end of the luxury market? At this point I see this model as more direct competitor to the Mercedes Smart or Swatch (which MB says they will be importing in 2006)?

http://www.smart.com/

Don't let their "tiny" size fool you as the current versions will probably not be imported into the US. This is from their FAQ:

Will the whole model range of smart cars be available in the USA?
We plan to launch a variant of the smart forfour onto the US-American market in 2006. However we are not planning to introduce the current model range (smart city-coupé, cabrio, crossblade, roadster, roadster-coupé) and smart forfour there. Decisions will be reached concerning each specific vehicle in relation to the US launch of future smart models which could be available on the market after 2006.
 

·
Just a little nutty
Joined
·
664 Posts
I also wondered (for a moment) whether the BMW 1-series would have been better off being marketed under the Mini instead of the BMW brand name.

Doing so wouldn't cheapen the BMW image while expanding on the Mini label.

But looking at 1-series' contemporary style, it made sense to market it under the BMW label.
 

·
, Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
10,086 Posts
I think the Smart, the Mini, and the 1-series will all be comps -- not to all buyers (for example, some people won't want a coupe, others will only want a coupe), but to a lot of buyers.

Because they'll have these things in common:

(1) Undersized/"cute"
(2) High quality (presumably)
(3) Practical
(4) Affordable
(5) Import
(6) Very high "wow" factor

That's a very unusual combination, especially with #5 thrown in. So I'd say the few cars that have all these things in common would have to be comps.
 

·
, Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Whatchamacallit said:
I also wondered (for a moment) whether the BMW 1-series would have been better off being marketed under the Mini instead of the BMW brand name.

Doing so wouldn't cheapen the BMW image while expanding on the Mini label.

But looking at 1-series' contemporary style, it made sense to market it under the BMW label.
When the S2000 came out, a lot of people felt it should have been intro'd as an Acura. As I tell my partner, companies spend thousands on marketing of cars and in the end, it's a crap shoot.

Good examples are the Infinity FX35 & 45, they believed most people would go for the 6 cylinder FX35 and so built a larger percentage of them. Guess which ended up selling more? (it wasn't the 6).

They do focus groups, surveys, question current owners and in the end, it's luck as to which model, name, combination, color or whatever they are trying to intro will be most successful.

BMW is smart, they are trying to bring in younger buyers and you can't do that with NCGs and +$30K cars.

But as we all know there is stiff competition out there in the low end luxury segment and so Honda, Toyota and infinity won't sit "idle" and watch BMW snatch their customers away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
BMW is one of the strongest brands out there, but it's a double edged sword. You can lure buyers in a lower price bracket who just buy based on brand cachet. OTOH, you dilute the prestige of the brand by allowing those same buyers in the fold. Very much like Acura with the Integra, RSX and EL.

The Mini and 1-series are based on the same platform, so I guess it was logical for the 2nd release to be BMW branded. The last "low priced" BMW in NA, the 318ti hatchback, didn't do so well.
 

·
, Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
The best laid plans... Just came across this interesting article:

BMW delays American sales of 1-Series
BY JEFF GREEN
BLOOMBERG

April 10, 2004

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG,the world's No. 2 luxury automaker, delayed U.S. sales of a new entry-level 1-Series car because the initial hatchback model was unlikely to appeal to buyers, the company's CEO said this week.

"Americans don't like hatchbacks, and we are still deciding what the best model for the next 1-Series should be," BMW CEO Helmut Panke said in New York. The car's next version will be sold in the United States, he said, without giving a schedule.

BMW, seeking to replace DaimlerChrysler AG'sMercedes as the top-selling luxury brand, has introduced new models such as the X3 sport-utility vehicle and the $70,000 6-Series sports coupe to win buyers, particularly in the United States. BMW has led Mercedes in the United States since 2001 and trails Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus.

Munich-based BMW is building a factory in Leipzig, Germany, to free capacity in plants for the 1-Series model, which it will introduce this year in Europe. The car will compete with the Audi A3 and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, neither sold in the United States.

Since 1990, sales of hatchback model cars in the United States have never exceeded 4.7 percent and typically don't top 2 percent, Lexington, Mass.-based Global Insight Inc. reports. Hatchbacks, with two passenger doors and a door, or hatch, in the back, accounted for 225,000, or 1.4 percent, of 16.6 million cars and trucks sold last year, Global Insight said.

"There have been negative connotations for hatchbacks because they were seen as cheap, like you couldn't afford a car with four doors," said Global Insight analyst Rebecca Lindland. "The attitudes are changing with younger buyers, but the automakers still remember they were unpopular."

BMW introduced a 3-Series hatchback, the 318t, in the United States in 1995, and sales peaked at 7,235 in 1996, Global Insight said. Sales fell every year after that to 700 in 2000, the last year for U.S. sales, Lindland said.

"Our success with the 318t many years ago was less than we expected," said Tom Purves, BMW's North American CEO. "From our perspective, there is not yet a natural hatchback market" in the United States.

Mercedes also will introduce a station-wagon version of a redesigned A-Class, specifically built for the U.S. market, in 2005, spokeswoman Donna Boland said. The A3 is scheduled to go on sale in the United States next year.

BMW sold 36,000 Minis, also a hatchback, last year and may reach 40,000 by 2005 by adding a convertible this year, Jack Pitney, head of Mini's U.S. unit, said.

Mini sells because Americans don't know it's a hatchback, Purves said. BMW will have a 1-Series U.S. model by 2010 and may be sold in the style of a sedan, coupe and convertible, he said. "The reason there is a question mark about 1-Series is that it takes us back into a size we've been out of. It takes us to a price point we haven't been to in a long time with BMW," Purves said. "Our view is we can."

http://www.freep.com/money/autonews/bmw10_20040410.htm
 

·
, Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
10,086 Posts
Great get, hip -- I assume you don't mind if I link that to the 1-series thread.

I had thought it was a done deal. I can't help but be suspicious that maybe their main reason was exactly what we've been talking about: that it would be a comp for the Mini.

I didn't know it was going to be a hatchback. In fact, just as they say, I didn't know the Mini is a hatchback either. :donno:
And I've only seen about 100 million of them.

I didn't know either that Americans supposedly don't like hatchbacks. I myself dislike them, but it seems to me I see an awful lot of them.
I agree that I wouldn't mind one if I couldn't tell that it was one.
 

·
, Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
miner said:
Can you design one for the RSX-S?
Yes, I suppose I could but the problem is one of economics.

The Mini Cooper console has not caught on as much as I would have expected. Since it is made in the U.S., the costs are higher.

Most people seem to have a "Walmart mentality" regarding these type of items and feel if it costs more than one of the cheap generics, it isn't worth it.

To do a run for the RSX, I'm not so sure the response wouldn't be similar? :(
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top