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Old 12-03-2012, 09:00 AM   #141
iverson2k10
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he11 yea! I wouldnt even think about it!
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:14 AM   #142
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In one sentance: do not own out of warranty.
this is the general statement from almost all audi/vdubbers i know.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:38 AM   #143
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Over the past 14 years, the brand perception of these two German luxury automakers have followed decidedly different trajectories.

Note that I'm not talking about corporate profitability. Even as I make the case that Audi's efforts at building and consolidating their brand image have far outstripped BMW's, the latter remains a thoroughly successful company. I intend to focus more on brand perception, especially among nominally impartial enthusiasts like myself.

14 years ago, BMW was on a tear. Their primary lineup consisted of the E36 3-series, the sports sedan benchmark at the pinnacle of its development, the beautiful E39 5-series, arguably the best 5-series generation yet made, and the E38 7-series, a bold and powerful player in the high-end luxury sedan market. BMW's offerings were built on the automaker's core philosophy of RWD, highly-tuned non-turbo engines and a focus on driver involvement. Most significantly, BMW's lineup was relatively small, and again, rested upon the automaker's non-negotiables.

Audi, for its part, was still finding its footing, particularly in the US market. As Peter De Lorenzo summarizes in his excellent commentary on Audi's most recent Le Mans triumph:

Audi was a perennial "second-tier" brand behind BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus in the U.S. market, struggling to break out of the continuing funk that was the direct result of the hatchet-job performed by "60 Minutes" twelve long years before that (November 1986). The totally erroneous report by the CBS news program, which accused Audi of building vehicles that suffered from unintended acceleration, nearly put the brand out of business in this country - even though it was proven to be completely false - and it lingered over the car company like a shroud of negativity.

De Lorenzo points out that the Audi's cars were fundamentally solid, if a step behind BMW's in terms of enthusiast appeal, but the automaker's brand perception needed rehabilitation.

Audi set about that task in a consistent, disciplined manner, focusing on appealing design, effectively applying technology developed through the automaker's racing efforts to their production lineup, and most importantly, making intelligent product decisions and not overextending themselves into markets out of sync with the company's brand focus. As a result, De Lorenzo writes:

Audi is now the forward thinking brand firmly ensconced at the head table of the luxury-performance segment. Boasting technically advanced and beautifully purposeful machines inside and out, Audi production cars bristle with brilliant, innovative ideas and are executed with a relentless precision. And they are beautiful to look at as well.

Meanwhile, from an enthusiast standpoint, BMW has squandered their carefully crafted brand image with an ill-fated foray into Formula 1, as well as dubious product decisions. Among others, they released the hideous Chris Bangle-designed E65 7-series, the frumpy X3 small SUV, the confusing X6 crossover and its downright baffling performance variant the X6 M, and the awkward 5-series GT midsize hatchback. The Bavarian automaker's market experiments with alternative propulsion have been less than confident, the excellent 335d diesel-powered sports sedan notwithstanding. And BMW has suffered a succession of comparison test losses to its rival from Ingolstadt (A6 vs. 535i and S6 vs. M5) along with a shocking victory by the new Cadillac (!) ATS over the new F30 3-series in the key categories of chassis design and handling.

BMW's performance benchmark the M3 is still a world-beater, demonstrating that in essentials, the automaker is still as good as it ever was, but the singular drive necessary to develop the M3 doesn't seem to maintain itself throughout BMW's lineup, and the brand is weakened. There's expanding into untapped markets, and then there's unfocused quasi-desperation, a quality BMW seems to be radiating of late. In the final analysis, as we look forward to 2013, BMW is offering less and less for enthusiasts to get excited about, and Audi's lineup contains more and more.

The obvious response comes: Why should the corporate bean-counters at the helm of either company care what enthusiasts think? They run businesses, and if there are new opportunities, why not tap into them, brand history and consistency be damned? While that line of thinking has merit, consider the significance of branding to luxury and performance automakers in particular: In order to maintain brand image, a kind of above-the-fray certainty about product decisions must come through. A luxury or performance vehicle should sell itself, to a degree; its brand should shape popular trends, not chase them. In other words, it's counterintuitive, but too much marketing is a sign customers aren't beating a path to your door; they aren't seeking you out like they should. And if nothing else, certainty was a quality BMWs exuded from their arrival here in the US market in the mid-'60s all the way through to the turn of the century. That confidence, coupled with a focus on capturing the enthusiast market, vaulted the automaker to its current place of prominence, and ever since 2000 or so BMW seems to be simply coasting on its brand capital while exploring every new market niche under the sun. No, the majority of its customers may not be enthusiasts, but many of them appreciate the opinions of enthusiasts when it comes to choosing a quality car; this is what drove the yuppie obsession with BMWs 30 years ago, and is important, I believe, for the brand's continued appeal in the larger market. BMW needs to maintain its position as the enthusiast's choice of luxury cars in order to sustain its brand image, and they simply cannot do that by exploring every last untapped market niche, as they seem intent on doing.

If the BMW emblem is to remain a beacon to car buffs like myself, the automaker needs to take a page from Audi's playbook for the last 14 years: Recognize the brand's traditional strengths and focus like a laser beam on those qualities while expanding the product line within that context, rather than distorting it out of all recognition.
http://www.spannerhead.com/2012/11/2...nd-identities/
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:09 AM   #144
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This was a good read. I think he makes some good points. I don't think he said it directly, it was somewhat implied, but I think maybe BMW should become less consumer driven. By that I mean follow Apple's example of product design. They deliver a product in every category (with limited options) that is the best product (or in direct competition with the best) available. They don't really listen to what consumers want. They themselves are defining what consumers will want. This is the mindset I want BMW to have. For example, for the iPhone, nobody wanted a touch screen phone, but they made one that actually worked, so now everyone wants one. BMW needs to apply this model to the automotive industry. They need to offer things that consumers will want (not what they think they want). They need to be setting precedents and standards like they used to. If I want a small size luxury sedan, BMW should be the very best offering for the enthusiast. You pay a premium, but you get that next level of performance kind of like an Apple product. Other non-enthusiasts will follow the enthusiast's taste. Basically they need to sell an out of the box enthusiast's dream.

I should note that I don't want them to implement some of Apple's other business practices such as "closing" their devices. BMW should make an easy to DIY maintain car. There shouldn't be so much proprietary bullshit going on.

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Old 12-03-2012, 10:47 AM   #145
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They don't really listen to what consumers want. They themselves are defining what consumers will want. This is the mindset I want BMW to have.
GM tried that for decades. Maybe they should hire Apple execs.

Remember the Pontiac Aztek?

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Old 12-03-2012, 11:30 AM   #146
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GM tried that for decades. Maybe they should hire Apple execs.

Remember the Pontiac Aztek?

They also tried not to fail, but needed a bailout.

BMW should change things drastically. Bangle ruined the styling, and now the interiors are as bland as Quaker Oats. IMHO, the E46/E39/E38 which we can all agree were the 3 platforms most sold were the best looking, most ergonomic and classy while not being too out there. The radical design changes were not an evolution, but an attempt at reinventing the wheel. I think they failed.

BMW stopped going after hollywood, and Audi stepped in. Everything from the transporter series, to commercials, BMW dropped the ball. They also made huge errors in judgement like not travelling to the auto show in the UK one year because they felt it would not be worth their time. They are alienating customers, offering too many choices, and generally going back on their roots.

Just a general question. How many people, who are looking at buying a new M3, would pay an extra $5K to get a larger, N/A car with a manual transmission to support the gas guzzler tax BS, and pay to skirt emissions? If I was, I would. That is why I love the S5 up till 2012, because it had a V8 and a manual. Sure, you can get that in the current M3, but not for long. I wish manufacturers would stand up and make cars for the people that want them, and not change the philosophy of the company to save money and appease Al Gore.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:47 AM   #147
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I plan on making the switch to the new 2014 A3 Sportback (2.0T Quattro). There will be a Sedan version, but I think the Wagon will be more practical.





Perfect car if you enjoy sucking other guys off in the bathroom at your local gay club.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:48 AM   #148
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Just a general question. How many people, who are looking at buying a new M3, would pay an extra $5K to get a larger, N/A car with a manual transmission to support the gas guzzler tax BS, and pay to skirt emissions? If I was, I would. That is why I love the S5 up till 2012, because it had a V8 and a manual. Sure, you can get that in the current M3, but not for long. I wish manufacturers would stand up and make cars for the people that want them, and not change the philosophy of the company to save money and appease Al Gore.
Engine design is being shaped by strict emission and economy standards set by both the United States and European Union. Don't pretend you know what you're talking about.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:52 AM   #149
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Perfect car if you enjoy sucking other guys off in the bathroom at your local gay club.
That would never have occurred to me. Sounds like you know a lot about this. Why is that?
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:07 PM   #150
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Engine design is being shaped by strict emission and economy standards set by both the United States and European Union. Don't pretend you know what you're talking about.
Tell that to the following companies:

-Bugatti
-Lamborghini
-Aston Martin
-Ferrari
-Koenigsegg
-Mercedes AMG division
-Spyker
-GM (Corvette)
-Ariel (Atom V8)

Don't pretend like these guideline are the end all be all. Can you point me to the reason why we don't have the ultra high milage fuel efficient cars like the VW Polo, or a larger diesel option in the Audi Q7? Reasons why We have less options in terms of cars available to us? I find it hysterical the US government makes such a big deal about the R34 GTR, and yet we have MASSIVE gas guzzling V8 motors in older cars, and some newer cars. Call it crash standards, but if a car is certified to be used in Europe, we should be able to have it here.

You wanna play lets pretend? Let's pretend that there is not some overwhelmingly retarded reason we can't get some of the most fuel efficient cars on the road today, by manufacturers that other countries get. Let's pretend there isn't something a little more idiotic going on here. Let's just put our headsin the sand and say nothing is wrong.

I for one would love to own a Blue Motion Polo and get 74 miles to the gallon, but we can't, because for some reason, a car that is the size of a MKII Golf, and probably a whole hell of a lot safer, is not allowed here. Less emissions, less fuel consumption, less strain on natural resources. Rated very well on the Euro NCAP ratings for everything but pedestrian safety.

http://www.euroncap.com/results/vw/polo/371.aspx

Why is it not here? There are petitions floating around to get VW to bring the polo over here. A list of customers who would buy it no questions, because they can get 74 miles to the gallon... What part do the Government regulations play in keeping these cars out of here, yet I can buy a Ram with a massive deisel engine. Both soot, and both are emissions exempt.

Don't think for one second cars like the M3/M5/M6 HAVe to be more efficient... BMW is telling you that, but they could build a 10mpg V12 hyper coupe, and not only would it sell, but they would make a killing.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:12 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by kaput View Post
Tell that to the following companies:

-Bugatti
-Lamborghini
-Aston Martin
-Ferrari
-Koenigsegg
-Mercedes AMG division
-Spyker
-GM (Corvette)
-Ariel (Atom V8)
Low production manufactures (i.e., the majority of what you just listed) are not bound to the same standards. The Corvette gets excellent gas mileage, but that has a lot to do with aerodynamics and weight as well. Not to mention it's a low volume car across GM's huge lineup. And the rest of Mercede's lineup helps to balance out the AMG's for meeting minimum standards across their hole lineup.



Sup brah?
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:18 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by casino is no lie View Post
Low production manufactures (i.e., the majority of what you just listed) are not bound to the same standards. The Corvette gets excellent gas mileage, but that has a lot to do with aerodynamics and weight as well. Not to mention it's a low volume car across GM's huge lineup. And the rest of Mercede's lineup helps to balance out the AMG's for meeting minimum standards across their hole lineup.



Sup brah?
And you are saying that more ///M division cars are sold over AMG? Maybe that is the problem that BMW needs to "CHANGE" as I said in my first post... "brah".

Low volume allows the ability to make what you want, and if the ///M division was made seperate, we would still have the cars we wanted, and BMW would be making a killing.

Or we could continue to get watered down ///M cars, while other manufacturers are putting out more exciting offerings. Guess we will never know, as BMW will never change, continue to make awful looking new cars, with interiors only a pediatrist could love, and we the people will flock to them because of the badge....

Maybe that is why more people are buying Audi now than ever. tired of the Roundel bending them over for that little bit of exclusivity, which as far as the report shows, is actually less exclusive.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:27 PM   #153
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And you are saying that...
I'm saying that engine design is being shaped by strict emission and economy standards set by both the United States and European Union. Don't pretend you know what you're talking about.

Learn to read and stay on topic.

And if it's any consolation, Mercedes holds the records for the highest fines for violating CAFE standards.

But please, continue to prove you point by listing low volume production manufacturers that are not legally bound by the standards and high volume production manufacturers who are fined millions for violating said standards.


Brah.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:30 PM   #154
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YEAH!!! and those damn differential bushings i don't want to buy the whole cover, just bushings!!!

and battery key replacements!!!

I remember going to the dealer and asked them if they knew what kind of a battery was in the key, and he said there is no battery, you have to replace entire key, so I asked him what does it recharge when it's in ignition then? -_-
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:33 PM   #155
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The recent move by Ford to turbo-V6s sandard in their trucks is spurred on by legislation. That is only one example of legislation significantly affecting automotive powerplants for vehicles.

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-Bugatti
-Lamborghini
-Aston Martin
-Ferrari
-Koenigsegg
-Mercedes AMG division
-Spyker
-GM (Corvette)
-Ariel (Atom V8)
All these are special case and you pay a premium for it.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:36 PM   #156
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GM tried that for decades. Maybe they should hire Apple execs.

Remember the Pontiac Aztek?
The Aztek is a poor argument against what I am talking about. Look at Apple products. They are sexy and functional. The Aztek is functional and butt ugly. BMW should deliver a product that has things you didn't know you wanted/needed in an incredibly sexy package. They did it in the E46...
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:40 PM   #157
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Just a general question. How many people, who are looking at buying a new M3, would pay an extra $5K to get a larger, N/A car with a manual transmission to support the gas guzzler tax BS, and pay to skirt emissions? If I was, I would. That is why I love the S5 up till 2012, because it had a V8 and a manual. Sure, you can get that in the current M3, but not for long. I wish manufacturers would stand up and make cars for the people that want them, and not change the philosophy of the company to save money and appease Al Gore.
I agree with the gist of your argument, but the S5 isn't a great example. As it stands, BMW is the enthusiast holdout in the S5 vs M3 V8 discussion. BMW still builds the car, Audi does not.

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Originally Posted by casino is no lie View Post
I'm saying that engine design is being shaped by strict emission and economy standards set by both the United States and European Union. Don't pretend you know what you're talking about.

Learn to read and stay on topic.

And if it's any consolation, Mercedes holds the records for the highest fines for violating CAFE standards.

But please, continue to prove you point by listing low volume production manufacturers that are not legally bound by the standards and high volume production manufacturers who are fined millions for violating said standards.


Brah.
Tell us what makes your opinion any more valid than Kaput's.

You have not provided any reference as to what justifies your self proclaimed superior credibility, all the while patronizing someone who is trying to have a fairly reasoned discussion.

And clearly the CAFE standards have loopholes, otherwise thirteen major automakers would not have supported them. If they were as strict and bulletproof as you seem to think they are, none of the automakers would have been on board.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:46 PM   #158
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Tell us what makes your opinion any more valid than Kaput's.

You have not provided any reference as to what justifies your self proclaimed superior credibility, all the while patronizing someone who is trying to have a fairly reasoned discussion.

And clearly the CAFE standards have loopholes, otherwise thirteen major automakers would not have supported them. If they were as strict and bulletproof as you seem to think they are, none of the automakers would have been on board.
CAFE regulations is fact.. not opinion. Fines levied against manufacturers for violating standards is fact... not opinion. Press releases from automotive manufacturers stating redesigns due to regulations/standards is fact... not opinion. Stricter regulations/standards over the horizon is fact... not opinion.

But your opinion is an interesting take.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:52 PM   #159
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CAFE regulations is fact.. not opinion. Fines levied against manufacturers for violating standards is fact... not opinion. Press releases from automotive manufacturers stating redesigns due to regulations/standards is fact... not opinion. Stricter regulations/standards over the horizon is fact... not opinion.

But your opinion is an interesting take.
You still have not provided any reason why I should listen to you over Kaput or anyone else. Your take is just that, your take. Here's my take.

CAFE standards are a fact. I didn't say they weren't. Their influence over automakers is not as great as you seem to think it is.

I'll try your patronizing style on for size:

Automakers are in business to make money. Fact, not opinion.

Impenetrable CAFE standards would be bad for automakers bottom line- due to the massive R&D investment necessary if they were actually trying to hit 54.5mpg average. Fact, not opinion.

13 automakers backed the latest revision of the CAFE standards. Fact, not opinion.

They would not have backed the regulations if they were tough for the automakers to circumvent. Fact, not opinion.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:52 PM   #160
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The recent move by Ford to turbo-V6s sandard in their trucks is spurred on by legislation. That is only one example of legislation significantly affecting automotive powerplants for vehicles.



All these are special case and you pay a premium for it.
Not to mention Aston Martin is actually producing in large enough volume that they have to produce this abomination to offset their carbon footprint,




Where I take issue is with the pedestrian safety requirements forcing all bmw's to have that ugly blunt nose. Audi's it isn't so noticeable since they have that giant grille.
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