And so the M brand continues its dilution
You can’t blame BMW for operating the way it does. With total revenues of over $80 billion dollars in 2010 and net profit of nearly $6 billion in just the first half of 2011, its safe to say they’ve got the formula down at extracting the most out of their brand. But at what cost?
Introducing the lastest upcoming BMW Motorsport product.
Yes you’re looking at that correctly. No photo shoot/photoshop can save this piece of shit.
Its a 135i hatchback with a generic turbocharged six cylinder. A far cry from the racing roots the Motorsport division was founded on. Another disappointing step in the downward spiral of a brand. A pattern which led to me getting rid of my 2008 M3 last year.
Allow me to entertain you with a brief BMW timeline of stuff that matters:
- BMW is on the verge of bankruptcy and selling to Mercedes
- Herbert Quandt* riskily increases his shares to 50% and continues with plans for new BMW 1500 model
*(his now multi-gazillionaire family currently owns 47% of all BMW shares)
- The BMW 1500 enjoys moderate success and points BMW towards a potentially brighter future
- They release a game changer. A much improved version of the BMW 1500. It was named the 2002.
It was sporty and practical, and catapulted BMW out of near death by selling nearly 900,000 in 10 years (in 1975 it was replaced by what you now know as the 3-series)
- Motorsport (“M”) division is founded
The pinacle of the 3-series arrives 12 years after its introduction with the 1987 M3. A perfect blend between simplicity, an in-house racing modification company, and every day driving.
This is it. The reason Mercedes, Audi, and countless others are still compared to BMW. Hell, its the reason Mercedes acquired AMG 3 years later. It almost single handedly started the consumer performance car movement. This is the car that set the bar.
Alas, in a mere 20 years the M badge has finally started to succumb to its own success as it is whored out across the entire lineup of entry level BMWs. From bloated “sports cars” to SUVs, to whatever this cotton-sock looking garbage classifies as.
I’ve since continued in my hopeless pursuit of holding on to that “right” balance of simplicity, an in-house racing modification company, and every day driving. 40+ phone calls and a trip out of state later, I feel I’m on the right path.
P.S. Fuck Chris Bangle.