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      04-26-2007, 03:55 PM   #41

Drives: 2011 328i LMB 6MT
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CA

iTrader: (0)

Originally Posted by SCOTT26 View Post

The meetings I have had regarding US marketing's approach to integration of the 1er Coupe and Cabrio seems to suggest they are aiming at a "next best thing" approach - tapping into history with the 2002 and the introduction of a fashionable lifestyle - similar to the MINI. It's true that the Coupe will be aimed at Males both in the old and young demographic and the Cabrio at the female demographic.

I think the big success of the MINI was first and foremost due to its instant desirability. It was certainly important that the driving dynamics backed up all the marketing hype, ("let's motor") but at the end of the day I think people buy it because it's such a cute car that you can paint in so many different ways and put on red leather seats.

I go to the MINI forums and regularly see people dropping over $30K on a loaded MINI. $30K for a 170HP B-segment hot hatch! It sure isn't reasonable, but people do it because a personalized MINI makes a statement like no other sub-$40K car can make.

I personally consider "making a lifestyle statement" an odd reason to buy a car, but if BMW can pull that off with the new 1er, I have no ground to object. That will certainly drive the price up, but then if it fails there may not be any 1er at all in the states, so it's fair in my book.

Still, the question is whether this little coupe has the instant desirability like the MINI does. I have been excited about this car for close to two years now, but so far no version of the 1 series has given me the zing that the MINI does. In fact not quite even close. Will the target demographic really bite into the 2002 nostalgia with a car that really doesn't even resemble the original, and probably doesn't drive like it either?

But then again I don't even have an iPod, so I guess I'm just not cool enough to "get it". :biggrin:

EDIT: I'm not bashing the MINI in any way, I am seriously considering getting it over the 1. But I probably won't spend much more than $25K on it.