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      07-11-2019, 11:48 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickyC View Post
I've owned basically nothing but BMWs for nearly 25 years, starting all the way back with my E36 M3. I couldn't love my current M4 more, and before that I was absolutely gobsmacked by my two Z4Ms. All the talk I heard prior to test driving an M4 was how it was soulless, nothing like a true M3, blah blah blah. I don't know what the hell they're talking about, the car is absolutely a blast to drive and personally I think is one of the most gorgeous cars on the road (especially in that YMB baby!).

I've seen the progression over 25 years through owning so many BMWs, and they're still the master of all in one package. I guess some will just continue to whine and complain about everything, whatever.
So, dare I say it? BMW remains good at doing the one good thing they do. They remain good at offering a top trim small sporty luxury sedan.

It's true, their M models have been exemplary. Truly class leading performance, and I've yet to drive/ride in an M or met an M owner who's not impressed by their "M"ness. They do that exceptionally well and continue to do it well, despite all the griping and moaning *I* do about naturally aspirated this and steering feels and such. I'm not going to lie, my jaw hits the floor sometimes by the amount of sheer grip and performance there is in the latest versions of the M cars, as a few fellow instructors that I have little trouble passing in my MZ4 Coupe now blows by me like I'm standing still with the latest and greatest M offerings from Bavaria.

That bread and butter continues to lead. I'm not going to gripe too much about that. The REST of the BMW line-up?

Not so much.

It pains me to say it, but since my first forays into BMW ownership wasn't M cars, I've always had a soft spot for BMW's entire lineup outside of M class cars. I loved the old E38 7 series. I loved my old E30 318is. I loved my old Z3 1.9L. Heck I still miss my old E46 323Ci and curse the old lady that merged onto the street from her driveway without looking that ended its life.

Each and every single one of those cars were forward looking, industry leading, and just the best at what they do, even though they weren't M cars. Even the old E30 318is, which I bought used in 2005, at the time a 15 year old car, still had tech that were relevant to this day...Back nearly 30 years ago. That's how far and how much BMW projected and lead the industry in everything they do.

Didn't used to be that you'd have to pony up for the highest end M cars to have the latest and greatest. Heck even today's M cars are just basically TODAY's tech pushed to the limit. Some of the newest and latest technologies, like 4 wheel steering, torque vectoring diff, lane keep assist, autonomous driving...etc, are all being lead and developed by OTHER manufacturers.

Not saying the M cars are not cool anymore, far from that. I secretly lust after the M2 until I bought the Corvette C7 Grand Sport and realized that I can haz superior performance and tech for 2/3rd the price (I'm sorry, the Chinese in me is always looking for the best value per). But you know what? The C7 Corvette has magical Magnetic-rheological shocks, electronically controlled limited slip differential (not new tech, I know...but superior), 7 speed manual, and a slew of superior technology unmatched by other manufacturers.

FROM CHEVY. Short of FCA the WORST corporate car manufacturer in the industry.

Some of these class leading techs should be coming from BMW but they're not. THAT, is and has been my beef with BMW's current direction of reacting to the market rather than proacting (is that even a word) like they used to.
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      07-11-2019, 11:56 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by yousefnjr View Post
I don’t know the costs myself, but Sandy Munro says here that in his i3 teardown they found the i3 with its CFRP goodness to be a money maker actually.
I'll check out the video, thanks.

Either way, BMW has already hinted that the platform cannot be scaled for use in future higher volume vehicles. Part of the problem is that you need to get the costs to a point where starting MSRP is in the low or mid $30k range. Sure, the i3 is a premium vehicle from a premium manufacturer, but the bar has already been set at $35k by the Model 3 and that's all people are going to think about from here on out, regardless of the tricks that were used to get the price to that point.

This means that other competitors are targeting under $40k for their entry level premium EVs sometime next decade (especially as battery costs decline), and in order to compete BMW will need a new platform. Even Fröhlich basically admits that in the Jalopnik interview, and that is why the talk of partnerships with Mercedes or someone else makes sense.
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      07-11-2019, 12:11 PM   #25
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Problem is that diehard car enthusiasts who frequent forums are probably not the majority of car purchasers. (Maybe with niche cars like M cars)

Does anyone know the financial breakdown of where BMW makes their money? My guess is that it is not M cars but on everyday models that appeal to well.. people who may just want X amount of cupholders, a car that won't make them feel like a luddite, and something that housewives won't turn their nose down at.

They should have an I-line where random crazy ideas are "I"nnovative.
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      07-11-2019, 02:04 PM   #26
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yea, but this article is not your typical, it's not talking about enthusiasts, it's mostly about how BMW is behind on electric, and don't mind to be behind given they don't want to do EV dedicate platform

Model 3 is definitely the only game in town, even with other offering popping up, i4 doesn't come out until 2021 earliest? Seems a bit too late, and the top of the line i4 couldn't even beat the best of Model 3 Performance, just for bragging rights they have to do better
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      07-11-2019, 02:37 PM   #27
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Good read! Thanks for sharing
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      07-12-2019, 11:29 AM   #28
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Doug-y Doug and I think alike.



Most of these manufacturers don't think far enough ahead. Right now, the off-road market is HOT. Just the fact that the small circle of car friends I have, more than HALF of them have picked up cars he ticked off of on his list (A JL Jeep Wrangler, 2x Toyota 4Runners, 1 FJ Cruiser and 1 Subaru CrossTrek...And I don't really have that many friends. Believe you me) just within the last 10 months. None of them bought BMWs and one even traded in his X5 for the Jeep, despite my warnings about FCA ownership. Even if BMW were to come out with a G-wagon competitor tomorrow, it's already TOO LATE, as they're likely to face an uphill battle in gaining marketshare from Mercedes. Especially with a few more entries into this market as Doug had mentioned.

Surprisingly the ONE company in all of this that's really forward thinking? To-f**king-yota. They've done a surprisingly good job in saturating the mass "plebeian" transportation market in the 80s and 90s, and stuck to their guns in developing a following for their performance car market. The Toyobarus were a gutsy move, even though it didn't entirely pan out. But to build a light, lithe, nimble sport coupe without a ton of HP in today's market, stuck to it and kept it? Ballzy. Leadership material. To partner with BMW and build the Zupra, and only to have the Zupra surpass the BMW cousin in sporty-ness, benchmarks, and out BMW BMW, despite BMW doing the bulk of the legwork?

Like a Boss.

They've lead the market in the off-roady SUVs and trucks (if I were to buy one, it'd either be a 4Runner or Taco TRD PRO), the Zupra is going to build more cred with the sports car world (I certainly hope so, the better the Zupra does, the better visibility my MZ4 Coupe will have as the forefather to the new Zup), they've already mastered and conquered the hybrid market, and long, LONG ago figure out how to please the masses in building soulless, boring as f**k to drive cars for very cheap.

Funny how this whole conversation started with BMW and their slow to react strategy about EVs. Maybe they're right, as Toyota remains the ONLY brand in town that has sat by the sidelines refusing to enter the fray despite Tesla running away with marketshare and technological leadership.

Maybe they know something we don't?
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      07-12-2019, 11:49 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
Funny how this whole conversation started with BMW and their slow to react strategy about EVs. Maybe they're right, as Toyota remains the ONLY brand in town that has sat by the sidelines refusing to enter the fray despite Tesla running away with marketshare and technological leadership.

Maybe they know something we don't?
Psst.

https://electrek.co/2019/06/07/toyot...celerate-plan/

They seem to have reached the same conclusion as most everyone else - get on board or fade slowly into obsolescence.

Regarding off-road vehicles, here are two more outfits near my hometown that might just be onto something:

https://bollingermotors.com
https://products.rivian.com

Ford has invested heavily in the latter. Ford also made their intention to build at least one MEB vehicle (this one not for US, sadly) today.

Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of life left in the ICE, and any company thriving today building ICE vehicles is unlikely to be threatened with having the lights shut off tomorrow. But if you have your head in the sand with no plans to come up for air? Well, the 2020s are likely to be a rocky decade for you.
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      07-13-2019, 10:33 AM   #30
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Customer preferences of the new generation of buyers combined with relatively recent regulatory changes from the "Dieselgate" fiasco do not bode well for a company like BMW.

If investors allowed BMW, like Tesla, to spend so much development money that they'd run negative EPS for a decade the company might be able to increase margins to the point where the board is pleased.
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      07-13-2019, 10:39 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
Doug-y Doug and I think alike.



Most of these manufacturers don't think far enough ahead. Right now, the off-road market is HOT. Just the fact that the small circle of car friends I have, more than HALF of them have picked up cars he ticked off of on his list (A JL Jeep Wrangler, 2x Toyota 4Runners, 1 FJ Cruiser and 1 Subaru CrossTrek...And I don't really have that many friends. Believe you me) just within the last 10 months. None of them bought BMWs and one even traded in his X5 for the Jeep, despite my warnings about FCA ownership. Even if BMW were to come out with a G-wagon competitor tomorrow, it's already TOO LATE, as they're likely to face an uphill battle in gaining marketshare from Mercedes. Especially with a few more entries into this market as Doug had mentioned.

Surprisingly the ONE company in all of this that's really forward thinking? To-f**king-yota. They've done a surprisingly good job in saturating the mass "plebeian" transportation market in the 80s and 90s, and stuck to their guns in developing a following for their performance car market. The Toyobarus were a gutsy move, even though it didn't entirely pan out. But to build a light, lithe, nimble sport coupe without a ton of HP in today's market, stuck to it and kept it? Ballzy. Leadership material. To partner with BMW and build the Zupra, and only to have the Zupra surpass the BMW cousin in sporty-ness, benchmarks, and out BMW BMW, despite BMW doing the bulk of the legwork?

Like a Boss.

They've lead the market in the off-roady SUVs and trucks (if I were to buy one, it'd either be a 4Runner or Taco TRD PRO), the Zupra is going to build more cred with the sports car world (I certainly hope so, the better the Zupra does, the better visibility my MZ4 Coupe will have as the forefather to the new Zup), they've already mastered and conquered the hybrid market, and long, LONG ago figure out how to please the masses in building soulless, boring as f**k to drive cars for very cheap.

Funny how this whole conversation started with BMW and their slow to react strategy about EVs. Maybe they're right, as Toyota remains the ONLY brand in town that has sat by the sidelines refusing to enter the fray despite Tesla running away with marketshare and technological leadership.

Maybe they know something we don't?
Tesla doesn't really compete for Toyota's bread-n-butter customer.

BTW the SUV/CUV market in general is softening and oversupply is becoming a concern.
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      07-13-2019, 02:09 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
I'll check out the video, thanks.

Either way, BMW has already hinted that the platform cannot be scaled for use in future higher volume vehicles. Part of the problem is that you need to get the costs to a point where starting MSRP is in the low or mid $30k range. Sure, the i3 is a premium vehicle from a premium manufacturer, but the bar has already been set at $35k by the Model 3 and that's all people are going to think about from here on out, regardless of the tricks that were used to get the price to that point.

This means that other competitors are targeting under $40k for their entry level premium EVs sometime next decade (especially as battery costs decline), and in order to compete BMW will need a new platform. Even Fröhlich basically admits that in the Jalopnik interview, and that is why the talk of partnerships with Mercedes or someone else makes sense.
Problem is that the price point set by the Model 3 is still not a money maker. Elon runs Tesla like a nonprofit siphoning revenue off SpaceX et al.

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      07-14-2019, 09:03 AM   #33
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I don't think BMW's use of carbon fiber was all that innovative regarding weight vs. range performance. When BMW increased the i3's battery size to increase it's range to near 120 miles I did some rough calculations on sizing up the i3's weight to have it's range match the Chevy Bolt's 238 miles. Mostly just a battery weight increase based on KW increase, the i3 came out only 200 pounds less than the Bolt. My calculations did not include any body-in-white chassis weight increase (strengthening for crash performance) nor component hardware increases (like larger brakes) to accommodate the increase in battery weight. And even then the i3 had about a 180 - 200 mile max range assuming no change in battery technology. So the use of carbon fiber in the body shell was not worth additional manufacturing cost and complexity IMO.

BMW is way late to the game of EV, other manufacturers are at least 15 years a head of BMW despite what BMW's marketing hype says. While BMW is highly profitable, it is still a comparatively small manufacturer (13th IIRC) in the industry and it is financially burdensome to develop an entire new technology and bring it to the market, let alone catching up to the industry leaders being a decade or so behind in development to them.

Lastly, this apparent move of the market to EV and autonomous driving will all but kill any innovation anyway in the long term and companies that build the ultimate driving machine will have no place in it. I think real autonomous driving is 40 years away, there are too many technical, social, regulatory and cost hurdles in the way.
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      07-14-2019, 09:15 AM   #34
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Tesla doesn't really compete for Toyota's bread-n-butter customer.

BTW the SUV/CUV market in general is softening and oversupply is becoming a concern.
Exactly, the Model 3 does not make an economic case to switch from a Camry to a Tesla.
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      07-14-2019, 12:33 PM   #35
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Problem is that the price point set by the Model 3 is still not a money maker. Elon runs Tesla like a nonprofit siphoning revenue off SpaceX et al.
Unfortunately for the rest of the industry, it doesn’t matter because all the customer cares about is what’s actually available to buy, not about how it got there.

VAG intends to compete in the EV space with a wide range of every-man’s products (and some premium ones too) built on their new MEB platform. They’re a giant corporate machine and are unlikely to fail outright at this goal, as analysts will suggest. So, there *is* a way forward regardless of what sketchy nonsense might be playing out at other shops.

I believe BMW is going to make it work too, but they don’t have any more time to waste with the wrong man steering the ship. So they need to get this right. And if not Benz, then they better cozy up to someone who’s both on top of things and has deep pockets.
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      07-14-2019, 01:29 PM   #36
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Unfortunately for the rest of the industry, it doesn’t matter because all the customer cares about is what’s actually available to buy, not about how it got there.

VAG intends to compete in the EV space with a wide range of every-man’s products (and some premium ones too) built on their new MEB platform. They’re a giant corporate machine and are unlikely to fail outright at this goal, as analysts will suggest. So, there *is* a way forward regardless of what sketchy nonsense might be playing out at other shops.

I believe BMW is going to make it work too, but they don’t have any more time to waste with the wrong man steering the ship. So they need to get this right. And if not Benz, then they better cozy up to someone who’s both on top of things and has deep pockets.
It would be interesting to know the reasoning behind the collaboration with Ford on the MEB platform and commercial vehicles. I'm wondering if VAG had not gone through the Dieselgate episode, would it have courted Ford to use the MEB platform and the investment in Argo? The collaboration between the two companies appears pretty in depth in markets outside the USA.
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      07-15-2019, 11:30 AM   #37
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It would be interesting to know the reasoning behind the collaboration with Ford on the MEB platform and commercial vehicles. I'm wondering if VAG had not gone through the Dieselgate episode, would it have courted Ford to use the MEB platform and the investment in Argo? The collaboration between the two companies appears pretty in depth in markets outside the USA.
As far as MEB, the rationale seems to be to increase economies of scale. This article has a little info:

https://www.autoblog.com/2019/07/13/...hy-it-matters/

Another thing is, the sooner more affordable EVs come the market, the more attractive it is for investments from others in charging tech, battery tech, etc. which benefits VW. It also benefits their competitors of course, but they already know they are not going to be the only player in the game anyway.

If not for Diesel-gate, I'm not even sure MEB would exist right now. If VW does indeed succeed in transforming themselves into an electric mobility company, decades from now that event may very well be looked back upon as a one that was significant in the shift toward EV adoption.
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      07-16-2019, 09:21 AM   #38
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Quote:
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As far as MEB, the rationale seems to be to increase economies of scale. This article has a little info:

https://www.autoblog.com/2019/07/13/...hy-it-matters/

Another thing is, the sooner more affordable EVs come the market, the more attractive it is for investments from others in charging tech, battery tech, etc. which benefits VW. It also benefits their competitors of course, but they already know they are not going to be the only player in the game anyway.

If not for Diesel-gate, I'm not even sure MEB would exist right now. If VW does indeed succeed in transforming themselves into an electric mobility company, decades from now that event may very well be looked back upon as a one that was significant in the shift toward EV adoption.
Interesting thought that MEB rose from ashes of Dieselgate. I've never liked VWs approach with the MQB concept. I understand the business concept of it, but I think it leads to compromised cars. Computer-aided chassis control has led the industry to bypass great chassis engineering for dynamic control since now individual braking and power are available to each tire, which compensates for mediocre chassis design.

EVs are better suited to use of a common platform, so it makes sense. The Art has just moved to a different genre.
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      07-16-2019, 09:21 AM   #39
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Well, even Lotus is developing an EV:

https://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1634556

I was like, "Where did they got the money?" Turns out that, like Volvo, they are owned by Chinese automaker Geely.
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      08-06-2019, 09:00 PM   #40
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Quote:
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As far as MEB, the rationale seems to be to increase economies of scale. This article has a little info:

https://www.autoblog.com/2019/07/13/...hy-it-matters/

Another thing is, the sooner more affordable EVs come the market, the more attractive it is for investments from others in charging tech, battery tech, etc. which benefits VW. It also benefits their competitors of course, but they already know they are not going to be the only player in the game anyway.

If not for Diesel-gate, I'm not even sure MEB would exist right now. If VW does indeed succeed in transforming themselves into an electric mobility company, decades from now that event may very well be looked back upon as a one that was significant in the shift toward EV adoption.
One word: China.
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      08-06-2019, 10:25 PM   #41
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One word: China.
That’s certainly a succinct statement, but I honestly have no idea what it has to do with my post or this thread.
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      08-07-2019, 06:06 AM   #42
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One word: China.
That's certainly a succinct statement, but I honestly have no idea what it has to do with my post or this thread.
Foreign automakers like VW and BMW are heavily invested in China and that country wants to essentially convert their entire passenger car fleet to EV as well as become the leading manufacturer in that space.

Foreign automakers don't want to lose access to China.
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      08-07-2019, 07:11 AM   #43
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Almost every large company becomes a victim of what is now commonly called innovator's dilemma (stopping short a commercial endorsement of a great book with the same title). As much as all of us who decided to embrace BMW vehicles for many reasons and want these reasons to be present forever, BMW is no exception.

It's increasingly difficult to sponsor, finance, and execute strategic initiatives precisely at the right time in a large corporation. The inertia of quarterly earnings pressure prioritizes incremental evolution over innovation - until some other company or market shift disrupts the status quo.

Since 2017, Toyota maintained its lead as a biggest car manufacturer with a vehicle for every customer segment. Perhaps BMW attempted to do the same with 1 series, 2 series, 3 series, 4 series, 5 series .... the list goes one. Unfortunately, this strategy leaves little room for more rapid deployment of capital for innovation.

I am glad BMW recognizes the need innovate quicker. Even the best ideas fail to reach their promise due to lack of execution discipline. I personally want BMW to succeed and find a few R&D Euros to retire the oversized grills, the easiest cost saving measure as smaller grills will require less material.

The latest i4 spy photo holds much promise. It would be a tragedy if i4 were to resemble Toyota Mirai's distant cousin.

As a side note, the wisdom of some car manufacturers making electric or hydrogen powered cars look like a transformer in search of its identity continues to be puzzling.
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      08-07-2019, 08:07 AM   #44
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Quote:
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Foreign automakers like VW and BMW are heavily invested in China and that country wants to essentially convert their entire passenger car fleet to EV as well as become the leading manufacturer in that space.

Foreign automakers don't want to lose access to China.
Oh sure, there's absolutely no doubt about that.

But my post was about the MEB platform specifically. What I was saying is that that architecture may not yet have existed had it not been for VW getting an early push by the diesel scandal. Notably, BMW and Mercedes didn't get that push, and they do not have small dedicated EV architectures yet. No doubt VW would still be heading in the same direction as everybody else in China either way. But they may not have been ahead of their homeland competitors as they are right now.
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