BMW = the new AMC.

BMW is a pretty uninspiring marque these days; and now they just keep producing terribly designed, AWD monstrosities which have nothing to do with their company’s roots whatsoever.  This is the outcome of a company on the way down….a company grasping for every final breath as Audi trample them in nearly every segment.   So you may ask “well, Syed—-why is it OK for Audi to make AWD crossovers and not BMW??”….well, maybe because Audi is firmly rooted in AWD technology?  Perhaps because Audi built their entire brand on quattro as their main attraction?!  Yes it does make sense for Audi to build lots of AWD cars.  You may not want to believe it…but it is in line with the corporate ethos.

What in the world is this!?  The new X4 concept.  Badly designed….for an opportunistic segment….and the resurrection of a failed (but let’s be honest…unique and inspired) 1970s 4×4 crossover.  Compared to the long-lost AMC SX4.  So has BMW simply knocked the “S” out of SX4 and replaced “AMC” with “BMW”? you decide!

bmw-x4-concept-leaked-images

1982-AMC-Eagle-SX4

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19 thoughts on “BMW = the new AMC.

  1. [...] BMW one letter away from being the new AMC? Read the breakdown right here by the excellent [...]

  2. [...] BMW one letter away from being the new AMC? Read the breakdown right here by the excellent [...]

  3. noman says:

    Why is a corporate ethos not allowed to change? Markets and consumers flucuate with time and maybe BMW has been seeing a change that says they should be making AWD cars of all kinds. What financial evidence do you have backing the claim that BMW is “a company grasping for every final breath as Audi trample them in nearly every segment.”?

    • Syed says:

      good point: an ethos can certainly change—-HOWEVER is that BMW? Is BMW really a company which should be making random AWD crossovers to fill market segments or should they be creating something more in line with their character? Should Samsung make mobile phones that run Apple’s iOS? In terms of sales, Audi has taken over BMW in Germany as the #1 luxury carmaker….that is a BIG deal….huge actually. So yes, Audi has trampled over BMW in certain locations, such as China and Germany.

      • noman says:

        According to BMW they make the ultimate driving machine. Should the ultimate or any driving machine forgo a technology simply because they weren’t the first ones to the market with it? Apple Maps was a horrible release when compared against Google Maps, but that doesn’t mean over time and with continued effort Apple won’t release a better map program on their phone than Google does. Same should apply to BMW. I do agree, and I was ignorant to, that Audi out selling BMW in Germany is a big steal of market share. My short and somewhat dated numbers, Oct 2012, has BMW ahead globally; with an impressive sounding 59.4% increase in sales in China alone. My end thought being that I don’t think anyone should be sounding the death-knell of a company simply b/c they don’t like the look of a model. I seem to remember there being not much love for the 1 series when it first released images.

        • Syed says:

          BMW is playing catch up in China….Audi is waaaaaaaaay ahead of BMW in China. I am not sounding the death toll of BMW, however by means of inspiration and building an aspirational product….there’s a reason why BMW doesn’t carry the same weight as a badge any more…there is nothing in the product line to inspire! Even the Z4 has become an old-person’s roadster….the 6-series costs $100k+ now…..when the M5 gets beaten in performance by an S6 costing $25k less, there is trouble at BMW. The next 1-series is all FWD. The new 3-series is being split into another 4-series GT and a Coupe, even though the 5-series GT was a total flop (even admitted by BMW themselves)….there are problems in the BMW lineup.

  4. Anders says:

    I think your starting point is wrong. I think BMW is financially a very sound company and they also have quite some heritage with 4X4 crossovers. The X5 launched in ’99, way before Audi got into the game (even though Quattro goes further back.) Audi launched the A1 in 2010, some 9 years after BMW launched the reborn Mini and created that segment. They’re also launching the i-series of cars, so calling BMW ‘uninspiring’ is hard to understand. I’d agree that their styling is uninspiring (1,3,5,7 series) and some times just bad (X1), but I’d argue they’re a company and brand that’s evolving and taking risks and doing it sucessfully.

    • Syed says:

      iseries? everybody is introducing electric cars….i would hardly call that innovative…if anything i’d call that the status quo really. BMW has within the past couple of years….launched several crossovers, planned switching to FWD (in case you didn’t know…the next 1-series is completely FWD), and have pumped the pricing of cars like the 6-series through the moon (in Porsche 911 pricing ranges now…). Mini has been a huge success, no doubt….but honestly is there anything showing up in the showrooms with a BMW badge on it that is really creating any buzz….save for a (now discontinued) 1-series M, which frankly was a frankenstein of leftover parts from a E92 dumped into a 1-series range which pretty much was a non-profitable car for BMW….

      • Anders says:

        Well, I think the i-series is about more than beeing electric; Materials, production, business model innovation etc. Lets see how they succeed. I do think BMW have lost their way when it comes to styling and design and how they plan and design their portfolio. My guess its just matter of time before there’s some shake up in the BMW design departement.

  5. Justin says:

    Have any of you driven the new M3? It looks fantastic, is a treat to drive, and generally a fantastic car to be in. BMW has had a troubled few years and I agree that they’re branching into too many pointless market segments but they’re really starting to turn things around. I think with Audi’s expansion into foreign manufacturing and BMW’s (albeit very recent) upturn in quality, there will be a pretty significant struggle between the two for the next few years. Let’s be honest though, VW auto group is eventually going to own the world anyways.

    • Syed says:

      i have, actually. the E92 M3 is a fantastic car to drive….i’m not a big fan of the styling, but actually the Sedan is quite decent to look at IMO. The new 3-series, i’m not so much a fan of if i’m honest…..but if anything BMW is continuing to do right, it’s probably the 3-series.

  6. Don’t let facts get in your way:

    Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, is targeting higher sales this year after widening its lead over Audi AG and Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes-Benz in 2012.

    Deliveries of the namesake BMW brand rose 12 percent to a record 1.54 million cars and sport-utility vehicles last year, the Munich-based manufacturer said today in a statement. That compares with growth of 12 percent to 1.46 million at Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s Audi and 4.7 percent to 1.32 million at Mercedes.

    laughing all the way to the bank

    • Syed says:

      look at the last 10 years. get back to me about the trends you find…..1 year doesn’t mean anything….

  7. Jimmy Joe Meeker says:

    Not sure BMW is becoming the new AMC, but an entire industry segment of cars has been evolving towards the AMC Eagle form for many years now. IMO it is just another place where AMC got to a product long before customers wanted it.

  8. [...] BMW one letter away from being the new AMC? Read the breakdown right here by the excellent [...]

  9. Kyle A. Cochran says:

    So many (but not all) of these prestigious companies are deviating further and further away. Sadly for BMW they’ve deviated to AMC?!?!? I’m kind of with you on this Syed. They do look similar, too similar to the Eagle.

    BMW should shrink back and focus on the elements that made them cool. BMW 2002tii, M3, M5, and the rare M1. Seriously, I just laid that out in perfect order; affordable coupe/sedan, sports coupe, sports/luxury sedan, supercar. I wouldn’t want anything else from them.

    It reminds me of how some people are clamoring for Honda to return to glory a la 1991. This sentiment was compounded by an April Fools joke I saw recently where Japanese Nostalgia reported “Honda/Acura to return to 1991 lineup” ( http://japanesenostalgiccar.com/2013/04/01/hondaacura-to-completely-revert-to-1991-lineup/ ). For a nanosecond, I was thrilled thinking a company had finally realized they’ve deviated too far. Then, I was crushed realizing it was April 1st. It was silly for me to even believe in such a statement, then I reveled in the fact that I initially agreed with it (even if for a nanosecond).

    Companies are stuffing themselves in unfamiliar niche markets and they end up diluting their aesthetic and history as they go along. It’s time for companies to distill themselves back to former glory. Take the characteristics that history has defined for them “a la Alpine”. i.e. Rally legends like Lancia should be selling the Fulvia Concept not being rebadged Chryslers, Jeep should be climbing rocks not rebadging Dodge’s for city use (‘city use’ should not be in their lexicon), GM should stop cannibalizing itself and focus on consolidating, etc, etc, etc. For every Alpine that does it right, there’s about 3-5 companies that miss the mark and pay dearly till they regain their financial footing or get swallowed up by the financial groups that just want the name to be chopped hacked and reinvented against it’s own evolution.

    – Kyle A. Cochran

  10. Mike Lawson says:

    A conglomerate like Toyota or GM can try to be all things to all people, but BMW is a small company compared to them and trying to compete with such like will kill them. They need to get back to their roots- small or relatively small cars with excellent performance and value for their size. If they insist on SUVs or crossovers, they should call such vehicles by another name.

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