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FRANKFURT, Germany — Germany’s BMW has raked in profits selling high-priced larger cars. Now it’s getting ready to venture into less familiar turf — the highly competitive compact segment — with its new 1 Series, which will sell for not much more than a similar-sized Volkswagen Golf.

The company, which was showing the car to journalists on Wednesday, says the new vehicle combines the functionality of the popular hatchback category with what it says will be the higher performance associated with the Bavarian auto maker’s products.

“We see an increasing demand for a premium vehicle in this compact segment,” said company spokesman Eckhard Wannieck.

The car won’t go on sale in Europe until Sept. 18, but BMW is already marketing it heavily in Germany with television ads.

The pricing, while higher than competitors in the segment, dips fairly close to the Golf and the Audi A3. The entry-level 1 Series will sell for about $23,000, the company says.

The Golf with an equivalent engine runs around $22,600, and an A3 can cost around $22,800.

The car fulfills long-delayed BMW ambitions to make smaller cars, said auto analyst Christoph Stuermer at research firm Global Insight in Frankfurt. Those plans went awry when its acquisition of Britain’s Rover in 1994 turned out to be a flop and it disposed of its would-be mass-market arm.

Full Story HERE
 

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Anyone know whether the Saab 9-2X is being sold in Germany (and Sweden for that matter)? I thought the 9-2X would've been first to market in this segment and if it was going to be sold in Europe should be great competition for the Bimmer. Hope it hits Europe, NA and Asia before BMW!
 

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Anyone know whether the Saab 9-2X is being sold in Germany (and Sweden for that matter)? I thought the 9-2X would've been first to market in this segment and if it was going to be sold in Europe should be great competition for the Bimmer. Hope it hits Europe, NA and Asia before BMW!

9-2X is only sold in North America. there are no plans to sell it in Europe. the big difference between the 9-2 and the 1 Series is that the 9-2 is a 5-door only. the American 1 Series is slated to be coupe and convertible only at first, with a possible sedan in the future. they will play to different audiences.
 

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I'm not sure how the luxury marques' move into lower segments will work (I'm aware that we've already had this debate). In the shortterm I can imagine a lot of image-overconscious persons loving the idea of driving a bimmer (even if it's the cheap one), thereby boosting sales. In the longterm, I cannot imagine how this will boost the aspirational and premium image of their brands. I guess if anyone can pull it off, it would be BMW.
 

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Don't forget, this is not BMW's first attempt. Remember the 318ti from the 90's? The 318ti didn't go over well and was short lived here in the United States.
 
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If it says BMW on the outside, and BMW understands what that market is looking for, it'll be a success.

<_<

Consumers are less averse to purchasing imports than they used to be. There is a certain 'sexiness' to purchasing an import.
 

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Originally posted by SUPERBADD75@Jun 24 2004, 07:57 AM
Anyone know whether the Saab 9-2X is being sold in Germany (and Sweden for that matter)? I thought the 9-2X would've been first to market in this segment and if it was going to be sold in Europe should be great competition for the Bimmer. Hope it hits Europe, NA and Asia before BMW!

9-2X is only sold in North America. there are no plans to sell it in Europe. the big difference between the 9-2 and the 1 Series is that the 9-2 is a 5-door only. the American 1 Series is slated to be coupe and convertible only at first, with a possible sedan in the future. they will play to different audiences.
Then why is it a Hatch in Europe?
 

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Don't forget, this is not BMW's first attempt. Remember the 318ti from the 90's? The 318ti didn't go over well and was short lived here in the United States.



Then why is it a Hatch in Europe?

the reply to both of these is simple. hatchback cars don't sell so well in the U.S.. the 318ti was a hatchback, and on top of that, it only came with one engine choice; an anemic 1.8L 4-banger. i'd have liked to see the M3 powerplant in it, personally, but the fact is they invested very little in the car because hatches are not hot in America. hatchback cars are good for teenagers (Civic Si, GTI, Focus, etc.), but not for the adult public that will be looking at a Bimmer. they want to draw people into their brand, and they need a more mainstream car to do it with. a coupe, convertible, or sedan are more mainstream. the 5-door they have in Europe isn't mainstream here in the states. i love hatches, and so do many others, but not enough of them.
 

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That's true (speaking of the 318). I have seen a picture of the BMW M2 and it looks great.
 

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Saab 9-2X is one of the first to this segment, but is still a bit higher priced and features a bit more than some of the other competitors..

Saab 9-2X will compete moreso with the Volvo S40, my guess.

Audi A3 will compete with the 1 series more so too.. but I imagine there will be overlap among all of them...
 

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Not that's an ugly little car. All the new BMWs are so ugly. Some day people will realize that the last good looking BWM was the current 3 series. I expect the new 3 series to get a similar ugly stick treatment too.

I sure hope they offer iDrive to further alienate buyers!

Mark
 

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Originally posted by usa1@Jun 24 2004, 07:02 PM


Not that's an ugly little car. All the new BMWs are so ugly. Some day people will realize that the last good looking BWM was the current 3 series. I expect the new 3 series to get a similar ugly stick treatment too.

I sure hope they offer iDrive to further alienate buyers!

Mark
I agree! But the cances of that arethe same as that of Mercedes buyers smartening up and buying a Caddy!
 

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Saab 9-2X will compete moreso with the Volvo S40, my guess.

Audi A3 will compete with the 1 series more so too.. but I imagine there will be overlap among all of them...


9-2 will compete more with the V50, the wagon version of the S40. the A3 will also be its competitor, as the A3 will be a hatch only.

Some day people will realize that the last good looking BWM was the current 3 series.
the new 5 isn't terrible, but iDrive is! and the next 3 isn't supposed to be as badly "Bangleized" as the 7 or 5. we'll see.
 

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Originally posted by SUPERBADD75@Jun 24 2004, 05:29 PM
and the next 3 isn't supposed to be as badly "Bangleized" as the 7 or 5. we'll see.
That's what I heard! Especially since Bangle is no longer the head designer... :lol:
 

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Originally posted by SUPERBADD75@Jun 24 2004, 07:57 AM
Anyone know whether the Saab 9-2X is being sold in Germany (and Sweden for that matter)? I thought the 9-2X would've been first to market in this segment and if it was going to be sold in Europe should be great competition for the Bimmer. Hope it hits Europe, NA and Asia before BMW!

9-2X is only sold in North America. there are no plans to sell it in Europe. the big difference between the 9-2 and the 1 Series is that the 9-2 is a 5-door only. the American 1 Series is slated to be coupe and convertible only at first, with a possible sedan in the future. they will play to different audiences.
1 series isn't supposed to be coming to the US. We're getting the 2 series. :blink:
 

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Originally posted by tgagneguam@Jun 24 2004, 09:30 AM
I'm not sure how the luxury marques' move into lower segments will work (I'm aware that we've already had this debate). In the shortterm I can imagine a lot of image-overconscious persons loving the idea of driving a bimmer (even if it's the cheap one), thereby boosting sales. In the longterm, I cannot imagine how this will boost the aspirational and premium image of their brands. I guess if anyone can pull it off, it would be BMW.
There's 2 sides of the theory.
There's BMW/Mercedes/Audi's side. Creating the cheaper cars will bring people into the fold and then they can upsell them to higher priced/bigger cars.

There's Cadillac's side. Creating the cheaper cars cheapens the brand and the overall luxury marque.

Part of the flaw of BMW's strategy is that if they think they are going to sell an $18K car to people who can afford an $18K car and want a BMW.... then they are going to do it. But don't think for a minute that these same people are going to fork over $50K for a 5 series down the road. That's one hunk of change.

These smaller "luxury"/near-luxury cars might do well in Europe, but they will most likely fail in the US. The market fothese cars is still undefined in the US... where the general populace consider the 3/C/A4 "entry level."
 
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