BMW Diesel Marketing Blitz

We have reviewed the vehicles and explained the new technology in today ‘s BMW Advanced Diesels at great depth in the past so we are quite familiar with the product; the marketing is a different story. Since launching this past winter, sales have been slow (to say the least) due in part to the price-point, the slow economy and of course the stigma of being a diesel. Many ‘Mericans just can ‘t seem to grasp that modern diesels are clean, efficient and fun to drive. No smoke, stink and associated mess, just Greener than gas power. It has been a hard nut to crack and BMW is about to unleash their marketing blitz for the Advanced Diesels to help get the word out.

Beginning on August 16 at 10pm two 30 second commercials will begin airing during AMC ‘s “Mad Men “. BMW will be the exclusive sponsor of the show. In addition to the Mad Men premiere, the BMW spots will also appear on a variety of cable TV shows, including: Top Chef Las Vegas and Top Chef Masters on Bravo; The Closer, Leverage and Dark Blue on TNT. Other shows include: Travel Channel’s Man v. Food and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations; Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild and Mythbusters andSyfy’s Warehouse 13.

BMW will also be running print ads in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal touting the efficiency and $4500 ECO Credit that is being offered through the end of the month. There will be an extended spread in Vanity Fair depicting the famous Sterling Cooper advertising agency.

Be prepared for a takeover… On Monday, August 24th BMW will be front and center on both the NY Times and MSN websites. The site will go black and then the the spokesman will turn on a CFL bulb alongside the Advanced Diesels.

What all this means is that BMW is finally getting serious in pushing the Advanced Diesels. Is this a last ditch effort to see if sales will improve before they pull the plug? We doubt it, but it shows that they are not willing to let the sales slump continue. Maybe they could price them a bit more reasonably or better yet, making an ECO trimmed version without all the pomp and circumstance. We love the Advanced Diesels but at the same time, still feel they went to wrong route with them and should have gone the ECO and efficiency way rather than bringing all the power.

Source: MediaWeek

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  • bmw

    The problem is not the diesel itself. The problem is the fact that BMW did not bring a decent diesel engine with manual transmission…what were they thinking!? Yes, the 335d have an enormous torque but we don’t care! Bring the stick!

  • FR Walter

    I’ll bite if I can get the MINI or 1’er with a 2.0L turbo diesel

  • Mike

    How about a 1-series diesel? There are 3 different versions of this car in Europe but only the 3-series makes it over here.

  • Dan

    I would love a 335d, but it’s just too expensive. 45k+ with no options… even with the 4500 off, it’s too much. And what you get for your 41k is no leather, no heated seats, no bluetooth, and the option to pay for an ipod adapter that costs more than any ipod.

  • Doug

    335i with auto: $42,450 (no other options)

    335d w/ $900 FEDERAL tax credit: $43,825 (no options)

    both white with leatherette – so, before the BMW $4500 credit, you are paying only $1375 for diesel. (

    If I was in a position on my trade, I’d take the 335d with the $4500 off in a heartbeat. Oh, and you still (I think) can take your sales tax off your yearly taxes this year.

  • Mark Mayer

    Dan has it right. The 335d is great, but the fuel price premium makes it a loser in US where premium gas for 335i costs less than diesel. In Europe its a different story: The lower price of diesel makes these cars an easy choice, which is why diesels outsell gas engines. Adding to the errors of BMW marketing in US, lower displacement diesels are not available. Not everyone needs the torque monster in the 335d. Smaller displacement diesel engines, which BMW sells a range of in Europe, do wonders for CAFE standards, still have great acceleration, and in US who cares about top speeds with > triple digits, since other than track we rarely get to experience this without risking loss of license …

  • Mark- Premium does not cost less than diesel. The national avg. for Premium is $2.97 per gallon. Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel is $2.67.

    I just looked at the regional numbers and there is not a single area that has diesel at a higher price than premium. In some areas diesel has dropped below the levels of regular.

    Historically diesel has always been cheaper than gas, the last 2 years were the only time ever diesel was more than gas and that was for several supply/demand reasons involving China (and other issues).

    Right now a 335d can be had for the same cost as a 335i, and the fuel is cheaper…. I wish I could unload my wife’s car because we would be all over a 335d. It is a much more practical car from a driving standpoint. I hate how diesel always must be about savings- even without the money savings you are producing less emissions and using less fuel, that is savings enough!

  • Mark Mayer


    Where are you located? In DC/MD area where I live there was still around a 20c premium for diesel last time I checked. You are right to point out there’s more to diesel than savings of better mpg: the environmental impact is a big factor as well, even more for lower displacement engines.

    Have to confess: my ride is a 535i and I love the torque of the N54, which makes me a good candidate for a diesel!

  • ///Marko

    Nice price. In Finland we have to pay 60300 euros to get 335dA without any options. It´s about $86000. So I wondering to get a new 320dA some day. It costs only $65000 =)

  • Bob

    We sold out of diesels last month and can’t get any from other dealers because of the $4500 credit. Sales are strong. The credit has just been extended to 2010 ordered vehicles. In our state diesel sells at the same or just a little above regular.

  • Drew

    +1 Mark Mayer…

    Also one of BMW’s largest markets is the NE…think xdrive…yes i know i know get winter tires but many many people do not want the hassle and just get xdrive models to compensate…

    so…where are the 320xd models??? bring one of those over and I’m sold…instead, I’m going to be getting the 328xi over the diesel…your loss BMW…which translates to our collective loss…


  • yioryos335

    <p>What’s up with the auto,even in that price i would have changed mine and my wifes 335 to diesels if it was manual.</p>

  • Mark- I am in NY/CT- but I always quote the state by state or regional numbers from the US Dept. of Energy, they have the wholesale and retail numbers on a weekly basis. Diesel is cheaper now than premium.

  • Mark Mayer

    Here’s a site with the history of US diesel vs regular gas prices; you will need to correct the regular gas price to premium to make a fair comparison for BMW gas engines.

    Reason diesel engines outsell gas in Europe is fuel tax structure: diesel is always cheaper than premium gas, while in US that’s frequently not the case. That aside, there are lots of benefits, and since BMW has a wide range of diesel engines available (not in US), if they want to be market leaders/pioneers, expand the diesel range in US!

  • Mark- Prior to 2006 diesel was 50% cheaper than gasoline. The biggest issue is that we export much of our fuel produced to Asia, this is beginning to change. 3 years of prices being higher is not the true trend, so your use of frequently is not accurate.

    As I said before look at the US department of energy site.

    If there was more demand in the US, and more of the oil was allocated to production of diesel than to the production of gas things would be different. Another major contributor is the War machine we had operated for many years… I am not going down a politics debate here, just mere fact- all of the US Military equipment, tanks, helicopters, humvees etc use a form of diesel…. that comes from the supply that could otherwise be used for civilian purposes. It is not a coincidence that diesel has dropped rapidly now that China is not receiving as much supply from us (diesel is now a Green alternative for the new administration) and we have decreased troop activity. If you look at my posts from over a year ago this information was also stated then and some that invested in futures on the slide may have made some nice coin….. The market for diesel will continue to trend down and then level for a period where as gas will rise over the next several months then level.

    The other simple argument is that diesel is 20% more efficient so you can go 20% more on the same amount of fuel so as long as the diesel is not 20% more expensive you are still breaking even (now with the cost of a 335d being less than a 335i this is even more valid). This concept is why detergent companies had to spend millions of ad dollars to explain that even though the bottle is smaller you can use less per load so it does the same amount of cleaning…. people have a hard time grasping less can be equal or more if the efficiency is higher…

    I urge our readers to listen to our next podcast as Dave Buchko from BMWNA sheds some light on hybrids and diesels from BMW- including future offerings.

    Mark and everyone else I thank you for your well thought comments and dialog! Keep it up!

  • Dan

    I’ve had two diesel VW before I bought my 325Ci. While in Germany I saw so many diesel in various models of BMW even in the 6 series. Problem with diesels in the U.S. is not the mind set of the horrible memories of American car makers making diesel as it is of cost. With fuel prices here in the states not anywhere high enough to sway minds on economy- diesel will not sale well. If the price of petrol (gasoline) stays at $4-5 U.S. dollar range- diesel may make a come back for a while until something else proves more economical.

    Another issue with diesels in the U.S., but notiably is that yes the engines do burn cleaner and produce less pollution- but they are still known to be a carcingenic pollutent.

    A final one note: BMWs are expensive, add a diesel engine and the car is out of reach for many. I’ve test drove the 335 diesel and it was a very nice car, but I was disappointed in the fuel mileage and I could feel the weight difference from my personal car. But of course the new BMWs are a lot heavier than ever, may this have been the reason for the addition of turbos to the engines? A 2L turbo diesel engine in a 1 or 3 series auto with a stick would be affordable, but won’t make a dent in the U.S. market until fuel prices go up and stay there like they are in Europe. May be by then (it will happen, just wait) BMW will bring more cars with more engine varities like they exist in Europe. I’m still waiting for a 4 cyclinder BMW to come back to the states.

  • WD Greason

    Who is paying more for diesel than premium gas? I have the 335d and diesel is less than regular by 13 cents in S cali. with 900 back for taxes and 4500 for eco! Diesels last much longer. no tuneups. no emissions checks. and very good performance. Americans just can’t compute when trying to accept diesels. I really loved it in the gas crisis’ when long lines for gas, and I’d pull up to the green pump in the corner of the lot with no lines and a gasser would line up behind me only to be pissed when he was told diesel won’t run his car. Keep on making excuses why you don’t want one, it keeps the prices low with less demand.