Scarcity. It ‘s either a draw-back or a key ingredient in making something an instant classic. And for the 1M it ‘s been one of BMW ‘s rally cries for the car over the past year. As former M boss Dr Segler told us, production won ‘t be limited but the 1M will be hard to get. However now comes a rumor from the head of BMW M Sales and Marketing in Asia via the Australian publication Motoring that BMW will double production from 2500 to 5000. It ‘s an odd rumor in that we got no sense from any production change either from Worldwide M Marketing and Sales head Brian Watts (interviewed in two weeks ago at Laguna Seca) or from BMWNA. In fact we reached out to BMWNA and they were quite specific in saying that there is no change in 1M production for the US market. In fact BMWNA sent a memo to dealers just yesterday notifying them that no more 1Ms will be produced for the US and that all allocations have been filled at this point. So what ‘s the real story here?
Focusing on the US market we know that the N54 remains emissions-compliant after 2011. However BMW has committed to not extending 1 Series M Coupe production for the US beyond 2011. With yesterday ‘s memo that has now been confirmed with some finality. In our opinion, this is case closed for the US market.
So what about worldwide? We have no doubt that BMW is getting increasing pressure to produce more 1Ms from certain key markets. The Australian market for one only received 125 cars so it ‘s no wonder there ‘s demand for more. But the problem of production isn ‘t an artificial limit set by BMW but one part production capacity and one part machine costs. Alongside the 1M BMW is also producing the much more profitable and even hotter selling X1.
Then there are the production realities to deal with. Specifically BMW produced molds for the 1M that were intended to last for a designated production run. Once that run (around 2500 according to BMW) is over, it would be assumed that BMW would have to re-invest in new molds for another run. And if they do that there ‘s a good chance that BMW would need to produce and sell another 2500 to allow for the original profit objectives to play-out once more. The question then would be, could the sell another 2500 examples without the US market? And what would additional production do to the mystic of the 1M? It likely wouldn ‘t change the reason enthusiast buy the car but it would cut residuals down and collectors out of the market for awhile.
But we strongly recommend you file this under rumor at this point when it comes to sales outside the US. And in the US consider this false hope.