BimmerCast #64: X1, M135i, F80 M3, M5, M6 & BMWNA\’s Sales Problems


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The BimmerCast returns from summer vacation with a huge show… over an hour. Here ‘s a quick run-down on what we cover:

  • First on the list; the introduction of the X1 to the US market. It ‘s the cheapest new BMW in the US and appears to be moving off lots quickly based on our sources. But what ‘s behind the X1 ‘s success in the US and worldwide? And is it the first BMW hatch-back in the US since the 318ti?
  • The M135i; We ‘ve driven it and we give you a quick read what it ‘s like behind the wheel and how it compares to the 1M
  • The F80 M3; So many rumors and so many secrets. We do our best to decode as much as possible and give you a glimpse on what could be a revolutionary M car.
  • The M5 and M6; heavy weights that somehow defy physics. We ‘re just back from Laguna Seca and putting both cars through the cork-screw. We ‘ve got lots to cover and lots to dissect – especially on the highly improved M6.
  • BMWNA Sales are down and we have some theories. Less deals (especially vs the competition), more bundled options and higher prices. Lots to discuss.

As always if you have comments or suggestions for future shows let us know in the comment section below.

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  • M5FAN

    Great program: I agree with you re M4 – in most Chinese speaking countries 4 is a very unlucky number and sounds like “death’ – many buildings don’t have 4 in the same way 13 doesn’t exist in the US. These Chinese speaking markets are now very important……..

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      I was recently on a train in Munich and there was a large group of Chinese tourists there and by the way they dressed they may have had some money- they had a tour guide on the subway. I always talk to people so I casually asked them where they were from and how they liked Munich etc.

      I asked about 5-6 in a smaller group what they thought about BMW renaming the 3 series the 4 and most of them said that it wouldn’t matter because there are other digits after it- 435i. Then I asked about M4 and none of them would buy that as it was a singular number and very bad. Small sample but it was one none the less.

  • BimmerFile_Michael

    I just wanted to update the packaging part a bit- MY 2013 for the F30 3 Series is light years better than the MY 2012 packaging but not being able to order sport seats on any “line” and other things like that still annoy me. BMW is a sporty premium brand, not Lexus. The ATS is hitting dealers now and it is reportedly (I can’t drive it over here) something special on all fronts and comes with more equipment and is cheaper; that may be a wake up call to BMW.

  • PrimoM3

    Nice job, Guys. Hope the M4 name doesn’t come to fruition either… Not that I (overly) care since I’m picking up an Individual e92 M3 in about 10 days at the Welt! Question: Have you guys thought about having enthusiasts/guests on the show? Or, perhaps letting people call in or email to chat or get your thoughts on stuff? Give it some thought, and consider me to be the first, please. Prost. 🙂

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      @2337be461cbf6897ea1240dfe33d3b34:disqus We are always open for commentary and it is a possibility, logistics are another story.

      We’d love to hear more about your new acquisition- shoot us an email. What date is your delivery and plans for the trip? Might be able to give some pointers…

  • JPPD

    Big drop in 5 Series sales, and a huge drop in 3 Series sales. My take. For me it’s pricing. in 2011 a 335 was just over $50k now a 328 is nearly the same. The X1 is promising but is 10K more than Countryman S. I bought the Countryman. It’s not as plush, but has better seats and a superior driving position. To my eye the X1 seat coverings look cheap and the backseat looks positively chintzy. Mercedes and Lexus will outsell BMW in 2012 in N.A. Audi on the other hand continues to gain sales, but has severe supply problems particularly the Q5 which is almost non existent on lots here in the Puget Sound.

    • Interesting take. When it comes down to it price matters and BMW has clearly raised prices either overtly or through option grouping.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      @f6625d5006626210bf8b64221b91dcb6:disqus When I built out the CM and the X1 comparably the X1 wasn’t that much more money. Considering the better drivetrain and more room it still is a good value (back seats actually can recline a bit and are not that bad, driving position is actually almost the same by the numbers and from what I have experienced but that is quite personal a preference. The fit and finish is the best of the last generation “E” code cars- it is based on the E87 and E91 so it is dated in that regard. I CM is a great product and it sells bc of it.

      I agree the price point of BMWs has shot up exponentially in the US and it is going to curb growth unless they begin huge incentives as MB and Lexus are on a roll and the ATS is a huge 3er competitor now.

      • jppd

        Americans are very price sensitive. I include myself, that is why I bought my Countryman S rather than an X1. I went back and built an X1 and it came to 44K plus while the Countryman was nudging 36K. Of course you get BMW prestige a more powerful engine and upscale dash, but the price difference just was not worth it for me. Additionally, when my Z4 comes off of lease next August, I will not be dropping by my BMW dealer for another one.

  • Hey guys – I’m really enjoying listening to WRR on Stitcher. Any chance BimmerCast will be available through that channel as well?

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      Looking in to it..

  • 03Beastcharmer

    FYI – Podcast #64 hasn’t shown up on iTunes yet. Got a sneak peak at the new M3 while during euro delivery of my M3. Went with the M5 guys to the M Studio and it was in the back parking lot. I have high hopes for it.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      Doesn’t it look so much “meaner” in real life? I think the proportions of the F30 are perfect for a sports sedan and like the E39 it will be one of the best looking M sedans in the books.

      They are working on the exhaust it seems as the sound is changing and now has a raspy pop on engine over ride… probably a bit of fuel dump as well.

      • 03BeastCharmer

        The F30 really is similar in size to the E39. I had a loaner 328 a few weeks ago, and when it was in the garage parked next to the E39 M5 I was amazed at how similar they were in size. If the wife ever decides to update the E39 the new M3 might be the replacement, as she really likes the test mule (and having more Hp than me).

    • It should have shown up sometime late yesterday.