I was out in Southern California last week and had the pleasure of visiting a premier BMW dealer on the West Coast; Irvine BMW
I was given the opportunity to drive a 2008 BMW M6 Convertible
as well as a 2010 BMW 550 GT
, also known as a Grand Turismo. Both cars were a dream to drive and each had their distinct personality.
The M6 Convertible had an MSRP over $110,000 and the MSRP of the 2010 BMW 550 GT was around $80,000. I was a bit nervous driving these cars on the freeways of California.
The M6 Convertible's automatic shifting technology allowed me to adjust the feel of the transmission and the associated engine roar. The car was as fun to drive as it sounded. The Grand Turismo is a cross between the 5 Series and 7 Series with 550 horsepower. It was simply a moon rocket in the disguise of a luxury performance sedan.
First Year Without a BMW
I've owned BMW cars since 1994 but this month will be the first time we passed on having at least one BMW in the household car pool. We decided that $700 - $900 a month lease payments were not in the budget this round of car buying.
As I was visiting Irvine BMW I asked what was the average lease payment for an entry level 3-Series car with decent equipment. To lease a new BMW 3-Series the lease payments without any additional money down would run over $500 a month. A fully equipped 3-Series over $600 per month as a lease payment.
It was then I started to worry about the BMW brand. Maybe it was touched off by the tough economic conditions most American's find themselves in or the thoughts that February was a brutal sales month in Southern California for many dealers.
In this economy, will the young car buyers be able to touch a new BMW car?
I am not comparing apples to apples but I drove a 2010 Hyundai Genesis at Preston Hyundai
and it was a great looking car and the performance was fantastic.
I recently purchased an Infiniti G37 AWD Sedan a from Circle Infiniti
and for someone who loves a BMW 5 Series Sedan, my new G37 Sedan is a rock star and $300 a month cheaper. The electronics on the car are just mind blowing cool.
So, with some many new choices on the marketplace, does anyone else feel that BMW needs to produce a vehicle that can get young buyers connected with their brand?
Does it matter? What are your thoughts.