I previously wrote about Mercedes entering the small car market. Surprisingly, both Mercedes and BMW have been developing small, low-cost models for the European market, as many Americans see. Now BMW seems to be considering doing something similar: introducing a truly compact car to the North American market, more than any other BMW available on our back roads and streets. Is this a good move from the German automaker? Or will it dilute a reputable brand?
Part of any automaker’s marketing strategy is to convince the customer of the route of their vehicle. Dodge wants you to think they sell bad sports cars and trucks; Scion drives its youth-oriented vehicles; Both BMW and Mercedes, like Cadillac, sell luxury vehicles. Millions of dollars a year are spent on advertising to strengthen the brand’s image, which is backed by that particular mindset of consumer surveys.
Speaking of Cadillac, in the early 1980s, GM’s luxury brand briefly released a compact car, the Simiron. Finally, the bomb fell, in part because it had been broken into by a large luxury parking lot. Sure, the car was little more than a redesigned and revamped Chevrolet Cavalier, but it went against Cadillac’s general crypto. A slightly larger and later model, the Catara, also failed.
So now the dilemma: will consumers accept BMW’s planned approach to “Grade 1” or will they confuse and reduce the BMW name? As a backdrop, the current Grade 1 is expected to be replenished in 2006. The car is currently being offered as a sports hatchback, but there is no room to import hatchbacks due to America’s reluctance to adopt that particular body style. BMW is reportedly considering a sedan version for production.
I went to the BMW website in the US to see the current Model 1 Series. When the average BMW Fascia was in operation, the Grade 1 was slightly extended to the Volkswagen Golf, which incorporated the compact BMW. The “1” is powered by a 1.6L or 2.0L I4 gasoline engine, a 24V 3.0L gasoline V6 or a 2.0L diesel cylinder that can save up to 50 mpg of fuel. Prices for “1” start at less than $ 25,000
The team at “1” is typically a BMW. Clearly, the current “1” is not a redundant model as it has many of the features of the larger BMW.
In my opinion, BMW must be careful when bringing a car of this size to the American market. Forget about the hatchback and go with the cart or the coupe with the sedan. Unlike the original Mercedes models, the “1” could be removed for BMW and allow the German automaker to successfully sell a smaller BMW in the United States. Alternatively, BMW may consider launching a separate brand. BMW’s cryptocurrency in the American market.