When I lived in Auckland NZ, a fellow worker observed that when other motorists drove in a way that lacked consideration, they were usually behind a wheel of a BMW. I took note and, yes there was something to this, a sort of elitist mentality. So what is my opinion of the company that attracts this kind of motorists?
1) Years ago, when BMW bought a profitable Rover Group, it soon turned it into a massive loss maker. Rather than admit it handled the whole thing badly, it instead mockingly called Rover the English Patient.
2) BMW regularly releases glowing articles to the press of ever increasing sales.
3) BMW keeps publicising targets of reaching ever more vehicle sales and being the world's largest selling premium brand.
4) Now with a car breaking issue, a BMW spokesman said the problem wasn't relevant to safety; in extreme cases, the driver would need to use more force in braking.
What can we learn from this:
1) To take a profitable brand and make it unprofitable so quickly and not acknowledging any blame is arrogant. I cannot read it any other way.
2) BMW's sales increases are achieved with a policy of an ever expanding range of vehicles. Anyone could do that.
3) BMW's obsession with increasing sales misses the point. In the long term, you achieve success by making desirable and reliable cars.
4) Having to break harder to stop in an emergency situation is very serious.
Charlie Vogelheim, executive editor of auto buying website IntelliChoice said "Any company that chooses a sales number as its primary and most publicly stated objective is wiring its organization for something that doesn't necessarily have to do with its reputation, quality, or engineering, which are the things that, in BMW's case, are the things that have made it successful,"
BMW sums up what I dislike about the wasteful world we live in, that of status and excess. The X6 model is all about those qualities and nothing else. That is why my work colleagues noticed a difference with BMW owners.
What it means to me: I have a poor opinion of BMW and the ethos that drives it.
PS. In case my opinion of BMW drivers seems incorrect, on 13th Oct 2010, Autoblog UK reported that in the UK, BMW drivers "were named the nation's angriest motorists yesterday by a poll of road users". So I'm not the only one then.