BMW's CEO says 80 per cent of 1-series owners think their car is front-wheel drive
25 March 2010

Four out of five BMW 1-series drivers think their car is front-wheel drive, according to the firm’s CEO Norbert Reithofer.

Reithofer revealed the statistic in a conference call to journalists following the announcement of BMW’s financial results. He admitted the company found the 1-series survey results to be “quite a surprise”.

Reithofer was justifying BMW’s decision to start producing BMW-branded front-wheel-drive cars on the next-generation Mini’s platform, which is due in 2014.

The platform, covering front and four-wheel-drive models, will be used for both the third-generation Mini and for a range of BMW models between 3.8m and 4.3m long.

According to industry reports, there could eventually be up to 20 individual BMW and Mini-badged models based on the new BMW-engineered platform. The dual length of the platform would enable it to cover models sized from a typical supermini to a Golf-sized car.

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BMW 1 Series

A final facelift for the rear-wheel drive BMW 1 Series, as it aims to take class honours from the formidable Audi A3 and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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Comments
68

23 March 2010

Where does one even start?? It that statement alone does not sum up the type of idiot who buys the cheapest, ugliest and second crappest (after the X6) BMW I don't know what does.

23 March 2010

He should have just said that four out of five 1 series owners buy it because of the badge on the front and have no interest in the fact that it's a great handling car.

23 March 2010

I wonder what the figures are for 3 and 5 Series drivers? If they are similar, then there is a good argument that BMW has been barking up the wrong tree for a long, long time.

23 March 2010

I know we are in the minority (people who are actually that interested in cars) but i would imagine most car owners don't know what wheels are being driven in their cars, except maybe 4x4 drivers.

23 March 2010

[quote Autocar]Four out of five BMW 1-series think their car is front-wheel drive, according to the firm’s CEO Norbert Reithofer.[/quote] What this means is that the majority of customers are putting up with a car that's badly packaged, needlessly heavy, expensive and ill-proportioned for no real perceived benefit. No wonder the company is keen to embrace front wheel drive. Don't get me wrong, I like rear drive cars, but accept that there is very little benefit to the layout with cars whose power to weight is below about 200 horsepower per ton.

23 March 2010

[quote RobotBoogie]I wonder what the figures are for 3 and 5 Series drivers? If they are similar, then there is a good argument that BMW has been barking up the wrong tree for a long, long time.
[/quote]

no one cares. Only nerds care. The reason BMW went from being a small, local, broke post-war company to the most successful premium maker in the world today is that it is known to the world and his wife for outstanding engineering excellence. Above even Mercedes-Benz, VW, Siemens and Bosch it is the epitome of the 'Made in Germany' reputation.

It does not need to be exclusively rear-wheel drive to be BMW, as its excellence in motorbikes and pre-war aero-engines shows. MINI, the engineered for Ford after sale Range Rover, the new Rolls Royces and even the Rover 75 showed it is a matter of pre-eminent engineering expertise and the scale and depth of engineering ability, combined with management efficiency that allows it to tackle so many diverse tasks so ably, which almost no other competitor can achieve.

23 March 2010

It's very strong proof, that the 80% of BMW's customers are buying that cars not because it's a "great sport saloon" but only because of the badge!!! It's clear that BMW is only the status symbol and nothing more!!!

23 March 2010

[quote nicksheele]no one cares. Only nerds care. The reason BMW went from being a small, local, broke post-war company to the most successful premium maker in the world today is that it is known to the world and his wife for outstanding engineering excellence. Above even Mercedes-Benz, VW, Siemens and Bosch it is the epitome of the 'Made in Germany' reputation.[/quote] Quite. And additionally, not knowing your car is rear wheel drive is quite different from not appreciating that it drives like a rear wheel drive car. That said, I personally think it's a very sorry day and a very slippery slope when BMW starts considering building FWD cars.

23 March 2010

These are people from the same gene pool as those who have to call the police from the motorway when their Toyota's throttle sticks open.

Presumably BMW will now be able to aim their marketing more directly at the well-off but dim. And they can stop wasting money on technical developments and handling testing.

I propose the new no-wheel-drive BMW. You just park it on your drive and leave it there so everyone knows you're an idiot.

23 March 2010

Statistics mean whatever you want them to mean! Did BMW ask a comprehensive range of owners, or 5 fleet drivers who don't give a monkeys about cars (the ones driving 116d's), so that there decision becomes justified? I bet if you ask Audi drivers most of them would think their cars are 4wd!

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