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Thread: The car BMW would like to forget?

  1. #1

    The car BMW would like to forget?

    I just got an email from BMW NA asking me to check out their new website. It is really a great redesign, with some really good films, especially the two of the 'ring. I'd certainly say it is worth a good look around as it is very well done. However they list all kinds of cars, car clubs and enthusiast sites in the Heritage and Community sections, but not a peep about the Z8!

    There was a link to Designworks USA, so I wandered over there for a look around, and turned out to be as lacking of any mention of Z8's as the BMW NA site. Guess we've become the redheaded stepchild that got swept under the rug!

    http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte...y/Default.aspx
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  2. #2
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    Sometimes it's better to be forgotten...and then

    rediscoverd...i hope in a decade or two someone authors a story about the lost work of automotive art we all are enjoying today...to be forgotten has its advantages...especially with regard to former wives, the irs, broke brother in laws and collectable masterpieces...everyone best holliday wishes...luvnlfe

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    Mac, do you think this is strictly a BMW NA phenomenon? Your experiences with BMW AG seem far more positive and supportive, even prideful. Any thoughts?

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    In truth I doubt there is any thought in this at all, and the only thing on BMW NA's mind is selling new cars (and golf!). I was surprised to see that the updated website had links to all of the BMW CCA Special Interest Groups (except ours) on the Community page.

    I'm guessing this section of the site is just the marketing team trying to create some mystique around the brand, and keep up with MB who are doing such an incredible job with their heritage business. This is such a powerful statement of pride that I'd venture to say it defines MB as the premiere collector and enthusiast marque. If I was going to buy another classic car it would certainly be from them, and most likely a late 50's SL300 Roadster. I also use an MB SL500 as my daily driver, and had an SL560 before my Z8, so I'm quite a fan of MB. However I prefer the way my BMW's drive, they have that athletic handling that my MB's have all lacked. I just wish that NA had the pride in their product that is so evident when you go to BMW AG in Munich.

    The pride there is so rich and thick that you can slice it like pound cake. Every time I go there I come away infected with it, and feel honored to be in some way connected with a company that has such pride in it's work, it's product and it's heritage. Going to any of the Z8 Club events there you feel the warm embrace of AG through the splendid team at Mobile Tradition. They treat us Z8 owners like royalty, or at least respected family members. I have met so many employees of AG now, and they all have such pride in the company. You really do sense that they feel they belong to the very best team on earth.

    Growing up in England we were taught that pride is what proceeds the fall, that modesty is the way, but having wandered the planet for nearly half a century I realize that was only said because we'd already lost an empire, and all our industry was in an almost terminal nosedive.

    In my work I've spent days and weeks with the greatest musicians, actors, directors, fashion designers, emperor's kimono makers, Michelin starred chefs and motor racers - the one thing they all share in common is pride. I don't think that there is a single quality that can be more motivating, invigorating and uniting than pride. Pride is what gave birth to this website too when I became the proud owner of the most beautiful car of my time.

    It does seem that neither BMW NA nor Designworks is very proud of us, but the good news is that we do have Bill Stuart, and he does a wonderful job of looking after us!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

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    Sport Button On - DSC Off jpklecker's Avatar
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    Very well said Andrew!

    I'd like to wish all Z8 members a wonderfull holiday season and a great New Year!

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    Thanks for the insights. It's nice to hear that BMW AG takes pride in their finest creation, even if NA is clueless. For the life of me I can't understand their reluctance to "cash in" on the Z8 as part of BMW's heritage. A limited production, hand built, super car with a gorgeous body and M power: what's not to like? Perhaps it has something to do with Henrik Fisker leaving BMW and Designworks to go work for Aston/Ford? After all, I'm told they rewrote "The Book" to eliminate his central role in the Z8's design. Or maybe it's just the 507's heritage repeating itself: misunderstood, under-appreciated, now highly sought after and revered. The Z8 marks the high water mark in the second half of 20th Century BMW design and I just hope it doesn't take another fifty years for them to realize its rightful place in their lineage.

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    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    In truth I doubt there is any thought in this at all, and the only thing on BMW NA's mind is selling new cars (and golf!).
    I think you nailed it here - they just want to sell current cars. BMW NA is really little more than a marketing company. They don't make anything. So, why would they show any pride in the accomplishments of the past? I too think it would be great for them to continue to showcase the Z8 in the attracting of new customers, but my guess is that they're merely reflecting the "American" society that seems to be more concerned with NOW than the past. Frankly, I was a bit surprised to see the 507 when I got the same email.

    NA's lack of heritage is not limited to the Z8. It wasn't until the recent announcement of the 1-series coming to US that they even mentioned the 2002 - which is probably the most important car in the "history" of BMW NA. So, I can't get too crazy about them not mentioning the Z8, nor do I see it as deliberate. Hell, they barely showed it on the site when the car was in production

    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Growing up in England we were taught that pride is what proceeds the fall, that modesty is the way, but having wandered the planet for nearly half a century I realize that was only said because we'd already lost an empire, and all our industry was in an almost terminal nosedive.
    Such lessons pre-date English society considerably. See the Old Testament - Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling", which I believe is the origin of the "proverb". A powerful lesson that flys in the face of today's society.
    thegunguy

  8. #8
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    All good comments that I can agree with. Give it time and I think the Z8 will be lovingly remembered. Before the Z8 though- how many of us heard of the 507? I had not- though I didnt really start my serious vintage car knowledge until the Z8 and even now I know far more about modern cars- I like the technology.

    I also think try as BMW might, it is best known for making sports sedans and coupes- and now other niche sporty vehicles all of which "punch above their weight". And it seems that the market for sports cars is occupied by others and its very difficult for BMW to break into that. I think MB has a longer and more glamorous heritage in the eyes of the press- and no matter what it does, its always MB. MB have had a rough go of it with the R class- basically a mini van. If BMW tried to do this they would get slaughtered. So even with BMWs recent success in the past 10 years, they are still percieved in the market as below MB (rightly or wrongly- I think wrongly btw). BMW seems to do best when its "punching above its weight" ala the M3 taking on a 911. Notice how the M6 reviews usually result in some form of "but its not a 911". Why? Whats so great about a 911? Its a Porsche and in the "pecking order" Porsche sports car>BMW sports car. I think the Z8 suffered a bit for this and also we now know it did not have the most clearly laid out birth: was it going to be purely an homage to the 507? SL fighter with an auto box? Retro modern high end M roadster (its VIN is not an "M" VIN). You know what, despite what Ill call some confusion, which probably would have been fatal to most other automaker projects, the Z8 still came out very well, which is why we all care for it. I do think they should take heed though to make sure to not alienate the Z8 community- and it seems the people at AG know this.

    I think though if youre BMW and you lost money on the Z8 project and the idea was to do a halo car, well, it probably helped from the stand point of getting auto magazine covers, but in terms of bringing in more sales, my guess is it didnt and its out of step with their current styling and marketing trends.

    All that said, I think the Z8 is a true modern classic and I would urge anyone before selling to think very hard because I do not think we will see another car like this from BMW again. I am not slighting BMW here, I think they are doing the right things to make their business work now, but to do a money losing halo roadster is probably not in the cards.

    So, yes, I have noticed that BMW has not been pushing the Z8, which I think is a shame and a mistake, though I can understand it. And I will not be selling mine ever, unless financial circumstances require it. It is a truly special car, a true modern classic.

  9. #9
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    "I think though if youre BMW and you lost money on the Z8 project"

    Jerry, nice observations, but, even if they "Lost" money on the Z8, they did get the technology, R&D etc. for the new Roller. Any Idea if they are making money on that brand?

  10. #10
    Z8Mania
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    hehehe- I agree with you. When Dr. Panke came in, he stated one of the hall marks of his regime would be that each model would have to achieve profitability on its own. I do not think Dr. Reifhofer has changed this mandate- so this is why I am thinking they will not do another Z8. IMHO it makes more sense for them to do a 9 series based of the Shanghai CS sedan and do a regular version like a 950i and then do a M9 using a special to M V12 high revving NA engine with a DCT and price it around 165k or so- maybe Ferrari 599 kind of power and weight probably a little heavy around 4300lbs but it would be a screamer and a relative bargain and a Bentley/ S65 killer. Just some fun speculation.