Tuesday, February 12, 2013

BMW and Toyota Getting Together Is Logical

U mad?  Probably.  You've probably heard that Toyota and BMW are working together to maybe make a hybrid Supra and now it appears that they are going to make a Z4 based on the FR-S.  Enthusiasts are raging pretty hard.  Not quite infinity suns, but it's getting pretty close.  People generally think this is a bad thing and are mad at BMW for even considering it.  But the truth is, BMW wants this and it is a good thing for them.  They've wanted to be Toyota as bad as Toyota has wanted to be them and now they both have the chance to be each other.
At first glance, it would seem that BMW and Toyota getting together to make products is a complete disaster and a total sellout for BMW.  The "Ultimate Driving Machine" getting in bed with the leading producer of automotive appliances in the world.  But when you look at it from a business standpoint, it makes perfect sense.  The housing crash and subsequent destruction of the middle class took a lot of income from the target market for BMWs.  Rich people don't buy BMWs, upper-middle class people buy BMWs and when the upper-middle class can't afford the product anymore, something must be done.  So over the past few years BMW has slowly and carefully been moving down market.  It's a good move considering that their down market competitors like Cadillac and Infiniti are starting to make products that actually step on and maybe even over the mighty 3-series.  So BMW has been focusing their vehicles more towards comfort and gizmos more than the driving experience because the driving experience might win comparos at Car & Driver and MotorTrend but it doesn't sell anymore.  They've also been offering incredibly cheap lease deals, especially on the 3-series.  But they still have the old German car stigma that says that it will spend more time in the shop than it does on the road.  No matter what they do, they will have this stigma forever just like Hyundai will always be an economy car company that copies other cars and sells them at a discount.
But what if BMW was working with a company that was touted as the most reliable on the planet?  That might change things in the eye of the consumer.  BMW doesn't need any of Toyota's tech (except maybe the hybrid system), their engines or their chassis.  They need Toyota's image.  They need the image of reliability.  It's such a genius idea I wouldn't be surprised if Volkswagen AG was raging so hard they ripped all the papers on their desks and threw them around like confetti for not thinking of it first.  Now BMW can claim that you can have the badge and the reliability.  PROFIT!
But what's in this for Toyota?  Not a whole lot to be honest.  Toyota's current chassis and engines do everything they need to do and when it comes to N/A engines, Toyota is probably doing better than BMW at this point.  I know, shocking right?  Toyota doesn't need BMW diesels because hybrids sell better in most every market besides Europe.  BMW chassis are good for driving but bad for the appliance like feel that Toyota buyers have come to expect and Toyota has even shown that deep down they do still know how to build a sports car, kind of.  But nobody truly believes that Toyota knows what they're doing and that's why the whole F-Sport BS that Toyota is pulling with Lexus is just a joke.
Which brings me to what Toyota needs from BMW.  They don't need tech, chassis or engines.  They need BMW's image.  They need to be considered as better driver's cars.  What better way to make your F-Sport badges suddenly ooze credibility then a little German engineering from the company that supposedly builds the Ultimate Driving Machines.  Now Lexus can claim relability and sportyness!  PROFIT!

So when it comes right down to it, these companies were made for each other.  They complete each other.  This is a match made in heaven.  And for those who think this is BMW selling out?  Bitch please, BMW sold out decades ago.  Problem?

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