[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: A look inside BMW, quality, customers, etc (was "Don't buy a new model B...

Hello Paul,

From: <PGK75S@xxxxxxx>

> In a message dated 9/2/05 12:19:54 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> wateredg@xxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
> << Perhaps your "wonderings" that BMW "underwrote" this book is because it
> gave credit where credit was due, and identified a number of good and
> noteworthy things about BMW (the company), rather than just slamming it as
> the Evil Creator Of Crappy And Overpriced Vehicles? ;-)  >>
> I just didn't find it to be very objective.  What I do find very often is
> the willingness to apply a double standard.  If a $10K Hyundai is in
> the shop every week being adjusted it's a POS but when an $80K
> E65 is in the shop every week being reprogrammed it's because it's
> such an advanced piece of engineering. I say BS, it wasn't adequately
> developed before it hit the market.

Did you actually read and comprehend "DRIVEN", cover to cover? The book
explains why this lack of quality (as measured by defects within the first
year of ownership, and then in subsequent years) is present in BMWs, and why
it apparently has not hurt unit sales and profitability. That's just one of
the cool things about this book. The "double standard" of which you speak
does not exist. *Different* standards are used in some places, because the
customers that buy Hyundai's are really different than the customers who buy
BMWs (this is explained in DRIVEN). Examples:

 o The auto industry itself accurately discloses defect counts, in which BMW
   does not fare much better than the industry average. This same standard
   is used across the industry.

 o Customers decide how they want  to spend their money. More and more
   people are buying BMWs, in spite of the unflattering "defects" numbers.
   This has been true since day-1, when BMW has historically had even
   worse "defects" numbers, being on par with British cars. This is an
   example of people buying what they want. Again, no double standard.

If someone does not understand this, and specifically *why* it happens, then
they are missing a key insight into The Brand. More specifically, if a BMW
owner is (understandably) bitching about what they feel is an unacceptably
high number of defects, or too-frequent repairs (from failures), then they
really were not prepared well when they bought their vehicle. These people
will also be frustrated when their BMW retailer, BMW NA, and BMW AG, don't
jump to attention Lexus-style to give that customer what they want,
Lexus-like reliability. DRIVEN explains all this. It seems you have missed
that point. It's a big part of the book, and I am surprised you did not "get
it." See my previous posting for more info. Re-read DRIVEN to attain a
comprehensive understanding of this facet of BMW.

To help readers of this posting who have not yet read DRIVEN understand,
here is another example: Jaguar has a long reputation for having an
unusually high number of defects per 100 vehicles in the first year of
ownership, and a high failure rate thereafter (i.e., needing frequent
repairs). And yet, Jaguar owners as a group register some of the highest
owner satisfaction metrics (over-all) in the industry. Jaguar also enjoys
extremely high customer-retention metrics. All this is in spite of dismal
"quality." Clearly, the "quality" that is most important to a Jaguar owner
is something other that these "defect" metrics. It includes stately styling,
luxurious appointments, a certain presence, and so on. If you don't
understand this, then you don't understand Jaguar, or Jaguar owners. A
similar situation exists with BMW. If you don't understand the values of
the typical BMW buyer as a group, then you don't understand BMW
or its customers. DRIVEN explains all this, for those who want to know.

> It's 76 degrees and sunny and I'm gonna go ride my oBMWc R1100RSL which
> like any man made machine has its flaws but I like it a lot anyway.

Thank you kindly for illustrating my point: You, like the majority of BMW
owners, love their vehicle for the positive characteristics that you value a
great deal. And as much as the negative characteristics may be a pain in the
butt, for the vast majority of BMW customers, the good stuff outweighs the
bad. This is explained in much greater detail in DRIVEN.

- -Steve Makohin
 '01 R1100S/ABS
 Oakville, Ontario, Canada