Thursday, November 02, 2006

BMW slump

Interested to see this morning that BMW has reported a decline in third-quarter sales as its profits failed to meet market expectations. The German carmaker, which also owns the Mini and Rolls-Royce marques, sold 323,064 cars in the three months to 30 September, down 5.5% on a year earlier.BMW's pre-tax profits increased 9.4% to 720m euros ($918m; £214m) from the same time last year, below the average analyst target of 742m euros. Yet BMW said its full-year profits were still on target to beat 2005's levels. BMW put the third-quarter decline in sales down to "model life-cycle factors", and said the fall was expected.

Don't agree with the last sentence. I think BMW needs to take a serious look at its customer care system in the Netherlands. Once you walk out of the showroom, neither the dealer nor BMW lease treat you as a person. You are a licence plate number. I got invitations to buy a new car within months of getting a Model 3 in 2002. In fact, all the promotional material was out of sequence. They don't make you feel special at all. My decision to switch came when I got a flat tyre on a motorway. I stopped just outside a BMW dealership on the edge of the motorway ramp. Both the automobile club and I were astonished to discover the BMW dealer wouldn't assist because the car wasn't purchased there. I got drenched and missed an important flight. Never, Never again.

Just taken delivery of a Toyota Prius Hybrid car. Amazing piece of technology under the hood.

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