With just a month left in 2011, BMW is ridiculously close to taking the luxury car crown for the year. If a 1,600-vehicle lead is enough to stave off Mercedes-Benz, then the victory belongs to BMW. There are those that say that winning isn't everything, but those people clearly don't have their lifeblood hinged on that triumph. We understand that personal bests and profitable sales campaigns are more than enough for an automaker to be respectable, but finishing the year as the top luxury car producer in the world means we did better than everyone else at selling our product. It means people, when given a choice, would choose us. That, folks, is something that matters to us Tampa BMW dealers very, very much.
In an interview with the L.A. Times, Ludwig Willisch, president of BMW of North America, spoke candidly about what this crown would mean to our company as a whole, and where he sees the luxury auto world going in the immediate and long-term future. It's an interview packed with interesting goodies.
For example, he makes that point that one could easily move more units and pad that 1,600-car lead by offering up a ton of year-end BMW sales that get people buying cars when people's pockets are loosest. This, however, isn't the parent company's plan. As Willisch explains, the title is important, but not at the expense of losing money, and that's essentially what huge sales do. He feels that BMW can sell full-price cars and still take the crown. Losing the crown and making the money is okay with him, too, though obviously not preferable.
As for where luxury cars are headed in the future, Willisch had this to say: "We see a tendency to smaller luxury premium cars around the world. We see a tendency to smaller engines. So if you look five to 10 years out, we see smaller BMWs and smaller engines, and we are confident these cars will be very successful and be true BMWs."
Specifically, he sees the X1 being a huge hit here in America, and you know, there probably aren't many St. Petersburg used BMW dealers that would disagree with him. Meanwhile, we'll keep helping with the push for the 2011 luxury car sales crown. We've got a good feeling about it. This just feels like our year.