Do BMW and Mercedes Have Too Many Models?

Mike Duff, writing for Car and Driver Blog, reports that both BMW and Mercedes will bill culling their herd in the coming years and that those models to go will be mostly traditional coupes.

Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, stated “The specialty cars, these coupes and convertibles, were always niche cars,” to journalists at the Geneva auto show. “The expansion into China and other emerging markets [has given] huge opportunities for sedans, but they did not take up these specialty cars. Which makes the business case for these vehicles less easy.”

Zetsche made it clear Mercedes planned to continue offering at least a few coupes. Duff writes, “With both coupe and cabriolet versions of the C-class, E-class, and S-class currently being offered alongside the SLK and SL roadsters and the AMG GT coupe and convertible, there’s obvious potential to simplify the range.”

BMW’s Ian Robertson reported that the company had been struggling with their open sports cars, “The segment that is not really progressing is the roadster segment,” he said. “It never really recovered after 2008, and it never picked up in Asia. Therefore we’re working with Toyota on a platform to try to gain some economies of scale.”

What do you think? Is spoiling their customers with choice weakening sales? Or are luxury coupes no longer the in-thing?

LeBron James and Kia

An Unusual Partnership? The Victor Crew think so!

LeBron James, a known car collector, who has owned vehicles such as Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini (to name a few) is scheduled to team up with Korean car maker Kia. Specifically James is going to be a “luxury ambassador” for Kia’s first luxury sedan the 2015 K900.

James seems to an authentic fan of the K900. He has stated that, “I was a Kia K900 driver and fan before we decided to become partners, so I’m really excited to be Kia’s first-ever luxury ambassador,” he said in a statement. He added: “For me, a partnership has to be authentic and real to who I am, and that’s what makes this one so special.”

He also posted a photo of himself in the car in August along with the caption: “Rolling around in my K900. Love this car!”

James’ teammates on Kia spokesperson team include fellow NBA star Blake Griffin, tennis player Rafael Nadal and professional golfer Michelle Wie. Kia’s first media campaign with James is scheduled to coincidence with he beginning of this years NBA season.

Joe Victor

A new use for luxury cars

In Omaha, Nebraska they have found a new use for late model luxury cars. Usually taken to local car shows, local car dealers are now helping sell real estate by bringing their cars to mansions for their open-houses. This adds “curb appeal” to prospective buyers of the houses valued at $1,000,000 or higher. This is taking “staging” a house one step further. Bringing in late model cars, like a Jaguar or BMW gives a sneak-peak at the lastest models and may possibly help local auto sales. They see it as exposure and promotion.

Maybe someone will even buy a car with the house, Jody.

~ Joe Victor