BMW 650i 2011 Review

February 14th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

The halo coupe in BMW’s range has been reworked. The controversial looks of the 6 Series that was reborn in the mid-2000s have thankfully gone, and have been replaced by a car whose design is beautiful and sleek, finally matching its contemporaries.

If you are flush enough to be in the market for a car that starts at $236,000, there’s not that much choice – only Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati and Mercedes make serious contenders at this price – and you can’t really go wrong anyway. Your purchase is not a practical one. If it was, you wouldn’t buy the BMW 650i, because the boot size is average, the two back seats have no legroom, and you will spend more money at the petrol station than if you buy the almost as sleek diesel Audi A5 for half the price.

But you have elevated yourself above practicality. The aforementioned foibles are irrelevant as this is a sports tourer, and it’s also unlikely to be your only car. You don’t need function, you need aura combined with power and comfort. The BMW emanates that profusely. With the M design pack (20 inch alloys, M leather steering wheel, M aerodynamics package, etc) this car is a stunner. It’s longer than you expect, and that just adds to its presence, making it look lower and more muscular. In fact, the photos don’t do it justice. I found myself more often than not glancing back at the BMW, admiring it when walking away from it. Continue reading “BMW 650i 2011 Review” »

BMW Group achieves record sales in November

December 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Media Release

  • Total 2010 sales exceeded by end of November
  • Record sales year achieved: 2007 sales record surpassed
  • Robertson: 2011 target of more than 1.6 million vehicles in sight

The BMW Group continued on its successful course in November – sales climbed to 138,978 vehicles, an increase of 7.7% over the previous year (prev. yr. 129,001). Global sales of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand automobiles rose to 1,510,862 (prev. yr. 1,319,808) units in the first eleven months of the year, 14.5% more than in the same period last year and a new record for the company. 

Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing: “This was our best ever November sales month, with growth right across the world. We have already sold more vehicles in the first eleven months of this year than in the whole of 2010 and we have also broken our sales record from 2007 (1,500,678). This puts our record sales target for the full year of more than 1.6 million vehicles well within reach. In November, the main impetus for growth came from the BMW X3, the BMW 5 Series and the BMW 6 Series – with further momentum from the new BMW 1 Series, which has been available on the market since 18 September and has already received several awards from automotive media.”

BMW brand: best-ever November

The BMW brand also reported the best November in its history. A total of 115,124 vehicles were delivered to customers worldwide in the month under review – an increase of 6.4% (prev. yr. 108.185). BMW deliveries climbed 12.9% from the start of the year to 1,252,205 units (prev. yr. 1,108,710).

The BMW X3 broke through the 100,000-unit mark for sales to the end of November. With 106,103 vehicles sold, this highly-successful model grew at a rate of 157.3% (prev. yr. 41,242). The BMW X1 also remained on track for success, with 115,185 deliveries since the start of the year (+25.7%/prev. yr. 91,622).

A total of 283,065 BMW 5 Series vehicles were delivered to customers between January and November – an increase of 52.1% (prev. yr. 186,060). The BMW 5 Series remains the clear leader in its segment. The BMW 7 Series also continues to perform well, with year-to-date deliveries of the BMW flagship reaching 61,529 vehicles (+6.8%/prev. yr. 57,587). The new BMW 6 Series reported strong gains: Sales for November soared 733.5% to1,392 automobiles (prev. yr. 167). Customer response to the new BMW 1 Series has also been very positive: Sales rose 7.7% to 15,234 units in November (prev. yr. 14,148).

MINI brand: record November

The MINI brand can also look back on its best November ever. In the month under review, global sales climbed to 23,534 vehicles (+14.6%/prev. yr. 20,541). Volumes rose 22.4% (255,595/prev. yr. 208,816) in the first eleven months of the year, with sales growth in virtually all markets. The MINI Countryman continued to perform well, with 8,200 deliveries in November (+96.9%/prev. yr. 4,164). The new MINI Coupé also got off to an excellent start: More than 2,300 (2,347) units have been sold since its market launch in October.

Markets: balanced growth across all regions

The BMW Group made gains in all regions and virtually all markets in the year to the end of November. In Europe, the region with the Group’s highest sales, retail volumes increased 8.3% to reach a total of 775,834 units (prev. yr. 716,610). The company also experienced rigorous growth in Asia, with 342,176 vehicles sold (+33.4%/prev. yr. 256,443). China’s dynamic sales growth continued: Sales have risen over 40% since the start of the year to 215,023 vehicles (40.7%/prev. yr. 152,866).

In Germany, the number of new BMW Group vehicles registered in November rose by 2.8% to 25,705 (prev. yr. 25,007). A total of 270,116 new vehicles have been registered since the start of the year – a substantial increase of 11.1% (prev. yr. 243,176). BMW brand registrations climbed to 233,660 units in the first eleven months of 2011(+9.0%/prev. yr. 214,389). A total of 22,491 new vehicles were registered in the month under review (+0.4%/prev. yr. 22.395). The MINI brand also reported strong growth in November with an increase of 23.0% to 3,214 vehicles (prev. yr. 2,612).

The U.S. also recorded positive sales growth. A total of 272,873 vehicles were sold in the year to the end of November – 14.6% more than the previous year (238,157). 26,271 vehicles were delivered to customers in the month under review (+14.8%/ prev. yr. 22,883).

The so-called BRIKT countries – Brazil (+49.0%/ 13,153), Russia (+38.8%/ 27,018), India (+62.6%/ 8,692), Korea (+44.0%/ 25,203) and Turkey (+59.7%/ 13,704) – reported high double-digit sales growth for the year to the end of November.

BMW Motorrad on record course: Already exceeded 2010 total sales.

In the year to the end of November, BMW Motorrad delivered 100,054 motorcycles (prev. yr. 94,283) worldwide – an increase of 6.1% and already 2,007 more than the total sales for 2010. BMW Motorrad delivered 6,112 motorcycles last month (prev. yr. 5,883 / +3.9%). With the expected December sales, BMW Motorcycle will reach its target for this year. With sales of over 103,000 motorcycles, the white and blue motorcycle brand will deliver more vehicles than ever before in its nearly 90-year-old history.

Husqvarna Motorcycles delivered 7,956 motorcycles in the first eleven months of 2011 (prev. yr. 10,266 / -22.5%). November accounted for 1,181 deliveries (prev. yr. 1,650 / -28.4%).

BMW Group sales in/up to November 2011 at a glance

  In Nov 2011 Comp. to prev. year Up to/incl. Nov 2011 Comp. to

prev. year

BMW Group Automobiles 138,978 +7.7% 1,510,862 +14.5%
BMW 115,124 +6.4% 1,252,205 +12.9%
MINI 23,534 +14.6% 255,595 +22.4%
BMW Motorrad 6,112 +3.9% 100,054 +6.1%
Husqvarna Motorcycles 1,181 -28.4% 7,956 -22.5%

 

 

BMW starts new 3-Series production in Munich

October 31st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The new sixth-generation BMW 3 Series is officially on its way, with news that manufacturing has begun at its Munich plant.

To prepare for the new model BMW invested around €500 million into the Munich facility and safeguarded the jobs of around 9,000 workers. A portion of the money went toward the purchase of a new press that can operate at speeds of up to 17 strokes per minute and process up to 600 tons of steel per day. That means the plant could process all the metal in the Eiffel Tower in just 12 days.

In terms of cars the plant will be able to roll out over 900 units per day once it’s fully functioning.

2012 BMW 3-Series – Officially Unveiled

October 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After many rumours and great anticipation BMW has revealed its all-new 2012 3-Series at an event in Munich. Codenamed F30 the new model is the sixth generation of BMW’s luxury sedan. Since 1975 the 3-Series has sold more than 12 million units and has become the benchmark in its segment. So the stakes are high for this new model.

In terms of size the new 3-Series has grown by 93mm in length and the wheelbase (50mm) and track (37mm-47mm) have also seen increases. The design remains familiar and similar to the outgoing model but with noticeable progressions. There’s a sharper and longer character line running from the front wheel guard through to the rear tail-light and there’s a  higher, coupe-like rear deck with an upwards flick to the boot lid. Facial changes include a larger twin-kidney grille that meets the headlights for a more continuous appearance.

Inside the larger body allows for 15mm more legroom and 8mm more headroom for rear seat passengers. Cargo capacity in the boot is also increased but despite the larger body, numerous weight saving measures mean the new 3-Series is 40kg lighter (depending on version). Continue reading “2012 BMW 3-Series – Officially Unveiled” »

BMW announces 1-Series pricing and specs for NZ

October 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The all-new BMW 1 Series is set to make waves in the New Zealand luxury compact market when it goes on sale from October 21.

BMW’s newest hatchback comes packing a new eight-speed automatic transmission as standard – the only model in the segment to do so. There are new engines with more power and improved efficiency figures and a fresh range of standard and optional features.

With pricing officially announced the 116i manual is the entry point and features an entirely new 1.6 litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, it will start from $46,600. With the automatic transmission it’s priced at $49,700.

The 116i uses a new-generation turbo engine that accelerates the hatch from zero to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds – compared to 9.4 seconds for the previous 118i.  Torque output is also up from 180Nm to 220Nm while carbon emissions are down from 174g/km to 132g/km. Continue reading “BMW announces 1-Series pricing and specs for NZ” »

2012 BMW 528i to receive turbo four-cylinder motor

October 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

BMW’s current F10 5-Series model range has been a success for the German car maker. It’s received awards in various countries, including NZ and is known as one of the best luxury sedans on the market. Now in order to push it’s economy credentials further, BMW will drop two cylinders of the engine of its entry-model 528i.

For the 2012 model year the petrol-powered 528i will use BMW’s turbocharged N20 four-cylinder unit which will replace the current six-cylinder mill. Power will decrease from 190kW to 180Kw with the new engine but peak torque will be boosted from 310Nm to a healthy 350Nm.

The four-cylinder engine is new for the 5-Series but not new for BMW, it’s already seen duty in the X1 range and, more recently, the Z4 sDrive28i. It’s a highly capable unit and will take the 528i from standing to 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds – down from 6.7 seconds on the current model. Continue reading “2012 BMW 528i to receive turbo four-cylinder motor” »

BMW unleashes 6-Series Coupe into NZ market

October 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

BMW has released its new 6 Series Coupe in the NZ market with the sports-focused GT car slotting into the German car maker’s expanding model range.

Powering the BMW 650i is a 4.4-litre eight-cylinder engine which develops a maximum 300 kW and peak torque of 600 Nm.  It is partnered with an eight-speed Sports automatic gearbox as standard. Steering wheel paddles are included and M gearshift logic.

“The all-new BMW 6 Series Coupe is the perfect mix of performance and pleasure and over-delivers on all expectations,” said the Managing Director of BMW New Zealand, Mark Gilbert. The design of the Coupe epitomises BMW dynamism, as one only has to note the stance of the new model to understand its potential.  As anticipated, its all-round performance is exhilarating and the aural experience created by the optional M-Sport package featuring unique exhaust tuning has to be heard to be appreciated.

The new 6-Series has extra length and width over its predecessor and a 5-millimetre lower height to produce a low-slung and athletic design. Continue reading “BMW unleashes 6-Series Coupe into NZ market” »

BMW confirms production of X4

September 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Online reports are claiming that BMW has confirmed production plans to build an X4 crossover. The new entry into BMW’s SUV range will slot in between the X3 and X5 models.

The X4 will likely use the same platform as the current X3 and will be positioned like the X6 (pictured) is to the X5. Expect the X4 to have more raked-back sportier styling than the X3 and a coupe like roof line. In terms of powertrains the X4 will use the same four- and six-cylinder turbocharged options as the X3. A higher-output X4 M is also on the cards for future production.  Continue reading “BMW confirms production of X4” »