07 October 2005

BMW - Benedict's favorite car

And Benedict - BMW's favorite Pope?

Looks like it. I just learned that BMW has just given an X5 SUV to Benedict, to add to his 5-series, 7-series, and motorcycles. The official Popemobile remains a Mercedes, however.

Benedict and his backward social views represent the conservatism of Bavaria, the German state where BMW has its roots - and gets its name (Bavarian Motor Works) from. In addition, BMW owners also have a conservative reputation in German politics anyway, because of their hunger for more speed and opposition to speed limits on the Autobahn; they are akin to gun owners in America.

Here in Los Angeles, BMW's second largest market, BMW doesn't seem to have a necessarily conservative reputation though; there were plenty of BMWs with "Kerry-Edwards" bumper stickers here, and I even happened to be driving one of them, on a lease. The lease is still ongoing, and I've so far enjoyed driving my 3-series, even though progressives from other parts of the country hate me for it. I've always felt that it is every bit as fun to drive as the Republicans' Corvettes and Porsches, while being far more practical, efficient, and modest. Many car enthusiasts consider the 3-series the best sedan in existence, and I don't dispute them. And my plan has been to purchase the newest 3-series outright, when the lease is up on my current one, and I also get rid of my Ford in the process. (Yes, two cars just for my use - another Los Angeles thing.)

Nevertheless, it doesn't feel good to be sharing a penchant for BMWs with a man I can't stand, and a man who is completely opposed to my well-being - Pope Benedict. But then given that the most viable competition, Lexus, is part of Toyota - a company that benefitted handsomely from John Roberts - I don't even know if switching to another brand is even possible, short of downgrading to something like a Honda Civic. At least the Civic is available as a very efficient hybrid... But my ego (and all the other luxury cars that my acquaintances drive) will continue demanding luxury cars.