14 August 2007

BMW boycott update

Now that I mentioned my travel plans - without BMW - I would like to discuss what has happened since BMW's sponsorship of Bill O'Reilly's hate speech.

I contacted Gabriella Molteni, the Corporate Communications Manager at BMW North America. No reply has ever come. In fact, I do not know of anyone, among the numerous progressive bloggers driving BMW products, who ever received a reply from her.

BMW must indeed be a very proud sponsor of Bill O'Reilly's hate speech, and has absolutely no interest in selling to wealthy, well-educated progressives. This is in line with BMW's longstanding refusal to market to specific demographics. Perhaps BMW needs to start a line of wheelchairs, given that most O'Reilly viewers are too old to drive.

Needless to say, BMW will get its wish. I will never buy any of its products again. Pretty good move on BMW's part, considering that I am young enough to buy several more 3-series vehicles over my lifetime (or better, upgrade to a higher-numbered series), and I've recommended the BMW brand to others until now (and many people do rely on me for automotive advice). All of this business will find its way to a competitor.

I will not get rid of my existing 3-series, however. If I sell it, it may end up in the hands of a budding enthusiast, and BMW may win a new customer to replace me, rendering my boycott pointless. Moreover, the car is paid for, and it makes most financial sense to keep driving my car until it wears out.

As for my future vehicles, a decision will need to be made: will I keep owning two cars (a cheap car for work, and an expensive car for vanity), or will I consolidate into one near-luxury car that is still low-profile enough for work? In the case of the latter, the Audi A4, or one of the more expensive VWs, should do the trick. If I really want my vanity and shoot for a Mercedes, however, I will still need a second, cheap car. I really am a sucker for German cars...