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BMW Automobile Sales

BMW's monthly automobile sales were up 17 percent, to 18,762 versus 16,054 in December 2003.
Year-to-date, sales were down 5 percent, to 190,250
automobiles compared to 200,144 sold in the same period in 2003.



WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The BMW Group (BMW and MINI
brands combined) reported robust sales for 2004, breaking past annual sales
records for both brands, to record a total of 296,111 vehicles, an increase of
7 percent over the 276,869 in 2003. The Group also reported record December
sales of 29,292 vehicles, up 18 percent over the 24,915 vehicles sold in the
same month in 2003, for an all-time monthly sales record.

BMW Brand Sales
BMW reported sales of 25,482 automobiles and Sports Activity Vehicles, up
22 percent compared to the 20,910 vehicles reported the same month last year,
making it the best month ever in retail sales history.
Annual sales of BMW brand vehicles were up 8 percent, to 260,079 vehicles
compared to 240,859 vehicles sold last year.

BMW Automobile Sales
BMW's monthly automobile sales were up 17 percent, to 18,762 versus 16,054
in December 2003. Year-to-date, sales were down 5 percent, to 190,250
automobiles compared to 200,144 sold in the same period in 2003.

BMW Sports Activity Vehicle Sales
Sales of BMW's Sports Activity Vehicles increased 38 percent in December,
with sales of 6,720 vehicles compared to 4,856 vehicles sold in the final
month of 2003. Year-to-date, sales of BMW's SAV models were up 72 percent, to
69,829 vehicles compared to 40,715 for 2003.

Certified Pre-owned
BMW also reported monthly sales of 6,083 Certified Pre-owned vehicles up
10 percent compared to 5,526 vehicles in December 2003. Annual BMW CPO sales
were up 8 percent, to 71,112 vehicles compared to the 65,693 sold last
calendar year.

MINI Brand
MINI Automobiles
MINI USA reported its strongest year to date, with sales of 36,032,
compared to the 36,010 sold in 2003. For the month of December, MINI sales
were down 5 percent, to 3,810 automobiles versus 4,005 sold a year ago.

BMW Group in America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since
1975. ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003.
The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and
financial service organizations for the BMW brand, the MINI brand, and the
ROLLS-ROYCE brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, an industrial design firm in
California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations
throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part
of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing
plant for all Z4 Roadster and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales
organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 340 BMW passenger
car centers, 327 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 148 BMW motorcycle
retailers, 76 MINI passenger car dealers, and 25 ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Car
dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for
North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the
Internet at:

http://www.bmwusa.com
http://www.bmwmotorradusa.com
http://www.miniusa.com
http://www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com


BMW Car Sales Report for December 2004

2004 2003

December 18,762 16,054
Year-to-Date 190,250 200,144

Model December Year-to- December Year-to-
2004 Date 2004 2003 Date 2003
325i 4,592 41,538 2,523 43,693
325Ci 606 7,603 659 7,623
325Ci Convertible 663 7,488 690 7,433
325i Sports Wagon 97 1,423 124 2,068
325xi 1,244 12,805 1,398 12,737
325xi Sports Wagon 150 1,422 113 1,884
330i 739 8,288 557 9,422
330Ci 600 5,658 327 5,890
330Ci Convertible 571 6,378 591 7,183
330xi 564 6,012 411 5,955
M3 337 4,612 460 4,687
M3 Convertible 406 3,322 273 3,369
3 Series 10,569 106,549 8,126 111,944
Z3 2.5 roadster (US) 0 0 4 109
Z3 3.0 roadster (US) 0 0 1 24
Z3 3.0 Coupe (US) 0 0 1 6
Z4 2.5i roadster (US) 367 7,976 1,100 11,899
Z4 3.0i roadster (US) 170 5,678 1,014 8,270
M roadster (US) 0 0 0 14
M Coupe (US) 0 0 0 2
Z3 and Z4 537 13,654 2,120 20,324
525i (E39) 0 0 34 14,114
525i Sports Wagon (E39) 0 19 18 1,187
525i (E60) 1,873 16,421 1,483 3,134
530i (E39) 0 0 19 14,781
530i (E60) 2,217 20,329 2,069 6,947
540i Sports Wagon (E39) 0 2 2 261
540i (E39) 0 0 7 3,639
545i (E60) 1,026 8,749 573 1,454
M5 (E39) 0 64 20 1,447
5 Series 5,116 45,584 4,225 46,964
645Ci 387 3,559 0 0
645Ci Convertible 575 4,639 0 0
6 Series 962 8,198 0 0
745i 449 5,225 520 6,634
745Li 1,070 10,427 974 13,117
760i 15 61 0 0
760Li 42 442 69 722
7 Series 1,576 16,155 1,563 20,473
Z8 0 7 0 175
Z8 Alpina 2 103 20 264
Z8 2 110 20 439


BMW Sports Activity Vehicle (light trucks) Sales Report for December 2004

2004 2003

December 6,720 4,856
Year-to-Date 69,829 40,715

Model December Year-to- December Year-to-
2004 Date 2004 2003 Date 2003

X3 2.5i 610 19,450 0 0
X3 3.0i 1,513 15,154 0 0
X3 2,123 34,604 0 0
X5 3.0i (US) 3,080 24,902 3,878 30,214
X5 4.4i (US) 1,331 9,156 958 9,383
X5 4.6is (US) 0 23 20 1,118
X5 4.8is (US) 186 1,144 0 0
X5 4,597 35,225 4,856 40,715


MINI Sales Report for December 2004

2004 2003

December 3,810 4,005
Year-to-Date 36,032 36,010

Model December Year-to- December Year-to-
2004 Date 2004 2003 Date 2003

MINI Cooper 1,061 16,250 1,969 19,592
MINI Cooper S 1,189 15,145 2,036 16,418
Cooper Convertible 854 2,522 0 0
Cooper S Convertible 706 2,115 0 0

Total MINI 3,810 36,032 4,005 36,010
 

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What I find interesting is the pounding that the 3 series as a whole took (including M3). Around 5k fewer 3 series sold.

3 series off ~5000 units.
Z4 off ~6500
7 off ~4000
X5 off ~5000
5 off around 600... with no M model and the wagons coming on late.
 

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vndkshn said:
What I find interesting is the pounding that the 3 series as a whole took (including M3). Around 5k fewer 3 series sold.

3 series off ~5000 units.
.
i guess everyone knew that the 3er is changing since August and it hurt sales dramatically :blabla:
 

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For all the hoopla, I just don't see any relationship between the sales change figures of newer (Bangle'd) vs. older designs, e.g., 7 series vs. 3 series have the least number of confounding variables (neither year compared crosses model change boundries).

Tom
 

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I think it would be interesting to see US figures (as an example of a mature market), with worldwide figures separately (which includes growing/strong markets, particularly in countries like China). I think the latter will easily offset any sales reduction in more competitive markets.
 

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The link below shows US 5 series sales for 2004. I'm suprised how well the E60 did vs the E39 given all the controversy over the styling. In it's first full year of sales the E60 sold 45,499 vs the best year for the E39 of 40,842 units. Each model exceeded the best year of the previous model as well. The 545 sales were especially strong.

http://myfilelocker.comcast.net/fdmeloan/5_Series_Sales.pdf
 

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Wolverine said:
The link below shows US 5 series sales for 2004. I'm suprised how well the E60 did vs the E39 given all the controversy over the styling. In it's first full year of sales the E60 sold 45,499 vs the best year for the E39 of 40,842 units. Each model exceeded the best year of the previous model as well. The 545 sales were especially strong.

http://myfilelocker.comcast.net/fdmeloan/5_Series_Sales.pdf
Your point is well taken Wolverine. These figures for the E50 are strong without even factoring in the new 5 series wagons, the new engine upgrades, the x drive versions and the new m5. The E60 seems to be beating expectations! I can't wait for the new M5! :noSMG:
 

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Some thoughts:

Z4: off 33% ouch. This confirms what many dealers tell me. they are having a rough go of it with the Z4. Keep in mind BMW designs and prices their vehicles to succeed in the heart of the product cycle...

3 series: off 5%. Not surprising given that its an aging model. Actually, its a fairly strong showing given that the competition is really catching up especially in the case of the G35.

5 series: impressive at first glance, yes. But also hard to compare. The last year of E39 production went longer than planned so they could do some last minute styling changes to the E60 (no "Bangle Butt" rear end- was supposed to have it) and when they stopped production, they had several months of no cars coming- so its conceivable they would have sold either more E60s or E39s. I think the comparison to 2003 is almost meaningless because of that. However, we cannot ignore the numbers Wolverine states. Nevertheless, I think if we look at it in the larger picture, its not so surprising. I am told there are- and were from the get go-subsidies on the 5 from FS- Its not surprising that most of the sales are the 530 and 525. We saw record sales of the 7 in its first year also- now it cannot match the E38 sales in corresponding model years. I believe the E39 was probably the best BMW they ever made in terms of mixing price, luxury, safety, etc. And I think its not surprising to see the sequel generate big sales- just like with movies- the sequel to a great movie often surpasses its sales, yet it may not be a better movie. But sales are what counts. What I am told is sales are beginning to get soft, hence the more aggressive subsidies to help prop sales up and that dealers are being asked to keep more and more cars in inventory, which gets recorded as sales (these sales numbers are cars sold to dealers, not customer deliveries- at least this is what 2 different dealers tell me). Btw- also ask why December sales look so impressive in both 2003 and 2004- its because BMWNA gets into the game of who will be #1 in the USA with Lexus- both start playing games with their FS outfits to move more product. As to xdrive 5s and wagons, they are not in the US and I hear the touring will not come to the usa now...

7 series: off 21%.

X5: off 13%

Mini: Flat.


So have a look at the data so far.

The new age designs:
Total sales in 03: 87,761
Total sales in 04: 75,393

Thats a decrease of 14%. If you factor in the 6 series you get a total 04 sales of 83,591, or a sales decline of 4.75%.

Specifically:
7: -21% in its mid life- not what BMW hopes for
Z4: -33% in its mid life- definitely not what BMW wants
5 series: looks great at first, then you realize we don't have enough data yet to know for sure- I say come back to this next year and see- but I am told the internal data they have is troublesome.

More conventional designs:

Total 03 sales: 188,669
Total 04 sales: 177,851

Thats a sales decline of 5.7%.

Compare to the decline of 14% with the new age designs. The new age design sales decline is at a rate of 2.45x greater! See the fun we can have with numbers! Dance I say!!! And dance they can be made to do as BMW does- its the game. :typing:

I will not call them the Bangle designs because Chris Bangle approved all these designs here- so I am calling them the new age designs. If you prefer, call them the Bangle designs since I think it would be fair to say the new age designs are the ones he has had the most free range to show his stuff with.

Specifically on the older designs:

3 series: the oldest design here now, off 5% from the previous year in the most competative segment.

X5: off 13% in a segment that has really heated up. The Cayenne has (surprisingly- have you seen this?! :crying: ) taken away some sales and I wouldnt be surprised if some X5 3.0 customers were lured away by the X3. There is too much overlap for comfort with the X3- until X5 2.0 comes out with its larger cargo area where they will offer an extra 2 seats. Btw- the X5 1.5 (with Xdrive) was also delayed because it was originally going to have E60 5 series headlights but BMW got worried that its second highest selling vehicle would experience the same rejection they saw with the 7 and beginning to see in Z4 sales at the time.

Mini: flat. What does this tell us? Retro, when done correctly, is not dead at all and perhaps its not even retro- which is used as a curse word by some.

Now look at BMWs numbers in total.

BMW Group sales for 2004, 296,111 vehicles, an increase of
7 percent over the 276,869 in 2003.

The 6 series + X3 sales= 42,804 combined. Lets play a game of speculation and say that those 8,198 6 series sales are to people who truly love the 6 and would probably not be in another BMW. And the X3 2.5 (56% of X3 sales) sales are probably to people who could not afford the X5 base model and the X3 3.0 sales are people who might be able to go to the X5 3.0 base model (44% of all X3 sales= 15,154). So lets just say that without these two new models, X5 sales would be up by 15154, giving X5 50,000+ sales- an uptick for X5.

What happens to total sales? They go down further by 27,650 to 268,461- slightly below the previous year...

BMW knows this too and thats exactly why they are introducing all these new model lines (or reintroducing in the case of the 6). Point is the new styling was supposed to really generate record sales and it looks like what the customers are saying is they expect certain things and being taken "where they don't want to go" is not one of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good points Jerry!

MEnthusiast said:
So have a look at the data so far.

The new age designs:
Total sales in 03: 87,761
Total sales in 04: 75,393

Thats a decrease of 14%. If you factor in the 6 series you get a total 04 sales of 83,591, or a sales decline of 4.75%.

Specifically:
7: -21% in its mid life- not what BMW hopes for
Z4: -33% in its mid life- definitely not what BMW wants
5 series: looks great at first, then you realize we don't have enough data yet to know for sure- I say come back to this next year and see- but I am told the internal data they have is troublesome.

More conventional designs:

Total 03 sales: 188,669
Total 04 sales: 177,851

Thats a sales decline of 5.7%.

Compare to the decline of 14% with the new age designs. The new age design sales decline is at a rate of 2.45x greater!
 

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I was actually surprised on this and I was surprised when BMW did the 7 series dance. On that they said the first year of E65 surpassed the last year of E38 by big %- well- in the last year of E38, they only had 7/12 months of production! If you took 7/12ths of the E65/6 sales, the % increase was still positive, but not the super big number they claimed...
 

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In the UK BMW have registered a large number of 5, 6 and 7 series internally to improve their sales figures and even though they have been doing this in the past it appears nearly all employees are now getting new cars every 3 months. It is also interesting that they are picking the models that appear to be struggling to sell. They have been releasing them to the dealers in blocks which might improve their registered numbers but has really crippled the residuals especially on the 6 series.
 

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I accept that all companies must play various numbers games, but as a fan of BMW, the troubling thing I think is the mindset begins to resemble other large companies which were accused of taking a "bean counter" mentality and then lost focus on their customers- and as a result the products suffered. I don't want to see this happen to BMW because I think they make truly wonderful vehicles, even with the gripes that have been mentioned- relatively speaking name another maker who offers you so much fun, performance, safety, practicality, and even value?

So, I think BMW can avoid this peril, but IMHO, its getting closer to that then it ever should have been. If I could say one thing to them it would be: play to your strengths! (great driving experience (stop with the CDVs, and no LSDs) and clean, industrial design)
 

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MEnthusiast said:
If I could say one thing to them it would be: play to your strengths! (great driving experience (stop with the CDVs, and no LSDs) and clean, industrial design)
Perhaps their strengths alone may not appeal to the growing market aspirations of all the stuff perceived to be important. It's not easy balancing making a dollar (broad market appeal) versus keeping us ethusiasts happy. I really believe they do make unique cars, from a driver's viewpoint, but compromises are always looming.
 

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I think it is coming out in statements by different people. I don't think it is premature to say that the E39 is probably the best overall vehicle BMW ever made to date. I am finding that the E39 M5 does not seem to look as outdated as I expected it to look in 2005. It looks quite good still. Even well kept 540s still look good. In L.A., the number of E39s on the road has dropped noticeably in the past year. They used to be everywhere. They are not so commonplace anymore.
 

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Here is the Australian sales story, released just today, with a reminder on the M6 at the end!

Quote:-
  • BMW the clear luxury market leader in 2004
  • All premium focus delivers 15 percent sales growth
  • BMW 1 Series, BMW X3 and BMW 6 Series expand brand appeal
  • Dynamic new models for 2005
BMW Group Australia has achieved another record sales year and leadership of the Australian imported luxury car market by a clear margin.

BMW brand cars and Sports Activity Vehicles racked up 14,860 sales in 2004 (2003: 12,973), an increase of around 15 percent.

Australian performance reflects the international success of BMW Group which comfortably reached over 1.1 million unit sales, thanks to strong demand in all global markets.

MINI sold almost 1,500 hardtop models in 2004, compared with 1,633 in 2003, a solid result given mid-year supply constraints. In 2005, MINI expects to sell in excess of 2,000 vehicles boosted by the arrival of the new MINI Cabrio, in dealerships from January 10.

"The BMW 3 Series and 7 Series, together with the X5 sports activity vehicle, were clear leaders in their respective segments," said Dr Franz Sauter, managing director of BMW Group Australia.

"We are pleased that Australian customers have made BMW the number one premium luxury importer in 2004 and we will work even harder to earn this distinction again in 2005.

"We are confident that our new products, coupled with the excitement of Mark Webber joining the BMW.WilliamsF1Team, will provide us with another high performance in the coming year."

The BMW brand entered three new market segments in 2004 with remarkable results. The all-new BMW 120i returned rear-wheel driving dynamics to the premium compact five-door market; the BMW X3 created the compact premium all-wheel drive market and at the highest level of the sports performance Coupé and Convertible market, the BMW 6 Series set hearts aflame with the V8-powered 645Ci.

Underpinning BMW successes, the E46 3 Series continued as the most popular BMW range in Sedan, Coupé, Convertible, Compact and Touring guises, while the much acclaimed 5 Series retained its grip as the pinnacle expression of technical advancement and driving excitement in the luxury sport sedan market.

Among ultra-luxury car buyers, the 7 Series continued to outsell its rivals, reflecting its sales success around the world.

In the full size luxury all-wheel drive market, the BMW X5 was once again Australia's favourite choice, a commanding performance in its fourth year on sale enhanced by its much-acclaimed 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine. A record 3,138 vehicles were delivered.

The sharply-styled BMW Z4 Roadster was the first choice for dynamic driving thrills for 382 buyers.

BMW will not rest on its laurels and has already amassed a range of new cars to launch in 2005, headlined by the powerful V10-engined M5 and the new benchmark in medium-market sports luxury sedans, the all new four and six-cylinder E 90 3 Series.

By mid-year, the E61 BMW 5 Series Touring will arrive, followed late in the year by the new V10-powered M6 Coupé, adding yet another layer of sporting prowess and prestige to this highly desirable family.

First of the new model onslaught to reach customers will be the BMW 118i, powered by a 95 kW version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder VALVETRONIC engine from the 120i. The 118i is priced at $37,900 as a five-speed manual, making entry to the world of BMW ownership more affordable than ever.
 

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WSJ 1/10/05 P1 story on BMW:

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110531231199821082,00.html?mod=home_page_one_us

Highlights:
"We had to do something different," says Helmut Panke, BMW's 56-year-old chief executive. If BMW had continued on its old path, with the same three nearly identical sedans, "we would be in a dead end as a brand and as a company."


BMW is now about halfway through its massive overhaul. In the past four years, while most car makers' sales have stagnated, BMW's vehicle sales have soared 34%. But signs of trouble are cropping up, raising questions about whether the strategy will prove successful in the long run. The new curvy styling is turning off some longstanding fans. Some of the new technology has glitches. Meanwhile, competitors like Cadillac and Nissan Motor Co.'s Infiniti brand borrowed from BMW's old strategy and produced faster, sportier sedans. They're now pulling in some disaffected BMW fans.


As a result, the new-look 5 and 7 Series are slumping in the U.S., BMW's biggest market. Another sign something isn't working: BMW in the past year has resorted to something luxury-car makers loathe -- price-cutting.


This year, BMW will face two critical tests of its strategy. In the spring, the new-look 3 Series will debut. Mr. Panke says BMW "has listened to the feedback" about its recent designs and promises the new 3 Series is less of a departure from BMW tradition than the already-launched 5 and 7 Series. A slip-up with the new 3 Series, BMW's top-seller and the icon of its brand image, might force a re-think of the design direction. "This has to appeal to the BMW hard-core," Mr. Panke says.....

....BMW finished 2004 with mixed results in the U.S. market. U.S. sales of BMW-branded vehicles rose 8%, but thanks only to the new X3 SUV. Without that vehicle, sales would have fallen 6%. The brand-new 5 Series suffered a 3% drop. That's a jarring reception for a car that rivals routinely admit to using as a benchmark when designing their own luxury models. Sales of the Bangle-designed 7 Series and Z4 roadster fell 21%, and 33%, respectively.


Facing less-than-robust demand, BMW has had to prime sales with profit-eating incentives. It subsidized leasing deals on the X3 for most of the year. In December it held a year-end clearance sale in the U.S., the first time it's ever done so. Recently a $5,000 rebate was offered on the Z4 roadster through a promotion run by American Express Co.


Mr. Bangle, BMW's head designer, shrugs off suggestions that his designs have scared off buyers. "We're not trying to be everybody's darling," he says in an interview. "Sometimes you leave people behind. But then you also pick up some new people."
Who has been saying the above for a while now :rolleyes:

The reason BMW is experiencing pains is because of the leadership. Look at the logic Dr. Panke is espousing:

1- "we had to do something different." OK great

2- but then on their highest volume model he says it has to appeal to the hard core.

3- Bangle saying its ok to lose people


Square these. Its kind of hard to do it. Which is it? Something Different; or appeal to the hard core? Lose people? How does that appeal to the hard core? ouich

IMHO this is conflicting ideas of who and what you are and the market will pick up on it. IMHO the key to any luxury good is it has to be authentic. Is BMW providing the vehicles the market thinks of when it thinks of a BMW?

I think they can do a mini van and be successful. The styling/ interface issues are a different matter and thats been our fun discussion for a while now. IMHO, they are bailed out time and again by their excellent engineering- but I worry for BMW that with the competition getting better that it will not be enough and I think they know it.


PS- the entire article is over at:

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=500515#post500515
 

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Here are the last three paragraphs of a page one lead article on BMW in the Wall Street Journal today, titled:

Navigating Curves BMW's Push to Broaden Line
Hits Some Bumps in the Road
World-Wide Sales Are Up, But Style, Tech Glitches Turn Off Longtime Fans
A Wurst in Three Sizes

By NEAL E. BOUDETTE
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
January 10, 2005; Page A1


BMW finished 2004 with mixed results in the U.S. market. U.S. sales of
BMW-branded vehicles rose 8%, but thanks only to the new X3 SUV. Without that vehicle, sales would have fallen 6%. The brand-new 5 Series suffered a 3% drop. That's a jarring reception for a car that rivals routinely admit to using as a benchmark when designing their own luxury models. Sales of the Bangle-designed 7 Series and Z4 roadster fell 21%, and 33%, respectively.

Facing less-than-robust demand, BMW has had to prime sales with profit-eating incentives. It subsidized leasing deals on the X3 for most of the year. In December it held a year-end clearance sale in the U.S., the first time it's ever done so. Recently a $5,000 rebate was offered on the Z4 roadster through a promotion run by American Express Co.

Mr. Bangle, BMW's head designer, shrugs off suggestions that his designs have scared off buyers. "We're not trying to be everybody's darling," he says in an interview. "Sometimes you leave people behind. But then you also pick up some new people."

The full article is actually very facinating (and quite long) and I am happy to post with your permission, Gustav, since one needs a subscription to access.

It explains exactly why BMW moved in the design and product direction it did, after the German auto industry commissioned a study by Sigma, a German reseach firm, to profile the different automotive market segments.

It still doesn't excuse Bangle's design decisions and the article finishes with the usual arrogant Bange utterances, but the article is truly informative as to why they headed off in the direction they did.

the URL for those with a WSJ subscription, is:
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110531231199821082,00.html?mod=home_page_one_us
 
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