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BMW sales and marketing guru Dr Michael Ganal says...
hi every1....found this and thought u would like to have a read....nice shot at merc at the end too hahahah!!
BMW will not know if its controversial new 7 Series will be a sales success until at least the end of 2002.
The luxury saloon has been heavily criticised for its unusual styling and complex iDrive control system.
The Seven was unveiled at the Frankfurt show last September, went on sale in Germany in November and the US and Australia in February.
"It will take at least one year to answer the question is the 7 Series a successful car or not," Dr Michael Ganal, the BMW board of management member responsible for sales and marketing, said last week.
"We have never launched a car that couldn't be sold in the first year, given the capacity which was available - so we are always capacity driven."
But Dr Ganal said there were already some positive and negative indicators for the Seven.
On the positive side, it had outsold the Mercedes-Benz S-class in the US, but on the other hand BMW had yet to develop an order bank for the car in the US or Japan.
The Seven's heavy-handed look, with upside down headlights and high rear end are expected to be key ingredients in future saloon styling from BMW, including next year's vital 5 Series.
Before that, the replacement for the Z3 convertible, to be called the Z4, will debut at the Paris motor show. It too will present a radical style, inspired by the X Coupe revealed at Detroit in 2001 to - at best - a mixed response.
European media reports have caned the 7 Series and referred to the nervousness of the BMW board in its wake. There is even a petition on the internet calling for design chief Chris Bangle to resign. Nevertheless, Dr Ganal remains publicly confident about BMW's styling direction.
"The difficulties so far is that with the 7 Series, he (Mr Bangle) has more or less shown the first cornerstone toward a new design generation," Dr Ganal said.
"Knowing the next cornerstones, I sleep very well - I look forward to launching the new 5 Series, I love this car."
Dr Ganal also could not resist a poke at arch-rival Mercedes-Benz over its styling. On the latest iteration of the E-class: "Now you have finally reached the situation where you cannot separate the cars anymore. Even experts have to walk around and look on the trunk. Do you talk about the C-class, the E-class?"
And on the new super-luxury Maybach, against which BMW will pitch its new Rolls-Royce next year: "That's a big Mercedes, very expensive. Rolls-Royce you will see is definitely not a stretched 7 Series - we watch with some comfort how our competitor is revitalising Maybach."