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BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > 2012-2019 BMW 3 and 4-Series Forums > General F30 3-Series Sedan / F32 4-Series Coupe Forum > Alpina F30 B3 Bi-Turbo Revealed with 410 HP. Debuts at Geneva Motor Show
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      05-29-2013, 09:45 AM   #155
Toshi
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Kinda old thread, but it catched me

Quote:
Originally Posted by drob23 View Post
Might be some annoying stuff with North American spec safety requirements. I notice that Eurospec 3 series is almost 150lbs lighter than the equivalent NA version. Seems like Germans are often apprehensive to bring over cars unless they can make a serious case for sales margins. Especially if you're a fan of the hot hatch or wagons.
Good guess but I have a different perspective.
Alpina sells D5 "single" Turbo exclusively for Japan instead of BiTurbo in order to adapt to Japanese strict regulations on diesel emissions. This means they are capable of manufacturing country-specific model.
In fact, I heard Alpina has been interested in the US market for some time, but your country is too big for them! As said, Alpina's production is very low because they almost hand-makes their cars (one meister per one car), so they can hardly handle the orders if they get into the US.
One exception is B7. You can buy B7 through BMW dealerships in your country as an alternative "M"7. The 7er doesn't sell much even in the US, compared to 3er and 5er.
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Last edited by Toshi; 05-29-2013 at 09:54 AM.
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      05-29-2013, 10:02 AM   #156
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^^^

Good insight. I think that the production capacity issues could ultimately be addressed. But then you would still have the costs issue. In the US, we have generally some of the lowest prices in the world. For larger manufacturers the lower profit per unit is made up for by the high volume. For someone like Alpina, that model probably cannot be sustained. There would probably be very few people choosing an Alpina over an M at a similar price in this country as it is, but if the Alpina costs more then you can completely forget about it. This also happens to be why the B7 works here too - there is no M7 model as you mention, so there is nothing for it to compare unfavorably against.
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      05-29-2013, 10:05 AM   #157
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toshi View Post
Kinda old thread, but it catched me



Good guess but I have a different perspective.
Alpina sells D5 "single" Turbo exclusively for Japan instead of BiTurbo in order to adapt to Japanese strict regulations on diesel emissions. This means they are capable of manufacturing country-specific model.
In fact, I heard Alpina has been interested in the US market for some time, but your country is too big for them! As said, Alpina's production is very low because they almost hand-makes their cars (one meister per one car), so they can hardly handle the orders if they get into the US.
One exception is B7. You can buy B7 through BMW dealerships in your country as an alternative "M"7. The 7er doesn't sell much even in the US, compared to 3er and 5er.
Correct me if I'm wrong but someone had mentioned this on few pages back; the reason Alpina couldn't sell their cars in the US (Except the B7) is due to an agreement with BMW so the Alpina won't take M3, M5 market share... But I'm sure US customers actually could find or order Alpina B3 or B5 or D3 or D5 through some gray markets..
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      05-29-2013, 10:18 AM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
^^^
Good insight. I think that the production capacity issues could ultimately be addressed. But then you would still have the costs issue. In the US, we have generally some of the lowest prices in the world. For larger manufacturers the lower profit per unit is made up for by the high volume. For someone like Alpina, that model probably cannot be sustained. There would probably be very few people choosing an Alpina over an M at a similar price in this country as it is, but if the Alpina costs more then you can completely forget about it. This also happens to be why the B7 works here too - there is no M7 model as you mention, so there is nothing for it to compare unfavorably against.
Yep. I think the cost issue is also one of the reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmaleke View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong but someone had mentioned this on few pages back; the reason Alpina couldn't sell their cars in the US (Except the B7) is due to an agreement with BMW so the Alpina won't take M3, M5 market share... But I'm sure US customers actually could find or order Alpina B3 or B5 or D3 or D5 through some gray markets..
Alpina always respects M3 and M5 and they often understate their specs...
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      05-29-2013, 01:13 PM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toshi View Post
Yep. I think the cost issue is also one of the reasons.



Alpina always respects M3 and M5 and they often understate their specs...
The cost issue is a good point, although in some markets this is due to value added tax and other government revenue streams, but definitely correct that profit margins are lower in the US, especially since I think the dollar is strengthening (esp wrt to eastern countries).

Importing a car into the USA is *very* expensive from a safety point of view, not just country specific production but additional crash testing etc. I think more socialist governments provide these services to the auto companies while in the US you have to fund a lot of it. Liability is obviously a bigger concern here, since cry baby lawsuits and mcdonalds coffee on the lap become monumental problems. In Japan, I've heard that certain Toyota failures occur but never reache the press due to national pride in the brand. I will mention that this is speculation and I'm probably exaggerating the impact, but otherwise it seems hard to think Alpina can't make a business case for selling in NA, especially when NA is BMW's bread and butter, at least now while Europe recovers from the recession.
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      05-30-2013, 12:05 AM   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drob23 View Post
The cost issue is a good point, although in some markets this is due to value added tax and other government revenue streams, but definitely correct that profit margins are lower in the US, especially since I think the dollar is strengthening (esp wrt to eastern countries).

Importing a car into the USA is *very* expensive from a safety point of view, not just country specific production but additional crash testing etc. I think more socialist governments provide these services to the auto companies while in the US you have to fund a lot of it. Liability is obviously a bigger concern here, since cry baby lawsuits and mcdonalds coffee on the lap become monumental problems. In Japan, I've heard that certain Toyota failures occur but never reache the press due to national pride in the brand. I will mention that this is speculation and I'm probably exaggerating the impact, but otherwise it seems hard to think Alpina can't make a business case for selling in NA, especially when NA is BMW's bread and butter, at least now while Europe recovers from the recession.
I don't think Alpina cannot pass crash test and other stuff in the US, but it's very understandable even if Alpina is anxious about possible class action.
From consumers' point of view, I envy your country because you can buy German cars relatively cheaper than Japanese...
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      05-30-2013, 07:10 AM   #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toshi View Post
I don't think Alpina cannot pass crash test and other stuff in the US, but it's very understandable even if Alpina is anxious about possible class action.
From consumers' point of view, I envy your country because you can buy German cars relatively cheaper than Japanese...
Oh I'm sure they can, it's just a question of whether or not you can make a business case to spend all that $$ to safety certify a low volume car. Some other brands certify "banner" cars that sell in low volume, these cars may not be profitable themselves, but overall help the brand (see C7 Corvette development during govt-motors bailout era).

As to your last point, we can thank the big 3 for that OTOH you guys tend to get cooler cars (especially performance variants from Japanese OEM's), this Alpina being a good example
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