BMW Isn't Sweating The New Competition From Audi And Cadillac

Business Insider

At the New York Auto Show Wednesday, BMW introduced the 328d, a diesel-powered addition to its famed 3 Series lineup.

BMW is confident that not only will the compact, torque-heavy sedan win American drivers over to diesel, it will keep the automaker ahead of the competition.

At the auto show, rival luxury offerings came from all sides. Audi's very nice new A3 sedan was not at the show, but the German automaker grabbed its share of the spotlight by debuting the car Tuesday night in New York.

General Motors brought out the 2014 Cadillac CTS, and had its ATS — the car it made to compete with the BMW 3 Series — on the floor. On sale since the summer, the ATS is fueling Cadillac's resurgence: Brand sales are up 32 percent in 2013, and 70 percent of ATS buyers are new to Cadillac.

BMW isn't sweating.

Oliver Ganser, who runs product and business strategy for BMW of North America, told Business Insider "we love competition."

But he didn't hesitate to point out that BMW outsells Audi two to one, despite the latter's great cars and "great marketing budget."

He's confident BMW will "keep Audi under control," he said.

Ganser is even less concerned by Cadillac, whose ATS he dismissed as "not too big of a threat," claiming its good numbers are the result of cannibalized CTS sales.

Perhaps tellingly, the BMW executive didn't talk about Mercedes-Benz, which may have outsold BMW in 2012 (depending on whose view of the numbers you believe).

For its part, Mercedes brought the new CLA-Class to New York. The sleek, small sedan starts at just $29,900, and will open the brand to young buyers moving into the luxury segment (the same "move-ups" Cadillac is targeting with the ATS).

BMW's prices haven't dipped so low. Official numbers for the 328d haven't been announced, but the company says the MSRP will fall a bit below $40,000.



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