8 August 2007

BMW And Nissan Fight Like School Children At Recess

So a few years ago when the new M35/35X/45 was about to hit dealerships, Infiniti came up with some advertising that said 'The New M Is Coming'.

Well, the folks over at the whirling propeller were none too pleased and filed suit.

Today, the hammer fell-

BMW has lost a court battle in Canada to prevent Nissan from using the letter ‘M’ for what BMW describes as its rival’s “inferior and more modestly priced” models. The latest announcement comes several months after BMW originally won an injunction to stop Nissan from using the letter. The original injunction was later overturned on appeal.
This is hilarious on a number of levels.

First is the description that BMW used for Infiniti. They're 'inferior and more modestly priced' according to ze Germans. I suppose they have a point- the M trim lines of BMW vehicles are pretty crazy performance vehicles, but doesn't the 'modestly priced' statement sort of damn BMW by faint praise? It's essentially an admission of their ripping off the consumer.

The second is that Infiniti and Nissan just went through this same sort of brouhaha with Audi concerning their Q7 SUV. Infiniti said it was an infringement on their currently defunct Q45 model designation, and inferred that the consumer was stupid enough to equate a 7 passenger SUV with a bloated and lethargic never-was flagship vehicle that is still trying to sell 2005 models in 2007.

What makes the suit from BMW even more curiouser is that they never had an issue with Infiniti and their M model for many years. The first Infiniti on North American shores was the M30 back in 1989. It died a quiet death after an extended period of the public ignoring it, only to resurface in the late 90's as a Japanese version of an overpowered American luxury sedan (the M45) that could go really fast in a straight line, yet still manage to put you to sleep with its looks. The ultimate sleeper indeed. So it would seem that BMW had no problem with Infiniti devaluing their M brand when the Infiniti M brand was actually a sore spot in the Infiniti lineup and could potentially really devalue their brand. Nope, they only had a problem with Infiniti devaluing their brand when the newest generation M from Infiniti came out and immediately started whupping the regular 5 Series in comparison tests.

And at the end of the day, that's the real lesson- the elephant doesn't care about the mosquito buzzing away at its head... until the single mosquito turns into a swarm of horseflies.

Or something like that.

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