Written by

Andrew Millar


June 4, 2007

My new car is going well, thanks for asking. But, and I’m being perfectly honest, I am having some anxiety separation issues with my old marque.

It became evident when I went to buy fitted car mats. Also on sale was a complete range of branded merchandise – key rings, caps, racing team shirts, watches, tissues, phone covers etc. The thing is, I felt, I wouldn’t be associated with any of it. Not that I find myself embarrassed about the fact that I drive what I drive. It is a remarkable car and truly in a class of its own. But the brand isn’t a club I feel any affinity with. Perhaps if it won Le Mans a couple more times, they could leverage that success in the same way Honda does with its Formula One associations – and you don’t even need to win at that to gain kudos.

Not like my old car. There was a brand that added something to a personality. Here was a brand that released those must have download films by interesting directors a couple of years ago. (Though I think these films did more for the sale of second hand BMWs than boost new sales. Especially when you see old 7 Series pimped to chrome work) The films rolled The Master, The Rebel and The Outlaw into one powerful brand personality. Though it is interesting to note the agency that created them has now lost the account. A victim of ‘new brand manager’s broom’ syndrome perhaps. Or it could be the fact that they may have alienated their core target audience in an effort to seek new purchasers.

But I’ll admit I am feeling brand withdrawal symptoms.

And to put it into perspective, my conduit into the prestige position BMW offers its buyers was in the end worth less than the tax I paid on the new car. So go figure.

Just as an aside, I laughed out loud at a certain ruler class car driver this morning. Not content to just drive this top of the line convertible, costing vulgar amounts of money, he needed to have a personalised number plate that enscribes the cars manufacturer. Not abbreviated. Not in code. But spelled out in full.

Not only was this guy declaring himself to be a member of the Ruler Class, but with his one off number plate he was crowning himself King of Kings. I felt like hitting him. But, by the size of the expensive dent in his rear quarter, it appears someone else already had.