Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

BMW fan worried about trend observed in Roundel

Discussion in 'Member Feedback' started by bcweir, May 23, 2009.

    • Member

    bcweir

    Post Count: 1,263
    Likes Received:5
    Why am I seeing columns about non-BMW's in Roundel? An issue or two ago, Sam Smith wrote an apparent "rave" article singing the praises of his recently purchased HONDA! I had to check the magazine cover again to see if I was reading Roundel or an issue of Pacific-Rim Import Tuning. I had hoped that was just a hiccup in the Magazine's focus, but in this issue, Rob Siegel is writing about a Honda Fit!

    Did I miss something? Did BMWCCA change its name to Japanese Car Club of America?

    Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with Japanese cars if that's what you're into. However, I signed up for the BMWCCA three years ago because I understood that it was the premier organization for BMW Group automobiles (MINI, BMW, and Rolls Royce automobiles).

    What's even more disheartening is that the editors of Roundel haven't said a word about this apparent "drift" in focus. I don't know if it's because the magazine really is drifting in its focus and doesn't care, or hopefully, hasn't assumed that BMW readers won't notice or care.

    I have visited Wal-Mart, Target, Barnes & Noble, and Borders bookstores. There are several magazines offering coverage for Japanese, Korean, and domestic brand cars and trucks, so the non-BMW models clearly aren't lacking for attention. Yet I find only two magazines on the racks exclusively covering BMW's: Bimmer magazine, and the UK-Centric BMW magazine.

    I hope the hardworking staff of Roundel doesn't take this the wrong way. Non-BMW cars are fine for those who are into them. However, there are venues and forums that already cover those vehicles, and aren't starving for coverage by omission from Roundel. It's exactly the opposite problem I see: very few magazines are devoted exclusively to BMW's, and even fewer that concentrate mostly on North American BMWs (just enough of Roundel's resident Brit Jeremy Walton to keep us entertained and informed on all things BMW on the East side of the Pond).

    Since I've been seeing this unseemly interest in Japanese cars outside of the usual head-to-head articles (which are fine and wonderful, since a comparable BMW model is featured as well) in multiple issues, I'd really appreciate it if the staff of Roundel would come clean with its readers about the encroachment of Japanese vehicles to the exclusion of the magazine's founding focus on exclusively BMW produced automobiles.
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3
    Strangely enough, I remember reading your exact post, word-for-word, at a time much earlier today. Is this a repost?
    • Member

    TeamStowell We love driving!

    Post Count: 634
    Likes Received:3
    Nothing but BMWs...

    We are a diverse organization with individuals who bring a multitude of interests and marques into the group. While your concern about "seeing this unseemly interest in Japanese cars" creep into our beloved Roundel has been noted, I believe there are many members who may feel differently. Many of our events sponsored by our chapters are open to vehicles regardless of make and there is no ownership requirement to belong to the group, so why should our club magazine omit referencing 95% of the automotive world? I for one would miss reading what our writers think about the rusting MB wagon across the street or how they feel about tracking a Honda.

    I thank you for raising this question, and look forward to seeing how others feel about this.
    • Member

    kfin2202

    Post Count: 14
    Likes Received:0
    Were this actually a significant trend I might be concerned as well but I don't think that it is. On the contrary after getting to know many of the columnists at O'fest's past I enjoy hearing about what is going on in their lives outside everything BMW. In reality its the personal connections we've made in the CCA that keep both of us ( the wife and I ) involved. We certainly love the cars ( our small fleet seems to keep growing as we can't seem to part with any), but were it just the cars I doubt I'd still be a member.

    Anyway its a big club and still the best magazine out there while trying to meet everyones expectations. We have some really talented columnists so I'm ok cutting them some occasions Brand slack in the interests of creative and entertaining writing.

    No worries, its all good.
    • Member

    bcweir

    Post Count: 1,263
    Likes Received:5
    I moved it from another location. I deleted the original posting since no one seemed to be able to see it, and I didn't want to be accused of double-posting to more than one forum (that's spamming and I know better than that, so I deleted the first posting).

    What I am looking for is clarification of the magazine's focus. From the "I will never buy another BMW/why I bought a non-BMW" letters to the columns that were formerly of and for BMW's, I've seen at least two columns so far written solely about Hondas.

    The Pacific Rim cars (Japanese and Korean) don't lack for coverage. Our beloved BMWs have (to my knowledge) exactly three publications (counting Roundel) devoted to them.

    I don't feel I am nitpicking here. Is Roundel a BMW group-centric magazine, or is it expanding to include Japanese and Korean automobiles outside of the head-to-head column? There were no announcements to the readers about this "shift." Did Roundel not expect readers to notice, or did they simply not tell us about their change in editorial focus?

    I'm just looking for an honest answer. It seems odd that with all the great stories happening with readers' rides and projects, that Roundel is having to look to Pacific Rim to fill the columns of their magazine.

    I pay my membership on time every year. I don't believe I am being unreasonable in asking someone to talk straight and honest to me in return. Pretending the issue isn't there or doesn't exist is not an honest answer.
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3
    I personally don't think it's anything to be worried about. 98% of the content in each month's copy is about BMWs, which is much more than some magazines devote to a certain brand/make. While I have to agree that there is a plethora of magazines covering Japanese and such vehicles and not too many covering just BMW's for example, them including a Honda here and there isn't much to be concerned about.


    While I agree about Hondas not having any place in our beloved Roundel, it doesn't hurt to have a change, because just about every single model of BMW has been covered a million times already, and it would be good to have some sort of "this is the competition" thing in there. I don't mean comparing four or five cars to a Bimmer, but by comparing a single model from time to time, perhaps every 6 months or so.



    I don't see it as a big deal, unless they were to do something non-Bimmer related every single months, in which case I'll raise some red flags as well.

    JackinMidtown guest

    Post Count: 21
    Likes Received:0
    Frankly, I agree. I read that article and wondered what the hell it was doing in the magazine. Then another odd-ball article totally unrelated to BMWs from the same contributor. My first thought was, "who is this guy related to at Roundel/BMWCCA in order to publish these articles?????". He redeemed himself in the last issue though with a very enjoyable read. I don't guess we can like them all.
    • Member

    conechaser

    Post Count: 87
    Likes Received:0
    Personally, I loved Sam Smiths article on his CRX.
    • Member

    granthr

    Post Count: 1,583
    Likes Received:2
    +2 I don't think there is an issue here. Sam is a die in the wool propeller head. He has owned a lot of BMWs, more than most of us. The columnists are encouraged to write about their lives and Sam bought a Honda, so he wrote about it. No harm no foul. I think if you start seeing full spread articles on just other makes you might have a case. But I currently don't see an issue.

    On a side note, if there was no competition, BMW would not be the company it is today. So it is good to hear about what and who is biting at BMWs heels from time to time. :D
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

    Post Count: 2,187
    Likes Received:64
    Those evil Roundel columnists

    This is all my fault. I select columnists for their personalities and writing talent, and I give them the same leeway Yale Rachlin gave me when he hauled me on board in 1990: "Every once in a while," he said, "it would be nice if you could put the letters B, M, and W together." Other than that, I was expected to write something that would entertain the readers.

    We have, what, a dozen columnists? That's so if you don't like one, we have another eleven chances to satisfy your needs. I don't care what Rob Siegel writes about; I know it's going to be an interesting read (to me, anyway). And when Sam Smith discovered P-P-P---I can't say it! That other German car!---it seemed to me a pretty entertaining revelation. So was his adventure in the Fer. . . Fer. . . the Italian car. I have my favorites---and my least-favorites. The hope is that there is something for everybody.

    Hey, I am rather fond of my BMWs. But I would find anybody who could talk ONLY about BMWs---or only about cars, for that matter---rather dull company, wouldn't you? Hell, if I wanted to follow some rigid orthodoxy, I'd find a church.

    In fact, the tenor of this discussion is making me think it's time to write about my recent adventures in a Saab Sonett. . .

    :eek: :eek: :eek:
    • Member

    Dmarque

    Post Count: 112
    Likes Received:1
    BMWcca......

    If you're taking a poll count me as being in complete agreement with BCWEIR. I could give a frig about a Honda. If I want a diverse magazine read then I'll pick up one such rag. One of the best parts of being a cca member is that we have the best club magazine of any marque out there. OIf I want to read about Honda's I'll buy a Consumers Report written by those who measure substance in mpg.

    Running out of article ideas? How about one on why there is no BMWCCA Coral scheduled for the June 26-8th Vintage Races at Mid Ohio this year?

    D
    • Member

    mattm

    Post Count: 204
    Likes Received:5
    I guess it's a matter of "be careful of what you wish for." :D
    • Member

    CRKrieger

    Post Count: 1,616
    Likes Received:20
    You miss the point of hearing about Hondas (or anything else, for that matter) from the perspective of someone who knows what a BMW is all about - and every single one of our columnists knows that. Bill Howard can tell you how their electronic gizmos stack up against BMW's and Dave Farnsworth and/or Bill Auberlen could tell you how their handling dynamics are different when you race them. Jenny might tell you how it sucks (or not) to work on them while Sam will generally give you a laugh no matter what he writes about.

    If you want pure BMW, I'll see if I can scare up some of the drivel that BMW AG itself used to publish. It'll make you puke. I do not want to see all wild-eyed fanaticism for the marque in ROUNDEL. That's boring and false. Our current lineup is entertaining in a way that no other marque magazine dares match.

    Without any comparisons, BMWs are just transportation modules. Without other cars to make fun of - or to hold up as goals - BMWs are in a vacuum. Paying no attention to the competition is what got GM where it is today. BMW has been down that road before, with crappy features totally unsuited for US consumers, but the basic goodness of the cars showed through when compared to others and improved to match or exceed them.
    Ummm, I'll go out on a limb here and say the answer to that one is, "You write it." There's a very good chance that none of the Roundel's columnists will be at Mid Ohio for that race. They are not investigative reporters. They are columnists and that means opinions. Maybe you didn't want to hear about Jenny Morgan's heart attack last year, but in many ways probably unknown to you, she has earned the right to write about it. Besides, I cannot imagine that "Why There's No BMW CCA Corral at Mid Ohio This Year" will be anything but a whiny screed. Is that what you really want in ROUNDEL?
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3
    And a big, fat, +1 to that.

Share This Page