New Operating Hours for the JMK BMW Service Department:
Effective Monday, January 25, 2010, the new operating hours for the JMK BMW Service Department will be Monday - Friday, 7:00 am - 4:30 pm and Saturday 8:00 am - 2:00 pm. All JMK BMW Departments are closed on Sunday.
For our customers needing to pick up their BMW's after service operating hours, pickup times are Monday - Friday until 7:00pm and Saturday until 5:00pm.
Need to measure your 0-60 time, quarter-mile and more but don't have a drag strip in your backyard? There's an app for that. BMW has released a free iPhone app that measures both acceleration runs and the g's you're pulling in the process.
Of course, we wouldn't condone the use of a deserted back road as a makeshift drag strip and would always encourage you to keep your high speed runs on the track, but should you disregard our warnings, this little app might come in handy. We've showed you other dyno apps in the past that take advantage of the iPhone's built-in accelerometers to measure your car's performance, but they cost anywhere from $5 to $15. Now, BMW has undercut the competition with a free app that will measure both acceleration and g.
Called the M Power Meter app, the program turns your iPhone into a makeshift VBox. Play with the settings and it can measure your 0-30, 0-50, 0-60 and 0-100 mph times, 1/16-, 1/8-, 1/4-, 1/2- and full-mile runs, your speed and both your forward and lateral g. Those not living in the U.S. can also switch over to metric units and the app saves your last 10 runs. Three custom skins for the program are also available in addition to the basic skin the app comes with.
Operation is very simple. Just press start, agree to the warning and disclaimer and you're ready to go. The iPhone must be laid flat pointing in the direction of travel or sitting upright at 90-degrees in order to get a measurement, so you might need a passenger to hold it or a mount for it. Getting the app to take an accurate measurement was a bit tricky as the carmust be at a complete stop when you start recording and it seems to take a second to begin measuring after you press start. Once you get it, though, it will automatically stop recording once you've reached the selected speed or distance. You can also set it to Continuous Measurement to see your performance measurements in real time.
Eager to test this new toy, we got a staff member to download it on their iPhone and headed out to do a relatively safe 0-30 mph run in a Mazdaspeed3. With traction control on, we laid down a 0-30 mph time of 4.41 secs according to the M Power Meter app. In earlier instrumented testing, though, the Speed3 obliterated that number with a 0-30 time of just 2.5 secs at a real drag strip. Does this mean the M Power Meter is inaccurate? Not at all, it just means we'll have to take it with us the next time we go to the track and make a couple of extra runs against the VBox to find out, but these are the sacrifices we make for our readers.
BMWs built by Upstate workers roared out of U.S. showrooms in December, and as the automaker sees accelerating demand, economists say it could signal the start of a broader recovery for the region's economy.
BMW's U.S. sales jumped 9.2 percent to 23,617 vehicles in December, up from 21,626 a year ago, the company reported Tuesday.
While BMW's U.S. numbers were strong across its model line, sales of the X5 sports activity vehicle, one of the models assembled at BMW Manufacturing here, soared 22.3 percent in December. Of the 3,513 X5s sold, one of every three sold were powered with BMW's ActiveDiesel engine.
The company began selling diesel vehicles in the United States about a year ago, said Jan Ehlen, spokesman for BMW for North America. It didn't set an aggressive sales target, he said, but just set out to test the waters.
“It turns out that America has started to look into diesels,” he said. Car analysts have predicted that U.S. diesel sales could make up 10 percent to 15 percent of the market in the next few years, and BMW has a similar “mid-term goal” for the sectors in which it sells diesel-powered vehicles.
Sales of the X6 sports activity coupe, the other model made at the Greer plant, were up 30.1 percent to 562 units.
BMW wasn't alone in reporting an improvement in U.S. sales, indicating the turmoil in the market could be stabilizing.
Ford Motor Co.'s December sales soared 33 percent while Honda's sales increased 24 percent. Toyota reported a 22.9 percent increase, and Nissan experienced an 18.2 percent increase. Mercedes-Benz USA also reported December sales rose 8.2 percent, its highest numbers for the year, while Volkswagen of America reported a 16 percent increase over December 2008.
But the other members of Detroit's Big 3 didn't fare so well. General Motors reported its December sales were down 10 percent. Chrysler's sales slipped 4 percent in December, with 2009 being its worst sales year since 1962.
“The numbers show a good month for us, but more importantly is the fact we saw traffic, shopping and sales evenly distributed throughout December,” said Jim O'Donnell, president of BMW of North America. “We take this as a hopeful sign that there's a bit more rational demand building up in the premium market rather than just shopping for month-end deals.”
Producing “winning products” is good for the Upstate's economy and image, said Bruce Yandle, dean emeritus of Clemson University's College of Business and Behavioral Science.
“It is just another positive sign of having BMW in the Upstate,” he said. He pointed out that “BMW throughout this recession, particularly at the beginning, was healthier than the industry as a whole.”
But Yandle cautioned that while BMW is an important component in the Upstate's economy with the 15,000 or so jobs it supports both directly and indirectly, “it's not large enough to carry the economy alone.” But with so many people and companies that depend on the German automaker's U.S. plant, its positive developments give the state and region a psychological boost.
And the plant is just one piece of the U.S. manufacturing sector, he said, pointing to The Institute for Supply Management's report Monday that “showed a very large increase for the index. This is the fifth month for positive growth. It was a big move.”
What that means, Yandle said, is “the U.S. factory is showing signs of strength.” In addition, auto suppliers expressed optimism and said their orders were up.
Mark Vitner, senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities, agreed that the nation's economy “clearly appears to be firming up, and folks that had put off making a major purchase, like an automobile, are now coming back in the market. Used car prices have also risen recently, which means residual values on leased vehicles are higher. This makes leasing a vehicle more affordable. This may be a factor in the pickup in sales of BMWs.”
But Clemson economist Curtis Simon said he doesn't believe car sales “will be as indicative of the economy as normal. Last year was a disaster.”
The private sector must become active before the economy really strengthens, he said, and that sector “is ready to come back.” But business owners are holding back because of the uncertainties hovering about the economy — tax rates, health-care policy and energy policy.
Waiting for manufacturing to improve will “take a while” he said.
BMW introduced its 1-Series Coupe-based Active E electric vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Powered by newly developed lithium-ion batteries, the Active E has a claimed power output of 170 hp with 184.4 ft-lb. of torque.
As per BMW tradition, the Active E is rear-wheel drive, testing an early version of the electric powertrain system which will eventually be used in BMW’s upcoming Megacity Vehicle (MCV).
The Active E will also use BMW’s ConnectedDrive system, using newly developed features including the ability to check the car’s battery level via cell phone, and using mobile devices as a remote control for heating and air conditioning.
BMW will produce a trial fleet of the Active E in 2011, providing further real-world data following the MINI-E trial currently underway.
The BMW ActiveE Concept unveiled at Detroit Auto Show
Introduced Monday, Jan. 11: BMW Concept ActiveE
Is it real? Sort of. It will be available in limited numbers in 2011 as a trial vehicle to provide real-world customer insights and in-use testing. The cars will be leased to individuals and selected fleet customers on a trial basis, just like BMW’s previous all-electric test vehicle, the Mini E.
What they said: This is a plug-in electric four-seat coupe, cast in the BMW mold. BMW says it demonstrates that driving pleasure and sustainable mobility are compatible. Performance numbers cited would seem to back this up with zero to 60 coming in 8.6 seconds. The range is said to be about 100 miles.
Lessons learned with this car and the Mini E will be applied to series production of the planned Megacity Vehicle. The Concept ActiveE reflects lessons learned with the Mini E. The powertrain of the ActiveE is basically a working prototype for that of the Megacity Vehicle.
What they didn’t say: The car wasn’t driven onto the stage, so it may not be a running prototype.
What makes it tick? The ActiveE is powered by a 170 horsepower electric motor that generates 250 newton meters of torque. The battery pack offers slightly less capacity than the Mini E’s at 32-kilowatt hours. Liquid cooling helps keep battery temp in a comfortable range. Apparently, some problems with battery heating were experienced with the Mini E. The Active E weighs in at a rather stout 3,900 pounds, considerably heavier than a conventional 1 Series BMW.
How much, how soon? The car will be available for lease in 2011. No lease price was given, but the Mini E monthly ticket is about $800.
How’s it look? It looks like a 1 Series Coupe, adorned with “Efficient Dynamics” graphics.
2011 BMW Z4 s Drive is unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show
Introduced Monday, Jan. 11: BMW Z4 sDrive
Is it real? Yep. It’ll be scorching American streets by next spring.
What is it? It’s the next best thing to an M version of the Z4 roadster. The new sDrive version of BMW’s sports car generates a stout 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbocharged 3-liter 6-cylinder engine. Direct injection meters the gasoline and helps keep the fuel use number at a respectable 26 miles per gallon.
How’s it look? Driven onto the stage, the red Z4 sDrive looked like a Z4, which is to say classically sporting.