Call them frenemies. BMW and Toyota are working together on a high-profile sports car project that will result in a long-awaited Supra successor and a replacement for the Z4. Two heads are better than one.
â€œThe concept works, the platform can deliver and now we have two proud sets of engineers â€” one group German, one group Japanese â€” who are each fighting and arguing for the car they want,â€� BMW sales boss Ian Robertson said last year.
The fighting and arguing extends beyond the RD facilities in Munich and Toyota City.
On a mission to exalt its 3 Series in a certified pre-owned commercial, BMW sought to make fun of a typically bland midsize sedan. 2001 Chevrolet Malibu? 2006 Kia Optima? 2017 Subaru Legacy?
No. BMW chose the most basic, beige, new Toyota Camry to make a point on behalf of a bright red pre-owned 3 Series.
Hardly the work of a BFF.
Like any good Canadian, I was sitting down with some pop and chips for some NHL playoffs action when, apparently, a stroller commercial popped up. See, strollers grab my attention, presumably because of the joint fatherhood/wheels affection. But then the strollers switched to bicycles, and it became clear that this wasnâ€™t an advertisement for strollers but rather for twin boys. Buy one, get one free.
The twins stroll together, bike together, graduate together, get married together, and clearly buy identical side-by-side homes together. They dress alike, do their hair the same way, and carry messenger bags and coffee flasks.
But then their paths diverge. As the brothers leave for work, one exiting 69 Maple Main Street on the way to a red, F30 BMW 3 Series, the other leaves 71 Maple Main Street and pauses.
His brotherâ€™s course has deviated. His brother choseÂ the road less travelled. His brother is going to enjoy driving to work in a red 3 Series.
And then the angle changes to expose the other vehicular choice: a beige Camry.
â€œLegendary performance,â€� the voiceover says, â€œfor less than you think,” as the BMW purrs away.
All of the body language suggests strong Camry buyerâ€™s remorse.
The messaging is obvious. You can be cool. OrÂ you can drive a Toyota Camry, Americaâ€™s best-selling car in 15 consecutive years.
So I guess we shouldnâ€™t expect the 2018 Toyota Camry to share its platform with the 2019 BMW 3 Series?
We reached out to BMW Canada to ask why the Camry was chosen as the car on which to pick. BMW Canada declined to comment.
Timothy Cain is the founder ofÂ GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcarÂ and on Facebook.