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Old 10-15-2009, 12:31 PM
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Question X///M a career hazard for some?

So here is my personal musing on the X///M that you folks in flashy industries (e.g. Wall Street, MTV, Hollywood) cannot relate to. But those in "stodgier", less showy industries are perhaps struggling with the same concept....

I work in a highly profitable, but very un-stylish industry. Pharmaceutical research. What I mean by that is that the folks who work in big pharma R&D (Pfizer, Schering, Merck, Bristol-Myers, etc.) do OK for themselves, but are very BORING when it comes to cars. If you look at our big garages on-site, they are teeming with Hondas and Toyotas, and also quite a few big American SUVs, a la Expeditions and F-150s. Sure, there is also a small dose of BMWs and Mercedes, but the few that you see are primarily 328i and Mercedes C300s. Even upper management does not go beyond your very basic Acura and BMW sedans. Our site alone has 3000 folks, and I think I am only 1 of 3 folks driving an 8-cylinder X5.

This is not to say that folks here can't afford to upgrade their ride to something flashier. In fact the rank-and-file do well enough, and upper management is even more "comfortable". But ultimately they are your typical stodgy, nerdy scientists. Who fail to see a reason to go much beyond a reliable Honda, or at best, if they really feel like splurging they might go with an Acura TL or a 328i. By the way, I should mention that everyone can readily see what everyone else is driving. You can't really "hide" your ride.

If you haven't yet guessed what I'm driving at, here it is. I'm pretty certain I will be able to swing a 2nd year X5///M as soon as they roll off the line in September 2010. I can do a trade-in on my Dinaned X5, then put another 20% cash down, and easily finance the rest. But I cannot even fathom the reaction and the silent judgement calls that will be made by my colleagues. And what's worse: the judgement calls that will be made by management.

"Here he is, a rank-and-file scientist pulling into the garage in his shiny new X5///M. And parking next to my Honda Accord! Hmmm, guess he won't be needing that raise after all."

And therein lies my dilemma that you guys and gals working for Wall Street or Entertainment don't have to worry about. YOUR biggest concern is what vehicle to buy to get even with your colleague's Maserati GranTurismo or Carrera 4S. While MY biggest concern "how the hell do I hide my X5///M in a sea of Accords, Camrys, and Priuses?"

The MasterCard ads come to mind.
555 horsepower twin-turbo V8: $90 thousand.
Upgrade to Heads Up Display and leather dashboard: $4,500.
Killing your career by showing up your colleagues and making your bosses look "poor": PRICELESS.

Last edited by StanF18; 10-15-2009 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:35 PM
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I can kind of relate. My issue is when visiting customers with high profile entrances. I hate having to pull up and park right outside someone's window. They think they pay me too much.

Most of the people you describe probably won't know the difference. It's just another BMW to them.

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Old 10-15-2009, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cmyX5go View Post
I can kind of relate. My issue is when visiting customers with high profile entrances. I hate having to pull up and park right outside someone's window. They think they pay me too much.

Most of the people you describe probably won't know the difference. It's just another BMW to them.
Exactly! It even gets magnified maybe 10x for me as I work at a Pharma company and everyone is complaining about high drug prices...

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Old 10-15-2009, 01:00 PM
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Maybe your co-workers and management aren't enthusiasts and won't really know what an M is anyway. Moreover, it's very possible that they all have hobbies that interest them and spend more money than others might as well. Any boaters in management? Anyone like expensive wine or travel to exotic locations for extended vacations?
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:13 PM
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I have a similar problem. Industry is dirty and blue collar, yet when I show up in my 4.8, decked out, the silent resentment and comments is a harsh reality from colleagues and other management. Even worse is when I go to clients, begging for that $9,000.00 forklift sale, asking when can I get paid, and then leaving in my car (with the comments like, oh he doesn't need my business that much, he has a blah blah blah....)
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:40 PM
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I can SO relate. My wife and I are both doctors (General Practitioners) in a small (10,000 population) town, inhabited mostly by farmers and pretty reserved people. It's a great place to live, but it isn't infrequently, that a person will "joke" that we are being paid too much, when I pull in with my M3, she pulls in right beside me with her M Roadster, and soon, with her X6M.....
We are a VERY quiet couple - apart from our cars, we actually go out of our way to downplay our incomes.
It actually sucks having a guilt complex about driving what you do. We don't have kids - don't drink or smoke, so we did up our house in a pretty lavish manner (again, INSIDE - from the outside, it looks pretty mainstream), and we drive nice cars.
More and more, I am following the adage - "you only go around once".

However, others' perception of you can be a little wearing.

Maybe I'll just buy something small and domestic, to avoid it all......

- who am I kidding - No way, man. when I was in Ireland, I loved the phrase "F*** the begrudgers"........... too true.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:17 PM
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My dad owns a construction business and has been driving nice cars as far back as I could remember. He always had a Range Rover to take to the site and a few BMW's and other cars at home for weekend fun. He pulled up to a dirt jobsite in a brand new 7 series back in 2004 and the reactions he got from the contractors changed his style.
He likes the Acura MDX alot and has been buying a new model every year since 2004 in LA. Here in Dubai, the car market is different so he has finally started buying nicer cars here although the people still put him down for driving a $135k vehicle (He does get compliments in the X5 M sport).

Me on the other hand, I am a 19 year old driving either a Denali or a 09 X5 4.8 M Sport so when I go to a job, people are always wondering how I have that car and why I would need their business. At school tho, our lot is filled with Lambos, Ferraris, Bentleys, and a bunch of other exotics so I fit in fine.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:26 PM
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My thoughts are that perhaps the majority won't even know what an X5M is...i assume most will think it's just an X5...that is unless they dare try and provoke you into a race

Is leasing not an option for you?
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:53 PM
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Interesting feedback all.

I guess I will hope and PRAY they won't recognize the significance of the ///M badge. Otherwise I WILL be first-in-line when the next round of layoffs rolls around

TT Bear: Let me get this straight: you're surrounded by nature....no big-city a-holes to deal with....you breathe clean Canada air....you and your spouse BOTH drive M-cars...you live in a hockey paradise (greatest sport on Earth)....probably with a rink every 1.73 miles.....

Dude, can I be you? Please?

Will: my negotiation skills are not my strong suit, so I'm pretty sure I would get screwed one way or another on an ///M Lease. I'm quite comfortable with trade-in plus cash down, and then finance the rest for 48 months. My house is paid off and I could even swing it now, but I'm hesitant about first-year bugs.
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:04 PM
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Its just asset allocation. If you didnt drive what you drive, the money would probably be spent on something else. My wife and I arent vacation people. Maybe a trip to the beach once a year. Other people we know, go on these huge extravaganzas, then complain about not being able to afford nicer transportation. Or, whatever it is.
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