As if the VW scandal weren’t bad enough, German car makers are being rocked by a second indignity, the intrusion of Lexus into BMW’s home turf: the obnoxious one-percenter.

Yes these are the two best parking spaces at the gym

It’s easy to see why BMW was complacent. Not long ago, I was honked at twice within a few hours by over-aggressive BMW drivers. But Lexus is catching up. I took this picture this morning at my gym. The car occupied two spaces right out front, precisely where an elderly person might have wanted to park going to the cardiac rehab class.

BMW marketing folk must be freaking out at pictures like this. It’s a sad decline of brand loyalty in a critical market segment.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.