(Refund Refused/More Issues) My Experience - Brand New Stromer. 3 months of ownership, 2 months of repairs.

opimax

Well-Known Member
I honestly wish I coul d say the same!! I dont doubt you but i hope you also dont doubt me. I rode my ST2 yesterday 85 enjoyable miles. Well 60 the other 25 werent as enjoyable. If i go near top speed it is a fun ride if I go slow it is not fun. it jerks, it has no pwer I fight with the fenders and rubbing, I have to tie my panniers in a certain position so they dont rub. I will avoid a new bike w/Magura brakes if I can, i like my fluid in the system not on the rotors and handles . I will avoid shifting gears but the top 3 unless really necessary. , dont even think about the center gears to change, like to keep my chain in place. I set my torque sensor 10 times per ride , sometimes it feels close sometimes not. The shop initially wanted to charge for me like hundreds of dollars for brake work , more than what i pay for automobiles related repairs even though it was like this this form the 1st day on the ST2s. Between shops and Stromer I just cant say much nice things any longer
 

bluecat

Well-Known Member
The Haibikes are severely restricted, limited. Why did they put that fancy motor if it’s limited to 25kmh ?!
Because of the law!

45km/h = for (paved) road use only. No forest / trail use permitted. Licence plate, driving licence, insurance and helmet mandatory.
25km/h = for mountain biking, also allowed on roads. Seen as a bicycle by law.

The german TQ motor is built for the fast growing 25 km/h market. Only 1% of the e-bikes sold in Germany are in the 45km/h category. The M1 Spitzing Evolution is a fully suspended mountain bike with a 160mm-travel fork - but not allowed in forest and mountains. It's for road use only - and please only during daytime, then there is only a "candlelight" headlight from Busch & Müller. Furthermore, the chainring has only 48 teeths but the ST5 has 52. This means faster pedaling at the same speed.
 

smitty

Active Member
I recently called two well known dealers in the bicycle work and they are getting out of carrying Stromer. This in up in the Eastern part of the US, but it was sadly they were giving up on Stromer. I have an ST-2 and it has been a jewel of a cycle. Mike just helped me replace the Omni with an Omni C and it was a fine replacement. The Stromer has ran extremely well, and a local Specialized dealer can check the hard work in terms of the drive train as needed. But any other problems are far away to get any help. Sadly, I expect the Stromer will be removed from the US at sometime in the not too far distance.
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
From my observations on the West Coast, Stromers seem to be selling well in the Bay Area and in certain affluent areas in L.A.. I don’t know about San Diego, and I’ve seen maybe 3 other Stromers here in Santa Barbara. Not that I’ve been looking all that much...

I hope Stromer doesn’t give up on the US market. It seems to me that the coming decade will bring much greater incentives to live within planetary boundaries, and electric bikes, especially here in this sunny climate, are ideal for local transportation and cost-effective (that is, when they work! ;) )

Any prospective purchaser would be well-advised to consider how far away they are from a competent Stromer repair shop. And maybe consider if they would be willing or able to learn to repair the bike themselves if they live too great a distance away.

I hope ksantagelo23 has nothing but smooth sailing from now on with his replacement Stromer ST2 S, which he should have received today. I’m crossing my fingers and hope he lets us know how things go!
People in those areas you had mentioned have Zero ebike tech. Knowledge, can also buy w/o a blink , not one but 10 Stromers St5’s and just keep the ones which are running w/o issue !

You have the highest wealth concentration in the nation there, the 0.01% which are displacing in some areas the 0.1% or the 1% of the HNWI. Zuckerberg owns a couple of houses in Bay area on same street...allthough is highly unlikely unlucky that he will be riding on a !
 

fxr3

Active Member
How are you helping anybody with speculation based off 2 northeast fricking bicycle shops that are not going to carry brand anymore, that Stromer will be leaving USA soon.
And the other guy “bicycle industry insiders suggest Stromer will be leaving USA soon”. I try to paint that scenario in cartoon format in my brain and makes me laugh.
Did it ever occur to anyone that the dealers might be the problem?
I would say they are the problem with Stromer USA.
Support your LBS is a good idea and catchy phrase as long as LBS is supporting you and the mfg. he is representing.
Bluecat says in Europe the bike shop gets the profit from sale and then backs and repairs that bike.
I’m sure that is the way it is suppose to work here too.
Stromer owners here have been “educated” here often that they should be working out bike problems with LBS and not contacting Stromer, as Stromer does not sell bikes direct and should not be relied on for support.
I’m pretty sure these Stromer owners do contact their dealer first, then end up contacting Stromer because LBS can’t figure it out or is not trained, not stocking parts, etc.
I’m probably putting too much importance on this forum and various posts on Stromers health. I bought my first st1 sight unseen based on posts on info learned here. If I was a first time buyer now- the last year of Stromer posts would scare me away from Stromer.
It’s a shame because I have yet to find a ebike as good as st2.
 

jim6b

Active Member
Because of the law!

45km/h = for (paved) road use only. No forest / trail use permitted. Licence plate, driving licence, insurance and helmet mandatory.
25km/h = for mountain biking, also allowed on roads. Seen as a bicycle by law.

The german TQ motor is built for the fast growing 25 km/h market. Only 1% of the e-bikes sold in Germany are in the 45km/h category. The M1 Spitzing Evolution is a fully suspended mountain bike with a 160mm-travel fork - but not allowed in forest and mountains. It's for road use only - and please only during daytime, then there is only a "candlelight" headlight from Busch & Müller. Furthermore, the chainring has only 48 teeths but the ST5 has 52. This means faster pedaling at the same speed.
On one hand I hear your argument, but a thought creeps into my mind and I don't know if arises from ignorance or insight. Which it is will come from your comments.

The thought is that Stromer is a German company and in the German market 99% of bikes sold are slow 25 hm/h. Fair enough, so why then should we expect Stromer to be great in the 1% market for fast bikes going to 45 hm/h which require far more power and take a greater beating?

I am prepare to be pummelled.
 

bluecat

Well-Known Member
Fair enough, so why then should we expect Stromer to be great in the 1% market for fast bikes going to 45 hm/h which require far more power and take a greater beating?
If you feel on a test ride no difference between a mid drive and a gearless hub drive, then go for the cheaper mid drive. A Stromer ST5 offers superior performance, design and equipment - but this has its price. The new entrance model ST1 will be soon in your stores.

Stromer is a swiss company, selling about 12'000 E-Bikes / year. The top markets are Switzerland, Benelux and ROW (incl. Germany and USA).
 

fxr3

Active Member
As awesome as my Stromers have been, and the original inventors dreamy(and correct) vision of Ebikes for car replacements and his almost perfect design of one, whomever is in charge in Switzerland, has prolly permanently damaged the brand beyond repair. Even without internet and forum, a decent company would have taken care of complaints like stuttering motor, etc. on brand new super high end bicycles. Instead, they dont even chime in on these seriously disappointed customers or answer their phone at Stromer USA.
BLUECAT can continue defending Stromer and how great the bike is. Me, I’m over it. It seems impossible to screw it up,
Almost perfect bike in the earliest start of a smart phone type shift in personal transportation and leaving people who have committed to Stromer by buying the bike to forever regret buying the bike because of a fricking motor cable and no one even answering the phone. Whatever’s.
 
As awesome as my Stromers have been, and the original inventors dreamy(and correct) vision of Ebikes for car replacements and his almost perfect design of one, whomever is in charge in Switzerland, has prolly permanently damaged the brand beyond repair. Even without internet and forum, a decent company would have taken care of complaints like stuttering motor, etc. on brand new super high end bicycles. Instead, they dont even chime in on these seriously disappointed customers or answer their phone at Stromer USA.
BLUECAT can continue defending Stromer and how great the bike is. Me, I’m over it. It seems impossible to screw it up,
Almost perfect bike in the earliest start of a smart phone type shift in personal transportation and leaving people who have committed to Stromer by buying the bike to forever regret buying the bike because of a fricking motor cable and no one even answering the phone. Whatever’s.
If I were able to return my bike, I would be over Stromer as well. If a company is going to have a footprint in any market, a phone number and customer service department is required. As a customer, I should not have to do magic tricks to find an email on the internet, use Google Translate on their Swiss forums, look up how to replace an Omni, and receive no responses (to this day) on Stromer official "Contact Us" page

Sure you can dig up a Stromer USA phone number on these forums, but after calling it over 10 times, not once was it picked up. (Not a dig at the personnel, but this is a result of Stromer not providing a proper US team)
EDIT: Again, my shop Crazy Lennys was great to work with, and highly sympathetic, But after all my issues, I wanted to "cut the middleman" and felt Lennys was wasting tons of man hours on my bike, when Stromer should have been. Stromer/Mike was also great to work with once I was able to reach him

I love Stromer bikes, and think they are easily one of the best performing, and highest quality products, but I cant defend a company who thinks it even remotely acceptable for my situation to occur.

To anyone considering a Stromer in the US or Canada:

1) Be aware of their extremely limited presence in North America
2) Buy from a local dealer - this may be impossible considering how small their dealer network is. You do not want to be me travelling hundreds of miles for one trip.
3) Don't buy a used Stromer - in my experience, a new one with a warranty was hard enough to keep working, who knows what a used one has gone through. Without warranty, I would've spent $2500 in replacement parts.

I want Stromer to succeed, its such an awesome bike, and I just dropped thousands on one - but I wont pretend they do not have huge issues. The more we can all share our experiences, the more likely Stromer will recognize how big of an issue this is.
 

Leon Washington

New Member
I own an St2s, and an ST5. . . my M1 Evolution has been pre-paid and is "on it's way".

I bought my St2s from Lenny as well. Best investment I ever made. Lenny wasn't local, but when I finally did have slight issues with the bike, I took it to a local Stromer dealer, and, guess what? The Stromer dealer fixed it . . . no charge; because that's what they are supposed to do.

Lesson #1: If you buy your Stromer from a far away shop, and you take it to a local Stromer dealer, and they refuse to repair when it's still under warranty. . . be glad you didn't buy the bike from that local bike shop originally; because that's not what they're supposed to do.

When I decided to buy another E-bike, I researched and decided on an M1 Evolution. I went to the closest dealer I could find. . . 300 miles away. I decided to trade in my pseudo Stromer. . . Specialized Trans X Crapy Ebike. The store gave me credit toward the M1. I put the rest on my credit card. The transaction took place in March of 2019. I was promised the bike in June. . . I'm still waiting.

Here's the somewhat ironic twist: The store I bought the M1 from used to be a big Stromer dealer, but they dropped their dealership, why? They claimed Stromer had poor customer service. The bike shop then became an M1 dealer. I'm not sure how customer service can get much worse than a customer paying for something and then not getting it. I'm wondering how they feel about Stromer now? Please don't misconstrue this. I'm not commenting on the M1's performance. I did try the Evolution and that's why I bought it. I also tried their other models, and, well. . . no comment.

I was now down to one Ebike, which is dangerous for me, as it is my main means of transportation, and I don't have any enablers. That means if my bike breaks down, I can't press an app and expect someone to show up and make my problems disappear. I needed another backup bike. Meanwhile the light on my ST2s was going out (they are expensive). Mine was still under warranty. I went back to my local (not where I purchased the bike from) Stromer dealer. He ordered me a new light and tried to put it on. It turns out Stromer received lights that were not wired correctly. So if anyone from Stromer is reading this post, my case has been opened now for several months. If there have been any updates, please let me know, as my lbs has been active in resolving the issue. The high beam on the light still works.

In retrospect from experience: I have over 10,000 miles on my ST2s. Did I have issues with the bike? Very few, and with the exception of the light, they were resolved instantly. And not from the dealer I bought the bike from. . Did I mention the extra capacity (blue) battery stopped charging? Stromer's response? A brand new $2000 battery was handed over instantly. . . no questions asked.

When I was attempting to get my ST2s' light repaired. . . by my lbs. . I saw an ST5 on the showroom floor. I tried it. If you're a Stromer owner, I don't have to tell you what I thought. Needless to say, I bought the bike. It turns out I could have bought the bike a bit cheaper if I would have gone to a different bike shop farther away, but I didn't.

If my M1 does ever show up, I'll be more than happy to compare and contrast.

That's my experience, and that's all it is. I'm not posting it to dispute anyone else's knowledge or perspective. I have owned 15 different ebike models. Without exception none have been faster, more reliable and more pleasurable to own than my Stromer.
 

bluecat

Well-Known Member
Might be a good time to point out that ... different countries often have different laws.
I agree and I'm fully aware, here's the US Stromer Forum.

My analysis is based on the circumstance, that all involved companies / brands have their major market in Europe. Therefore, I relate on the european law regarding the speed rules. BTW: All self-propelling vehicles and all vehicles with motor-support above 45 km/h are Motorcycles - even if they look like bicycles.
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
I own an St2s, and an ST5. . . my M1 Evolution has been pre-paid and is "on it's way".

I bought my St2s from Lenny as well. Best investment I ever made. Lenny wasn't local, but when I finally did have slight issues with the bike, I took it to a local Stromer dealer, and, guess what? The Stromer dealer fixed it . . . no charge; because that's what they are supposed to do.

Lesson #1: If you buy your Stromer from a far away shop, and you take it to a local Stromer dealer, and they refuse to repair when it's still under warranty. . . be glad you didn't buy the bike from that local bike shop originally; because that's not what they're supposed to do.

When I decided to buy another E-bike, I researched and decided on an M1 Evolution. I went to the closest dealer I could find. . . 300 miles away. I decided to trade in my pseudo Stromer. . . Specialized Trans X Crapy Ebike. The store gave me credit toward the M1. I put the rest on my credit card. The transaction took place in March of 2019. I was promised the bike in June. . . I'm still waiting.

Here's the somewhat ironic twist: The store I bought the M1 from used to be a big Stromer dealer, but they dropped their dealership, why? They claimed Stromer had poor customer service. The bike shop then became an M1 dealer. I'm not sure how customer service can get much worse than a customer paying for something and then not getting it. I'm wondering how they feel about Stromer now? Please don't misconstrue this. I'm not commenting on the M1's performance. I did try the Evolution and that's why I bought it. I also tried their other models, and, well. . . no comment.

I was now down to one Ebike, which is dangerous for me, as it is my main means of transportation, and I don't have any enablers. That means if my bike breaks down, I can't press an app and expect someone to show up and make my problems disappear. I needed another backup bike. Meanwhile the light on my ST2s was going out (they are expensive). Mine was still under warranty. I went back to my local (not where I purchased the bike from) Stromer dealer. He ordered me a new light and tried to put it on. It turns out Stromer received lights that were not wired correctly. So if anyone from Stromer is reading this post, my case has been opened now for several months. If there have been any updates, please let me know, as my lbs has been active in resolving the issue. The high beam on the light still works.

In retrospect from experience: I have over 10,000 miles on my ST2s. Did I have issues with the bike? Very few, and with the exception of the light, they were resolved instantly. And not from the dealer I bought the bike from. . Did I mention the extra capacity (blue) battery stopped charging? Stromer's response? A brand new $2000 battery was handed over instantly. . . no questions asked.

When I was attempting to get my ST2s' light repaired. . . by my lbs. . I saw an ST5 on the showroom floor. I tried it. If you're a Stromer owner, I don't have to tell you what I thought. Needless to say, I bought the bike. It turns out I could have bought the bike a bit cheaper if I would have gone to a different bike shop farther away, but I didn't.

If my M1 does ever show up, I'll be more than happy to compare and contrast.

That's my experience, and that's all it is. I'm not posting it to dispute anyone else's knowledge or perspective. I have owned 15 different ebike models. Without exception none have been faster, more reliable and more pleasurable to own than my Stromer.
That’s an ebike i also consider but not sure how many and drastically new technology changes will be offered In 2020.
Are you getting the M1 with 1080wh battery amd 880 watts ? An amzing carbon Power machine isn’t it ? , please post a review when possible.

Ps- Not sure if you had tried this ebike but i bet that if you would had tried it, you would liked it as well. At least as a backup. And a very reliable one it is.
I’m talking about the BH Nitro city- 2018/2019 edition. It really has 860watts in sport/boost mode. I swapped the 48t for 52t and my 28mph speed now become 31/32mph.
It has probably same performance As the St2s , can not comment vs the St5. But is a very FAST adrenaline filled ebike ! Has 4Pas levels, even level 2 brings it to 24-25mph.
But only a 600wh compared to 1k Stromer’s battery. More agile in city traffic.


Ok, i look foward and hope for you to be recieving that German beast ebike soon !!36552
 
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Foody

New Member
Quick history : back in 2014 I bought my Stromer ST1 platinum from a local ebike shop in Santa Clara, CA. I first test rode it at The New Wheel in San Francisco, but they wanted to charge me $4000 for it not including the fenders, light and rear rack, I was able to purchase a floor model fully loaded at the store in Santa Clara for $700 less so I pulled the trigger. The bike was a dream and whenever I had problems with it unfortunately the store in Santa Clara sucked at service, but I took it to The New Wheel and they were experts at the repair and knew the bike inside and out. Now in hindsight I should have probably purchased it from the New Wheel since they include free service and tune ups for 1 year after purchase. It would have saved me alot of time on repairs and service.

Fast forward 2 years later in 2016 I test drove the Stromer ST2 at the New Wheel but since I was able to get it cheaper from Lenny's $4800 vs $6000 I pulled the trigger.

Mistake #1 when I got the bike it had the stutter problem everyone was talking about and I wasn't able to ride it at all. I contacted Lenny's and they tried walking me through some troubleshooting steps over the phone but since they were not close by, I had to take it to the New Wheel. Thank Goodness, The New Wheel was able to repair it, but I had to pay for labor since I didn't purchase it from them. $900 bucks later after a new motor and new cable I was able to ride my bike again. In hindsight I will definitely purchase from them the next time I buy a bike. Their customer service is top notch and their technicians know about ebikes. I haven't had a bad experience yet. All in all after riding mid drives, and hub drives Stromer is the BMW of Ebikes to me. They are solidly built, extremely fast when you need them to be and if you get a front suspension fork and Seat suspension like a Cirrus bodyfloat it feels like your floating on air. As far as support from Stromer whenever I contacted them I used to get a good response rate. I've gotten my Omni replace with the LTE antenna and The New Wheel put it in for me. Albeit I haven't had to contact Stromer support in the past 2 years.

If your ever in the Bay Area of CA The New Wheel is a great place to look for bikes and their service is top notch.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
People in those areas you had mentioned have Zero ebike tech. Knowledge, can also buy w/o a blink , not one but 10 Stromers St5’s and just keep the ones which are running w/o issue !

You have the highest wealth concentration in the nation there, the 0.01% which are displacing in some areas the 0.1% or the 1% of the HNWI. Zuckerberg owns a couple of houses in Bay area on same street...allthough is highly unlikely unlucky that he will be riding on a !

I would have to disagree with you on your assessment of the Bay Area bike with regard to electric bike knowledge.
There is a lot of wealth here, but also a lot of tech expertise in ME and EE grads who wrench and repair their own bikes... ;)
 

Leon Washington

New Member
That’s an ebike i also consider but not sure how many and drastically new technology changes will be offered In 2020.
Are you getting the M1 with 1080wh battery amd 880 watts ? An amzing carbon Power machine isn’t it ? , please post a review when possible.

Ps- Not sure if you had tried this ebike but i bet that if you would had tried it, you would liked it as well. At least as a backup. And a very reliable one it is.
I’m talking about the BH Nitro city- 2018/2019 edition. It really has 860watts in sport/boost mode. I swapped the 48t for 52t and my 28mph speed now become 31/32mph.
It has probably same performance As the St2s , can not comment vs the St5. But is a very FAST adrenaline filled ebike ! Has 4Pas levels, even level 2 brings it to 24-25mph.
But only a 600wh compared to 1k Stromer’s battery. More agile in city traffic.


Ok, i look foward and hope for you to be recieving that German beast ebike soon !!View attachment 36552
Yes, the BH does look like a contender.
The bike to die for is Eric's
X-1 Enduro FS. The "no throttle" 2000w. Those sold out in a blink. There's no way you could build the same bike for what he sold them for. Everyone is waiting, with baited breath to see what he will price his next "builds" for. His website says around double what the first batch was priced. You have to be somewhat of a follower of his website to know when his models are coming. Sadly, he gets no reviews from any of the conventional Ebike reviewers. In my humble opinion, he is definitely the king of the Ebike builds.
 

bluecat

Well-Known Member
BLUECAT can continue defending Stromer and how great the bike is.
Not defending over all - as I know, the company makes sometimes mistakes - but trying to build some understanding.

Stromer has much less than 100 employees (M1 Sporttechnik has 10, Specialized E-Bike dept. has 24) - but in opposite to all other companies, Stromer has its own software for its self-designed motor. All other companies are only bike-frame-designer, Stromer does all three things: bike and motor/battery design and the software.The result can you feel while riding your Stromer. I often read stories from people which shift from a mid-drive to a Stromer commuter bike - they're all enthusiastic. I wonder, if the opposite direction also occurs.

The disadvantage of this portfolio is the failure-rate. The company is just too small to fix everything (in advance). I remember as there was no dealer in my city: Take one day off, put the Stromer in the trunk and carry it to the famous farmhouse. Compared with these days, the current series are reliable. I've made until today about 1'700km on the test-ST5. And I had several issues - but never ever a complete loss of drivability.

I commute with sunshine, with rain, snowfall and even on icy roads. Once it was -15ºC during wintertime, then >33ºC in the summer. And the Strommer was always running. I'll keep the fingers crossed, your Stromer will do the same.
 

John Gorman

New Member
Sorry to hear all the trouble you have had with the Stromer. I don't know... but I have 2 Stromer ST 1 bikes, both problem free. I bought one new 4 years ago and have 23,000 km on the bike. I have worn out a chain, several cables, cassette and bottom bracket (I damaged it by spraying it with too much pressure). The bike has been totally awesome. No breakdowns (but lots of flats) in 4 years of super heavy use in rainy Portland, OR. The other ST1 I use less, but it has also been flawless. Bought it used (1000 km). It is my backup. Am I just lucky? Don't know, but I am very impressed. I agree with you on the Stromer support though. The few items I have needed like a rubber seal for battery door, a plastic bracket for the front fender have been very hard to get shipped in a timely manner to my local store. Basically the Ebike store says has just given me used parts (free) instead of ordering them saying they are having trouble with Stromer supply. They think stromer may pull out of the USA eventually. They quit selling Stromer bikes because of lousy relations with Stromer corporate office (San Diego? Berne?) Their bikes are expensive due to the strength of the Swiss Franc and the rear hub/motor is very expensive to fix. It is about the same price to repair as to buy a new rear wheel/motor (about $1000). I think having the motor in the crank area is proving to be more cost effective if motor parts need replacement. Stromer has stuck with the motor/hub/wheel. I think it is becoming outdated. Yet I LOVE my bikes!
 

Chuck E. Cheese

Active Member
It's important to avoid confusing anecdotes with real data. But when anecdotes begin piling up it's time to look at them as providing statistically significant information. The bad motor cables on the ST2/ ST2s are one of those frequent anecdotes that suggest there was something more than random chance and unavoidable manufacturing glitches. Mine went bad a week after receiving my ST2 from Crazy Lenny's the first week of June, 2018. I contacted Lenny's as well as Stromer. The issue was understood by both of them. Stromer ran diagnostics remotely to confirm the problem, Lenny's FedExed me a new cable, and with the critical help of a "how to" Youtube video I swapped the cable myself. I have a lot of experience running cables (I've run recording studios professionally for 30 years) and although I'm not terrible mechanically inclined, I found the job more tedious than difficult, and within an hour had my ST2 back together. I've put almost 3000 miles on it since then and haven't had any other issues attributable to manufacturing defects. I swapped out some components (suspension seatpost, Baramind Trek handlebars, rear Shimano XT clutch derailleur, etc) to improve performance, but the bike as delivered has been rock solid. No other ebike I've ridden feels as well considered. The design and intention is obvious in comparison to other big-name brands I've ridden like Trek and Giant, and is leagues ahead of the direct-to-consumer brands like Juiced and Rad. None of those other bikes felt particularly cheap or haphazard, but none have anywhere near the integration of battery/ motor/ controller/ ergonomics the Stromer has. I haven't ridden an R&M, Klever, or other European "superbikes", but in the U.S., Stromer sits at the top of a large mountain of ebike brands. If they want to maintain that position they need to consider customer service as much as they consider the design of their bikes. There is a definite market for high-end ebikes but they can only grow that market if they can figure out how to turn the enthusiasm about the way their bikes look and ride into the same kind of enthusiastic brand loyalty. Without the second phase of enthusiasm they'll lose the first. If they can pull it off I have to think they stand strengthen their position rather than lose it.

For decades Mercedes Benz had a reputation for building some of the finest cars in the world. They were beautiful and engineered like a Swiss watch. When their long-term reliability began to suffer and repair costs got factored in to the whole experience they lost ground to companies like Toyota. The reliability and service of the bland Japanese brand proved to be more important than the design and panache of the German one. People might fall in love with the way a vehicle looks and drives (or rides), but they stay in love only when that initial enthusiasm is followed by reliability and service. There are countless instances of beautiful and functional brands dying because of long-term dissatisfaction. I had a girlfriend like that in college. Thank god I married a Toyta.