BMW executives are privately furious that Mercedes calls its new sport-utility vehicle an 'M-class.'
BMW has had the M brand for 20 years. Except for BMW owners and car enthusiasts, the M brand is not well known.
But BMW owners know it well. BMW says that in the USA, its parts departments sell around 900 M badges a year. Most of them end up fastened to the trunk lid of an ordinary model, so that an owner can turn an ordinary 325i into a phony M325i.