If you were BMW’s CEO….

Interesting | December 9th, 2008 by 39

what new cars, concept would you give the green light for production? I know this is a very hypothetical question and while many of us …

what new cars, concept would you give the green light for production? I know this is a very hypothetical question and while many of us dream at  that job someday(ya, righttt), it is still fun to be in Her Norbert Reithofer’s shoes.

So, feel free to share with us what BMW models should be part of the future BMW line-up and I will compile all the comments in here and see what the most popular choices are.

This article was inspired by the folks are Germancarzone who opened a great forum thread with lots of good answers. I will monitor their results as well and see how it compares.

Let’s have some fun today!

P.S Let me tell you my choices:

  1. BMW CS Concept
  2. BMW Z8 SuperRoadster
  3. Gina Light Concept

39 responses to “If you were BMW’s CEO….”

  1. thrill says:

    an electric Z4

  2. txdesign says:

    Small Z2 Coupe with 4-cyl turbo. I want to be able to order euro options, unlike on my 1-series: leather/fabric combo seats, sunroof delete, etc.

  3. acudettaghison says:

    CS concept

  4. adood84 says:

    I would green light an M3 CSL, M1 or a similar car for production (can’t let Audi, Nissan, and Porsche have all the fun), CS I would cancel at least on of the SUVs maybe the X3 or X1. And I would scrape that Minivan thats suppose to come out next year

  5. Lee says:

    GINA, for sure. I was never that in love with the CS, so it would stay on the cutting room floor where it currently sits. The “X1” would be in the same boat, and I’d scale back production of the X3 and X5’s. The diesel engine would immediately become an option in everything for the US and I’d make a limited-edition mid-engined RWD Cooper S a priority. Maybe make it a fully electric car that actually out-performed the standard Cooper S (or at least on-par with the Coop S) and put it into production instead of these anemic electric cars everyone’s trying to shove down the public’s throats. There’s no reason an electric car has to be a slow, boring turd.

    Then I’d slap around the folks within the M division. You could probably save them some cash if you backed off of the 5,109,882 number of ///M badges/logos/decals each M car comes with. Maybe make them a little less grotesque and chintzy.

  6. Brookside says:

    Z2, Gina Concept.

    What I’d really like to see is a new version of the Mille Miglia Concept…a super-coupe for the 21st century, brought up to date by extrapolating the design cues of Anders Warming’s original concept.

  7. Uxel says:

    I’d cancel at least one of the PAS, as I think that people who want to have more space or not a sedan buy a X3 or X5. I would also cancel the X5M and X6M (think the V8 already available is fast enough, maybe an aerokit would be a nice option for those who want to have a more agressive car), and therefore develop the CS to compete with Porsche Panamera. Smaller engines and project-i have already their emphasis.
    I’m not quite sure about the X1…

  8. Gragop says:

    I’d make a usable platform halo car such as the CS Concept then greenlight the CSL to keep up the sportiness of the brand.

    I’d then scuttle the X6 and X1 lines and focus in on the core of the BMW brand and begin to better equip the engine line up in the US and all markets.

    @Brookside: The 328 Mille Milgia would be a cool model to bring out.


    I can beat that. This weekend I was XMas shopping and ran into a particular Merc E-Class that caught my eye. The reason it caught my eye was that it was littered with AMG badges across the back. It had a “Mercedes” badge on the left side of the trunk with a “AMG” badge then it had 6.3L V8 badges behind the wheel wells in the front. Sure enough, some a$$hole had rebadged his E350 as an AMG despite it having only the dual and not quad exhausts. I know people who do this probably fool most into thinking their car costs $20k more than it did but to enthusiasts you look like a complete dick – I almost left a note reminding the guy that he’s got the wrong engine badges on his car.

  9. Ze says:

    The G.I.N.A. Concept powered with a eletric or hydrogen motor.
    That yes, it would be the right step into future.
    And with some research, it could be an opportunity for BMW to be the first to make the next generation of real super cars.

  10. GAMEplayer says:

    1. One supercar, maybe a BMW Z10
    2. The CS concept
    3. M treatment for the 1-series coupe, for an M1

    I will cancel the X1, since there are a lot of suv’s
    Cancel the PAS… Progress activity shit

  11. mpower says:

    CS Concept

    a new super M5

  12. Lee says:

    Yeah, I see an occasional “///M 318” around here. Pretty stupid stuff. I’m not sure what would ever bring someone to rebadge their entry-level models as M/AMG cars.

    Sad thing is, though, the M division throws more M logos around than even the most overzealous teenage e36 driver. I counted, at one point in time, 32 visible M logos on my e46 M3. These were all visible either from inside the car, standing outside the car or looking in the engine bay. This doesn’t count any of them that you had to really or many any real effort to find. Just the ones that are visible if you were casually looking at the car at a car show/meet somewhere.

    Only one of those 32 was added by me, and I quickly removed it as soon as I realized that BMW had already gone well overboard with the logo on their own. I had an M logo as the background on my AVIC-Z1 for about a week before swapping it out with a generic pattern.

  13. Lee says:


    “This doesn’t count any of them that you had to really or many any real effort to find.”

    Wow, I need to stop doing so many drugs while I’m on the clock.

    Should read: “This doesn’t count any of them that you have to strain or make any real effort to find.”

  14. roffle waffle says:

    GINA. I’d make it a direct competitor to Lotus Exige. 2400lbs, mid engine, with the m3’s v8. very basic

  15. Lee says:

    @roffle waffle:

    There’s no way you’re making that competitive with the Exige, especially in price. Maybe shove a cheaper engine in there (perhaps the 3.0L TT I6), but you would still have to cut A LOT of corners to even get close.

  16. miles says:

    GINA and Concept CS

  17. Gragop says:

    @roffle waffle:

    The GINA would be too long and too cumbersome to compete with the Exige. Especially with the GINA having a front-engined GT set-up compared to the highly agile mid-engined Exige.

  18. Gragop says:


    Good think you took the one additional badge off, otherwise, we’d never let you post here again…just sayin’….

  19. roffle waffle says:

    The gina version I’m talking about would be VERY spartan. A cloth exterior shell is much cheaper than metal, and weighs a couple of hundred pounds less. You’re telling me it costs a lot of money to build a car like an ariel atom, stretch it 2 feet, cover it in cloth, and shove a v8 in there?

  20. clara says:

    Everyone seems to be tiptoeing around what they really want: A 6.0L V12 in a 6000lb sedan, mileage be damned!

  21. Lee says:

    @roffle waffle:

    Considering the number of unique tools/machines/etc you’d have to buy/fabricate in order to put the GINA into mass-production, yes. Keep in mind that it’s not just some cloth from Wally Worth, either.

    BMW is extremely proud of their V8s, too. Retail price on the s62 (came in the Z8 and e39 M5) is roughly $49k. I imagine the s65b40 is even more.

  22. L1ndja says:

    Well what i would do is cancel the X3 because the new X1 is allready big enough so i dont think there is room for the X3.I would also cancel the M-versions of the X5 and X6 because of the Xdrive50i which allready is fast enough.I would give greenlight for the PAS and concentrate on more Efficient Dynamic Systems.I wouldnt give greenlight for the CS or an 8series at this time because i think its unappropriate for it because of the Economy downfall so all in all it shouldnt be buillt(eventhough i would love to see the CS)..I would also give greenlight for a greensupercar maybe a Z10 with all the Efficient Dyniamic systems involved and hybrid options to make it more efficient.I think that a possible Z2 would be also a very good idea.Last but not least i would invest very much in Hydrogen Powered cars because i think that hydrogen should be the new Fuel to be used by cars.

  23. Horatiu B. says:

    @clara: Wait, you didn’t hear about the $1/gallon gas? :))

  24. Eric says:

    Kill PAS dead in its tracks – too heavy and not a segment BMW should get into. Why would anyone want a BMW with a Skoda rear end?

    Hate X1 but understand why it exists. But it makes X3 redundant. One of them has to go.

    Keep CS only has halo product.

    Keep Z2 as icon for light-and-simple engineering.

    Introduce tii versions of 1- and 3- that genuinely focus on weight reduction and simplicity as means of performance enhancement rather than ever-increasing horsepower.

    GINA as first in series of pioneering green performance vehicles. almost the antithesis of M-power.

  25. roffle waffle says:

    @Lee: retail price on engines and what it costs to produce them have little relation. You don’t actually think it cost them $50k to build an engine and put it into an $80k car….do you?

  26. Lawrence says:

    If I was BMW’s CEO things would be 10,000 to the 10,000 power times better! Lol! I would build the M3 CSL, I would build a super car based off of the CS, possibly the M1 (Keep Dreaming), I would build the M7 to rival Audis S8, and would cancel all of the ugly SUV’s and PAS’s that BMW is waisting time and money building. Oh, and I would also build super models of the Alpina models. Well like I said Keep Dreaming!

  27. clara says:

    @Horatiu B.:
    Yes! Haha… and they said Detroit was on the wrong track! :)

  28. iwantone says:

    if i was a bmw ceo i would be able to afford a bmw :]

  29. roffle waffle says:

    @Lawrence: and you’d be out of business in a month

  30. patricksixer says:

    -No X5M/X6M. ///M badges should never, ever be on trucks.
    -Let’s put as much effort as reasonably possible into EfficientDynamics so we cease to have 4000lb+ 3ers and such. I’m sure the program will deliver such changes to an extent, I just think it should be at or near #1 on the priorities list.
    -Greenlight the CS Concept (not sure about 8 Series name though, since this is no E31 successor, I don’t think 4 door coupes are coupes. I think 9 Series would sound cool, but that’s just me. Imagine a 950i…drool.) Also greenlight M3 CSL and new M1.
    -Go ahead with the PAS, who cares what they call it. Don’t see a need for the 3er-sized variant though, but if it’s far enough in its development then go ahead and sell it. But I wouldn’t bother continuing them if the first generations weren’t notably successful. I just don’t get the idea here…still. I mean we have the sedans, then the wagons, then the SUVs, and then the X6 somewhere out there. Haven’t we covered every niche? I guess you could create a new one but I don’t know…I’ll have a better idea when we all see the PAS.
    -Names…bring back “CS” for the next 6 Series. I just enjoy all the various CS’s and CSi’s :) plus it does sound cool
    -Engines…I’m OK with the turbocharging of ///M’s. The M3 should go back to an I6 though. More 4 bangers and diesels available for the US.
    -Cost cutting moves- I don’t think what the current management has in mind is too different from what I’d do. Collaborate with others where possible/sensible. Mercedes comes to mind, as do any other smaller companies or ones that need help. No need for an alliance though. Also, we won’t be buying any brands like Volvo or Saab, no need.

    I’m sure I’ve overstepped the boundaries of my power numerous times in this, but what the hell lol. I’m not entirely serious or thinking practically here anyway.

  31. clara says:

    So… do you or don’t you want a PAS ///M ? :)

    I misunderstood for a second; I thought you meant give the 6-series the styling from the CS project, which sounded like a really good idea (since they aren’t using it).

    Good points. The only thing I disagree with is not having an X6-M. The X6 attempts to redefine (well, redefine *more*) the SUV by giving it sports car-like handling and performance. So, no a Ford Explorer ///M would be stupid, and I think that’s your reasoning, but an X6-///M is actually a good one. Unless they’re redundant or not differentiated well.

  32. nizer says:

    1. Revive CS Concept
    2. Build an M-version of the 535i – make it light, fast, and fuel efficient – only one of which the current M5 manages.
    3. Reverse current design trend of taller and narrower.
    4. Provide limited-slip differentials, at minimum as option, on all vehicles.
    5. Provide DSG as an option on all cars, with paddle shifts on steering column a la F1 and M3.
    6. Provide the ability to turn off the bloody rain-sensing function on wipers.

  33. Brookside says:

    Well I can grant one of your wishes….
    you can turn off (and on) your rain sensors by pressing in the rectangular shaped button at the tip of the right hand stalk of the steering wheel.

  34. L1ndja says:

    I forgot one thing i wouldnt collaborate with either carmaker because there is no need for it bmw has allrdy everything needed so the likes of Mercedes cannot offer anything to bmw

  35. Lance says:

    If I am the CEO of BMW AG:

    1.) I would stop telling the public that Audi is not a threat to BMW because clearly they are. Audi’s sales increased while BMW’s fell during the current tough conditions. Audi’s cars are trying to be more like BMW, i.e., taking away BMW’s advantage by decreasing the points of differentiation between the two brands’ products.

    2.) BMW has been concentrating too much on Efficient Dynamics and fuel saving technology. Yes, those are important but more work must be done to MAINTAIN the BMW brand image of bring a sporty brand in the premium segment. Therefore, keep up the concept of environmental friendliness, but also launch more products and concepts to highlight and remind the public of what BMW is actually about. What is happening is that Audi’s R8 and RS4 and all that (which is definately not better than BMW’s products) are grabbing a lot of attention for Audi and BMW is lacking behind. This can be seen when most students want to work for Audi now instead of BMW, which was the prefrred choice in teh past.

    3.) Brush up the marketing of BMW: Audi’s are always featured in movies nowadays. I seldom see new BMW’s in movies any more. People need to see these cars in action. Make them want to buy the car and also create an image in children’s minds about the cars in movies; because they are tomorrow’s customers and they will buy what they think is cool.

    4.) CS concept is a good idea, but do not tone the design down. Make it more sporty. what appeals to the old mostly do not appeal to the young.

  36. nizer says:

    thanks but not exactly. i wasn’t clear in my comment. what I want is intermitent wiper functionality without rain-sensing. if you figure that one out let me know.

  37. Brookside says:

    @nizer: Yeah, I wondered if that might be what you meant. In BMW’s quest to invent the intelligent car they’ve sometimes made the functionality more difficult or in some cases like you mention, patronizing- as if a driver can’t figure out when to turn the windshield wipers on.
    But I’ve just gone along with the program…wipers, lights..I leave them set on automatic sensors.

  38. sam says:

    Offer optional lightweight materials (carbon fiber hood, trunk, ect) for 3 series.

    Offer optional limited slip differential on 3 series.

  39. dan says:

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