Quandt Family Renews Pledge As Audi Challenges BMW’s Lead In Luxury Vehicles

News | December 2nd, 2010 by 25
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Quandt family, BMW’s largest shareholder owns 46% controlling stake and it is very involved in the day-to-day operation through Suzanne Quandt. In a recent statement, …

Quandt family, BMW’s largest shareholder owns 46% controlling stake and it is very involved in the day-to-day operation through Suzanne Quandt. In a recent statement, Quandt family, through Stefan Quandt (17.4 percent stake in the company), vowed to carry on its commitment to the carmaker as Audi challenges BMW’s lead in luxury vehicles.

In a press release issued by BMW, Stefan Quandt said at a Munich event this week to mark the 50th anniversary of the shareholders’ vote approving the German family’s rescue of the luxury-car maker: “We as a family are looking forward” to shaping the future with BMW. Lead, don’t follow – that’s the entrepreneurial calling of BMW.”

Investor Herbert Quandt fended off a takeover attempt five decades ago by Daimler AG, by bankrolling development of the 1500-model midsize sedan. After rejecting Daimler-Benz’s takeover bid for BMW in 1959 and adopting the rescue plan in November 1960, BMW went on to become an almost unprecedented success story.

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BMW surpassed Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz division as the world’s largest luxury-car maker five years ago and aims to almost double annual sales by 2020 to 2 million vehicles.

The most recent concerns come from Ingolstadt with Audi’s daring plans to become the largest premium automaker by 2015.

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BMW 1500

Bloomberg quotes Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany: “Volkswagen will at some point have benchmark costs and BMW has to ask itself whether it can face this challenge on its own. BMW will have to consider whether it will accept cross shareholdings to secure long-term strategic partnerships.”

BMW is currently working with PSA Peugeot Citroen on hybrid-drive components and four-cylinder engines for the MINI brand. In the US, BMW and SGL Carbon partnered up to build a carbon fiber plant for the upcoming Megacity vehicles.

Same Bloomberg reports that “the Quandt family’s backing allowed Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer to lay out a strategy to achieve the 2 million delivery goal for 2020, he said. Reithofer has also had the freedom to break with tradition, including developing front- wheel-drive vehicles and exiting the Formula One racing.”

As mentioned earlier, the top spot is being challenged by Audi who is targeting record sales this year of more than 1 million cars and SUVs sold.

BMW projects 10 percent sales growth to 1.4 million vehicles, its third-highest annual delivery figure.

With the launch of their electric vehicles sub-brand and future front-wheel drive vehicles, BMW plans to continue its growth and conquer new markets and customers.

25 responses to “Quandt Family Renews Pledge As Audi Challenges BMW’s Lead In Luxury Vehicles”

  1. Giom Mouton says:

    I like this! Action from the Quandts themselves. They are true BMW fan-persons… and business people.

    If the addition of fwd means BMW stays ahead in this game, I’m all for it. The important thing is that the core values remain the same, ie, BMW will always be building rwd cars.

    • Laszlo says:

      ur core values are gone. BMW builds RWD AND FWD AND AWDvehicles already. The Mini is a BMW product and the new 1 series will be FWD and the City vehicle will be FWD as well.

      Pretty soon (10-12 years soon) the AWD and FWD vehicle numbers will meet the RWD cars at BMW. It will be probably 50-50% and I predict that later on this margin will remain at that level for a long time.
      The hybrid vehicles are going to be AWD as manufacturers uses small electric motors and in order to achieve the balance they will use 4 electric motors. They can still manipulate the output in a way that it will feel neutral and more RWD biased but it will be an AWD vehicle nevertheless.

      Lets face it, BMW is a company who makes a product to earn profit. If this is a RWD car and FWD car, they will build it. If the market calls for the electric FWD vehicles BMW will build them. Its not a custom car maker business, its a shareholder dictated profit making machine.
      The M stands for Marketing and not for Motorsport anymore. Sure their cars are still good but its more of the Marketing tool then anything else.
      read today’s blog news, the X1 Mini-SAV is available with Motorsport M-technic upgrades…. a 1.8TD Mini-SAV is an M product now. Great. Core values ? THats Green Money nothing else.

      ps. I don’t blame them for this, just stating the fact. I own my small business as well and I concentrate on profit as well, as everybody else. Sure its nice to make and do what you like to do, but if the market is different then your own liking you adapt. Nothing wrong with this.
      Custom car makers like Tesla and Fisker will be able to go out and make their own machine, but even them are somewhat challenged by the money situation. The masses win with their money.

      • FreudeKing says:

        folloing your logic – If the market calls for BMW underwear, they will make it too as long as it increases the group’s profits.

        • XC says:

          There are some things that are beyond your underestanding.

        • X5SoB says:

          BMW does make underwear! Undershirts, also known as T shirts, are marketed at BMW dealers. And cups, jackets, valve stem caps, ballcaps, money clips, collared shirts, die cast models, socks, cleansers, etc., all with the BMW or MINI logo on them. I’m sure they aid profitability.

    • bob says:

      The Quandts have always been actively involved…Nothing new here.

  2. BMfan says:

    I like that “Lead, don’t follow – that’s the entrepreneurial calling of BMW.”
    It shows in so many tech and innovations in their cars that makes some of us stick with the brand.

  3. Murph says:

    Dear BMW,

    I just saw the new Audi A6 and A8 – so don’t worry, you guys can relax a bit.

    Hugs n Kisses,


  4. Paul says:

    Totally Agreed

  5. X5SoB says:

    Yesterday I took the X5 in for servicing, and was given a MINI Cooper S Crossman as a loaner. What a fantastic sports car! Stomp on the gas, and this car struggles to maintain adhesion and quash torque steer, while rocketing down the the road and leaving everybody else in your dust. In the twisties this car’s longer wheelbase seems to quell any skittishness, while making it corner on rails. The main problem was other cars getting in my way. The wife didn’t like it because it was too low to the ground. I still want one. BMW should have no trouble making exciting front wheel drive cars.

    • Murph says:

      I agree – they definitely can make exciting front-drive cars but the question ultimately comes down to should they make them(at least under the BMW brand)?

      I say no, don’t make a front-drive BMW but keep the magic coming with MINI, great cars!

      • X5SoB says:

        Well, maybe they should market them under the projected sub brand, which I still say should be called iSetta. Or maybe they should call it Quandt!

  6. Kenee says:

    BMW makes much better cars than Audi and Benz put together but the new designs are a worrying sign. The look of a car is the greater indicator of its overall success when the going gets tough. All BMW needs to do is to watch its back and start making good looking cars rather than boring and simple looking cars like the new 5 series sedan which just looks to ordinary and unimpressive given that it is supposed to last 7 years on the market before the next one.

    • JakeM says:

      “BMW makes much better cars than Audi and Benz put together”

      Spoken like a true BMW fanboy.

      Audi and Benz make excellent cars to that are far superior to BMW in other regards. BMW dominates the dynamic and sport aspect because those are their core values. Most BMWs sell because of sportiness – even to those who’ll never use it. Audi and MB have their core values, to, and appeal to different people.

      This whole blind Audi and MB hate here on this site is pathetic.

      • Mercedes is more targeted for the “older” and “luxury oriented” demographics while BMW, like you said, is more towards the “high performance” auto cars.

        I think the reason why BMW is outselling Benz (if it indeed is), is due to the popularity of the 3-series; it offers a great driving experience at a low entry level cost and it’s probably far superior to the C-class for the PRICE. I test drove a C300 loaner car before and I did not like it; it felt like driving a box. However when it comes to upscale Benz series like SL etc, it’s tough to beat.

      • Murph says:

        To be honest, I’ve warmed up a lot to the more recent Benzes. I like the G55, C63 AMG and new E Class Coupe and Sedan. However, I will always prefer BMW first – but the new round of Benzes do make for wonderful, more-luxury oriented cars.

      • wazon8 says:

        Simple question: what’s the core value of Audi? It’s clear what core values of BMW and MB are, but core value of Audi is mysterious thing for me. Surely, MB is superior in terms of comfort, but in what aspect is Audi superior when compared with BMW? Is Audi more comfortable than BMW? I doubt that. Is Audi more sportive? The same story. Is the good balance between these two their core value? Again, I doubt that. You can find whatever Audi offers in some BMW’s and MB’s models. Audi’s biggest problem is that the most obvious core values within premium market are well occupied and they cannot find well defined place for themself.

        And please, stop talking about Audi’s quality. SOME (not ALL) of their cars are of pretty high quality, SOME (not ALL) are not! Do you try to convince me that FWD Audi A4 with small engine buildt solely from Passat’s parts is of 3-er quality? Or that similar A3’s variants are of 1-er quality? It’s ridiculous to ignore such kind of similarities between non-premium and premium cars. One needs to put more effort to make premium car than using a bit better materials in interior. And that’s what Audi does with SOME (not ALL) of their models. You tend to call us “fanboys”, but your attitude here is pretty clear example of fanboyism toward Audi.

        • wazon8 says:

          And one more thing: there is no blideness on Audi and MB here. You totally don’t understand why BMW fans don’t assess MB high. Since BMW fans look for sportiveness in first place, it’s hard to be excited by the fact that MB offers more confortable cars. That’s why people take BMWs over MBs here. As for blindness on Audi: setting aside close connections of some models with VWs, the story is similar – Quattro is not something appealing for people putting driving pleasure at first place. End of story.

          I’ve got a lot of experience with my father’s MBs and it made me think that these cars are not so great as some MB fans tend to suggest. Not so long time ago, E-class two generations back was simply crappy car as for premium market. We’ve got one, it had even holes from in chassis!!! And then MB made us more harm than good by confessing that at that time their line up lost quality and that they will fix the problem with future generetion. Who the hell invented this kind of press realese?! Our car lost some of its value momentarily after this announcement. Even if I were MB fan at that time, they would have lost me right after that. My father was, however, emotionally attached to this brand and still goes for MBs, even despite the fact that we had rosty M-class (one generation back) and we’ve got the most recent M-class, which is – unfortunately – rosty eighter. Maybe, we’re unlucky with the last one, although some of owners report the same problems. Not nice thing from premium car makers not to check steal quality before using it. At least, BMW doesn’t make such stupid mistakes.

          • JakeM says:

            There’s a difference between appreciating a brand for what it is and making frankly stupid comments such as “Audi/MB suck / BMW dominates them” etc.

            I’m a BMW fan first and foremost – but I am not blind. No brand is perfect and that certainly includes BMWs.

            Plus, I like Audi and Mercedes because they make great cars. I don’t care if your typical Audi or MB isn’t as dynamically involving as their BMW counterparts because those brands know their target market and what they expect in their cars. It’s that simple.

            My family has been buying German for years now. Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen (no Porsches yet). I have a 1999 BMW 325i sedan and my parents drive a 2004 Mercedes E320 sport which they selected over the A6 and the E60 5 series because it suited their requirements – which were a comfortable long-distance cruiser with lots of trunk and interior space. At that time the A6 and E60 5er couldn’t deliver on this requirements. My parents tested these cars before making their decision. Nowhere in the requirement list was handling or steering feedback a priority. You can bet that the majority of BMW customers out there, who aren’t driving enthusiasts but want the badge, don’t care about handling etc.

            I like driving the E320. It’s comfortable, handles nicely and the steering feedback is quite decent. It’s fun to drive in its own way. It’s a sporty car, but this is Mercedes sportiness, not BMW sportiness. Different strokes for different folks. It’s that simple.

            I always have to make a fuss here on this site when there are dumb comments about an Audi or MB product being second fiddle to a “superior BMW product”. BMW is playing catch up in many other areas compared to Audi and MB. I think a true BMW enthusiast can ADMIT to that. Likewise, BMW dominates some areas where Audi and MB have some work to do.

            On a whole, though, BMW doesn’t lead over Audi or MB as most fanboys here want us to believe. In my honest opinion, I think Audi, BMW and MB are all at the top when it comes to what type of cars they offer. I prefer any of them to the Japanese luxury brands, especially that pretentious brand called Lexus. While I am no fan of Lexus, they do make good cars – I’d just never buy one.

  7. Efoza says:

    The 5GT design lines will help BMW win even more sales as more and more models are using the GT as the base for their designs.

  8. Honda Rebate says:

    So glad Daimler never took over BMW

  9. meen says:

    Audi has over 30 years developing QUATTRO, if that explains what CORE values mean to the brand. Only over the past 10 years, BMW have developed X-drive to compete with Audi. I’ve driven a BMW for 10 years and loved it but I ordered a new 2011 S4 because I wanted a change and find BMW is just making cars for the sake of it. To me, BMW are slowly losing their exclusivity and I will not be surprised of Audi taking over in 2015.

    • JP says:

      Not to burst your bubble, but you will soon notice the inferior quality of the S4. Also, how ironic for you to say that BMW is losing its exclusivity when your S4 is basically a VW Jetta with a different skin and badge, trying to compete with BMW’s exclusivity and premium status.

      Audi’s Quattro system is well known for its lack of reliability and lack of advancement. Basically you are getting technology that has not been changed for 30 years, whereas BMW’s xDrive is a much more technologically advanced system, integrated with computer technology. Just becasue car makers use big words such as quattro, etc. you think it is that great.

      By the way, just so you don’t get fooled again, Space Frame technology from Audi is basically the term they use for an alluminium chassis (it is not a frame from a space shuttle!) and to give you more insight into this material usage – BMW has decided not to use alluminium chassis (even though it is cheaper and lighter) because it is extremely soft and cannot match the strength of other steel metal combo. This is why Audi is the worst car in terms of safety compared to BMW and Merc.

      Also another note about your Quattro S4 – you are soooooooooo going to get irritated with the tremendous friction in that car – everytime you take your foot off the accelerator, you will feel the friction as if you tapped on the brakes slightly. Enjoy your Jetta! Also when you buy parts, buy from VW as the same thing will be much cheaper with a VW box instead of an Audi box.

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