BMW is changing – We have to learn to live with it

Interesting, Others | January 28th, 2015 by 14
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BMW is changing. There’s no denying it and certainly there is no way around it. BMW has to change because not only the market demands are changing, but the customer is too

There are several burning topics at the moment in the BMW community and after a while the noise becomes too loud to ignore it. For instance, the fake sound issue is currently getting a lot of attention, even though it’s not a new topic. Then we have the whole front-wheel drive saga and the rebellion against it. On our social media channels, the photos of front-wheel drive BMWs are getting hammered on a daily basis. Now the topic of an M5 xDrive is also being beaten to death with more people against it than favoring the all-wheel drive sports car.

So what do all these things tell us? People don’t like change. Same happened with the introduction of the 1 Series a few years back. Then we had the launch of DCT (Double Clutch Transmission) for the M models. Or some of you might be old enough to remember the time when BMW launched their first SUV. The X5 kept the news headlines for years and the voices died down only after the car was unveiled.

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BMW is changing. There’s no denying it and certainly there is no way around it. BMW has to change because not only the market demands are changing, but the customer is too. Now you have the Y Generation that expects different things from their cars, they care more about connected cars than they car if they drive a manual or automatic. And let’s not forget the government regulations that impose extremely strict rules on automakers.

Changes are tough to be accepted. Changes are difficult to be communicated and visions are hardly understood by anyone, other than the ones defining them. Customers take things for granted, we expect things to just simply work and stay the same.

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Some of these technologies are simply preparing us for the future. Even though the whole artificial engine sounds may be overblown, it certainly gives us a perspective of what’s to come. And I’m not talking about someone hacking it and making their BMW sound like an Imperial TIE Fighter. Which would be utterly cool and awesome!

The Active Sound also previews future hybrid and electric models that make use of the “fake sound” more than other BMWs. Some for the safety of pedestrians. In the future, eDrive will power many new BMWs and will account for a large percentage of the yearly sales. The conservatives and died hard fans will once again raise their voice and express their strong opinions, while the liberals will embrace the change and make the best of it.

But, the main issue is, will BMW change for the good? Or will BMW remove all links pointing to their DNA? Tough to say. But we know this; any time BMW has been forced to make a giant leap, make a certain change or simply improve upon something already considered perfect – they excelled at it.

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When BMW first introduced fuel injection, many argued against it. In the end, the new technology delivered more fuel efficient cars than we’ve ever had before. When BMW introduced the DCT for their BMW M3, there was a lot of debate on the death of the manuals and on the end of BMW performance cars we know them. But with only a 7% manual rate in the U.S., the numbers show that customers have not only embraced the change, they also paid more for it to take advantage of better technology.

The 1 Series was often referred to as the hairdresser car, but the 135i Coupe has created a cult all over the world and has become a huge seller for the company. People embraced its quirky looks and focused mostly on the performance coming from under the hood. It even led BMW to building one of their best cars ever: the 1M.

The X5 is now in its third-generation and customers see it as the cornerstone of BMW. It also led to new BMW SUVs that sell just as much as midsize sedans.

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Technology advancements are happening every day. It’s that consistency in making great automobiles that makes BMW the company it is today. Regardless if we talk about hybrids, M cars, electric cars or the introduction of a self-driving automobile somewhere down the line, BMW has a vehicle for everyone and in most cases, they will deliver the best car possible for that segment and for that customer.

For the most part, BMW did well with change … and I’m sure they will keep doing just that in the future as well.

14 responses to “BMW is changing – We have to learn to live with it”

  1. […] Change is always scary. New technologies that change the way we live will always make the masses nervous. It’s understandable, really. We get very used to the way things are, and as soon as we get comfortable, things change again. It happened with computers first, then with the internet and now it seems to be happening with electric vehicles. […]

  2. Chris says:

    Very good article!

  3. Matt Stokes says:

    People tend to view companies like BMW as a solid chunk of stone, that was hewn to a shape that they like… and they see it as though that is how it always was, and how it always should be.

    Fact is, as this articles talks about, that was never the case. BMW has always been in a state of flux, forever changing and adapting to the market, to the shareholders, to the times… to the trends. And whilst I embrace every new move from the company, and respect them for trying, even when sometimes things don’t work out as anticipated, I can’t escape a niggling thought that the companies focus has forever shifted. I totally get why, I’m not bemoaning it, I understand the reasons – I’d never turn to a competitors product just to spite BMW for the change – because where it counts BMW have led… where necessity has dictated, they have reluctantly followed.

    I still love the products, but the BMW I love made the E28, and the E24, if I was 10 years old now would I fall in love with BMW like I did when in 1989.. probably not. Their message is no longer clear, if today was the first day you’d heard of BMW, they’d have to rely more on tradition and heritage to sell themselves as a sporting brand, rather than their current portfolio – where will that leave the brand in another 20 years.

    These are pioneering days for BMW, and I hate to sound like an old man, but between what can be had reasonably on the second hand market, and what can be had new… I think these are the best days to be a BMW enthusiast…. I only hope that I’m still saying that when I’m 55.

    • Vanja Kljaic says:

      Are you saying, in a way, that if you were young now, you wouldn’t dream of the F80 M3 as you did of the E30 M3 back then? I don’t share that opinion honestly.

      When you grow up, your perspective changes. A lot. That’s when you start valuing things you didn’t previously (luxury interior, comfort levels and fuel consumption aspects) like you did earlier (performance, pure aggressive performance and looks) where this is what happened to many of us concerning BMW models lately.

      I’m simply trying to state, that change, even though it might not be the right thing to do sometimes, it may sound off too, it’s something that will go on with or without us. But BMW has always did it right, even with some issues along the way. The biggest ship in our minds will happen when hybrid becomes the norm. That’s what I’m most scared off really as perception of fuel burning, awesome sounding vehicles goes and that’s where things will change for us, old guys, it seems quite a bit then.

      • Matt Stokes says:

        Honestly… well, I never lusted after an M-car when I was younger. It was never the pinnacle of what they offered that attracted me, just as it’s not the case now. In fact, I disliked the E30 in general until I bought my first one, a 320i.

        For me the brand isn’t typified by it’s top offering, it’s why I’m not that fussed if BMW make a supercar now.

        What I want to buy is a good car that is sport orientated first – and, my priorities haven’t change as I’ve got older. My income has tripled since I had my first BMW, but I have no kids, I have no wife… I’ve even given up on the idea of owning a house – such is the cost involved these days, an S1000RR would suit by needs as well as a 4GC if it came to it, and if I threw caution to the wind, I could probably stretch to an M4.

        I love the brand, and MY loyalty won’t change… it’s why I will continue to experiment with all of it’s products….. I just wonder if the brand as it is today will inspire the same loyalty in future generations? I’m not so sure it will, I also don’t think it will make the slightest difference to BMW’s bottom line. I love BMW with a passion, but in 2 generations time I think we’ll only consider the 3 series as a sports saloon because BMW are showing us pictures of the E30 M3 DTM and the E90 320Si WTCC.

  4. […] Change is always scary. New technologies that change the way we live will always make the masses nervous. It’s understandable, really. We get very used to the way things are, and as soon as we get comfortable, things change again. It happened with computers first, then with the internet and now it seems to be happening with electric vehicles. […]

  5. hashad khodabacchus says:

    Y generation

  6. gerry says:

    all things change as we do brozozowski 1906
    old paradigms eventuall get inoperable as their avocats and maters die kuhn 1950

  7. […] BMW is changing – We have to learn to live with it. […]

  8. Lawrence says:

    I think it must be a change for the better, a change to remain premium and I cannot say that FWD cars are that. That is a change to cut cost and be more like VW and Audi.

  9. […] With It… Its not just shifting markets but shifting consumers, tastes and preferences… BMW is changing – We have to learn to live with it […]

  10. […] for better or worse. Meaning there is a void as sporty champion, this is Jaguars opportunity… http://www.bmwblog.com/2015/01/28/bm…ng-learn-live/ Kink is online now   Quote Quick […]

  11. […] BMW is Changing, Live With It… Without a single NA motor, change is an understatement… http://www.bmwblog.com/2015/01/28/bm…ng-learn-live/ bird is online now   Quote Quick […]

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