BMW looking to reinvent both its design language and marketing

8-Series, BMW X7, Interesting, News | October 21st, 2017 by 32
BMW Concept 8 Series Pebble beach 01 830x553

BMW is on the verge of a huge change. Within the next year and a half, or so, BMW will be launching six new models, …

BMW is on the verge of a huge change. Within the next year and a half, or so, BMW will be launching six new models, the largest product offensive in the brand’s modern history. A few of those cars are going to be at the higher end of the market, higher than BMW has had before, such as the BMW X7 and 8 Series Coupe. That move upmarket, as well as a shift in advertising and design language, will help BMW sort of reinvent itself for the future.

According to BMW design boss Adrian van Hooydonk, “In fact, six or seven new BMWs will be rolled out in the next year-and-a-half or so. I’ve been with this company a while and we’ve done a lot of product in the past, but I would say that we’ve never done so many new cars for one particular brand in such a short period of time.”

BMW X7 Concept Frankfurt 13 830x623

It’s a time van Hooydonk feels is a great opportunity, “an opportunity, because if you can roll six cars in one-and-a-half years, you can pretty much transform the brand,” van Hooydonk told Autocar. “We also felt that it was the right time because we felt quite happy with the design up until now. But you have to keep moving. You don’t want to become a sitting duck.”

One of the interesting moves BMW will be making is switching up the roundel and logo on its higher-end luxury products. So rather than the blue and white roundel that we’ve come to know, it will instead go old-school, with a black and white roundel and the brand’s full name, “Bayerische Motoren Werke” spelled out around it. This design will be present on the cars themselves as well as all marketing for them. So it will create a distinct image for top-of-the-line BMWs.

BMW Concept 8 Series Frankfurt 02 830x623

Hildegard Wortmann, BMW’s brand chief, spoke about this new change in image, “by going back to our roots and using the full name, like Alexander McQueen”. The latter of which is a fashion house that used the same technique, changing its logo back to an old-school one and writing out its full name on higher-end products.

Van Hooydonk also spoke about the new design language the would become of BMW. “This new chapter in our form language. Pretty quickly, we came to the conclusion that it should be something that is cleaner, where we are trying to achieve a lot with fewer elements, and fewer lines.” he said. “But the lines that we do have should be crisper, sharper and more precise. We believe that this will fit very well with these new top-end products. When you reduce the form language, the details matter more. In the luxury segment, where often more is more, we are offering luxury in a very modern way.”

BMW also wants to create more individuality throughout the BMW lineup. “In the next vehicle generation, we want to separate each and every model. They have very different types of competitors that could be from totally different brands. The industry has changed in that sense,” said van Hooydonk. It’s quite promising to hear, as BMW’s design language seems to be getting a bit bland, as of late.

It spells good news for the new 8 Series, though, a car whose concept is one of the prettiest to ever wear a roundel. “For the luxury cars, it is always a good idea to separate them from the next car up – that’s something that we will do. If you look at the 8 Series, I believe it deserves that name. Like the previous 8 Series, it’s a car that’s not a saloon-derived coupé.” said van Hooydonk.

These are exciting changes for BMW and its fans. Not only will the cars be getting more exciting and more sophisticated but they will more individualized. So the days of generic-feeling BMWs will soon be gone. What’s even more exciting still is that it will be happening quickly, as a massive new product offensive will be underway within the next year. Now is a good time to be a BMW fan.

[Source: Autocar]

32 responses to “BMW looking to reinvent both its design language and marketing”

  1. Pictor says:

    The i Vision has promise but it’s missing the Hofmeister kink and the side view makes me think of the Kia Tiger Nose grill. Who’s leading who in design now?

    The X7? So much for Tuetonic design restraint.

    The 8 Series, pure sex.

    • disqus_d4cEcykOJC says:

      Hofmeister didn’t originate the kink any more than Bangle did the butt, plus BMWs were built without either for decades, the past is not a contractual obligation. As for Teutonic design restraint, guess you’ve never seen a Baroque Angel. Or a Beetle.

      • Pictor says:

        The Hofmeister kink has become iconic in BMW design just like the kidney grill. The Baroque Angel term isn’t really a term of endearment. 501/502’s was an important car for BMW but not what I would consider one of their successes. It helped bridge post war production into the New Class BMW’s that were often influenced by Italian design such as the 3200CS based on the 501 but designed by Bertone and incorporated the Hofmeister Kink. The Kink, the kidney grills, and the line-6 have been iconic to BMW.

        • disqus_d4cEcykOJC says:

          The most valuable BMW, the 507, is Baroque Angel roadster, no vertical kidneys, no kink, no Italians, no I6. Those who remember their past are not bound to repeat it. As you mention, new 8er is proof of that.

          • Pictor says:

            The baroque angel name was given to the 501/502. Not the cars that followed even though they shared similar mechanics until the new class was introduced

          • disqus_d4cEcykOJC says:

            Of course. I referenced that the 503 & 507 were dependent upon the sedan for frame & drivetrain. No Baroque Angels, no 2+2 GT, no Roadster. They did not share similar mechanics. Mechanics are people.

  2. M. says:

    BMW should better keep the iVision Concept, well… a concept; and reinvent the shape, keeping an eye on Shtuttgart. I suppose this is a Mission…

  3. Christoph Michael says:

    I’m definitely a BMW fan, however the “generic feeling” of BMWs to me is more the fact of how many you see around of any given model. That means you can make a 600.000$ BMW but if there are many of them on the road, the same feeling will persist…

  4. Arunabh says:

    So if they really stick to their promise then we may be looking for some progress at least on design front. As an optimist, I would take X7 as more of an aberration then, instead of what is in store for us in the name of progress.

    Let’s see who is gonna take the lead in improving the dynamics, especially steering.

  5. Thaal Rasha says:

    Looks like usual marketing bullshit speech to me for now… The only thing coming is the death of fun car replaced by focus on luxury… Is this going to be a MB clone brand ? BMW was the go to for fun car with decent quality / comfort, this is dying and was the only thing that set the brand apart.

    • Arunabh says:

      Yep. I too am taking it with a pinch of salt at the moment. Their recent track record has been such that whatever they gave us in the name of new or next gen stuff has either been unfounded or been largely woeful.

      Their marketing was more focused on showing us half cooked and entirely useless stuff such as gesture control and on the other hand the vehicles are suffering problems (unthinkable about BMWs of not so past) of nose dive and squat.

      There styling has been mediocre at best during this period.

      And all of this are showing in the reviews that it’s cars are generating the world over and the surge in migration of its top talent to other companies.

      They were top notch luxury brand for me. But the kind of efforts they have put in last 2-3 years, I wouldn’t want to keep them in the company of elites.

      • C'mon Roy! says:

        What are you talking about?!? They are only making too many models today, but they are still n1 where the company heart was, are they not???

        I was the first to like the Bangle 7er and all of what was coming after, I remember the majority squealing like mad, praising the “same sausage, different sizes” lineup of Audi instead. Nothing could undeline boring for me, but weirdly, everyone loved it. Then went Bangle off and everyone was finally happy. Now you lot come up saying (not only you, I keep hearing that more often than I would consider normal) the styling is somehow mediocre?? Oh, fluff off somewhere else, please. Besides I really do think their design is brilliant with the F01, F10 and the F13 cars. Yes, they might have played the last decade a bit safer compared to MB or Audi, but who can blame them? Every now and then they try to reach out and do something daring, they fail. Who could blame them? Btw. the “i” brand is a massive success, maybe not in terms of sales at the moment, but for their technology and future for sure.

        Besides, heard of the new 5er? About it being as close to the praised e39 as you could possibly get nowadays? How the hell you call that woeful??

  6. Giom says:

    I think the complacency started towards the mid 90s when they chose to ditch their tried and tested knit one, skip one philosophy. They used to revolutionize the range every 2nd generation and it seemed to have worked just fine.

    Now, after a number of evolutionary designed generations, they – only now, realize the need for the element of excitement to return.

    Another problem imo, is the popular German philosophy of cloning the entire range. Obviously, this waters down the design language much quiker AND it inhibits the creative process that is required to take the brand to the head of the design class. I do not understand this way of thinking. But, rumour has it that this is about to change at BMW. Let’s hope.

    The take away from this article, however, is a positive one and for that we should all be grateful and excited.

    • disqus_d4cEcykOJC says:

      BMW took their 1st historic sales lead from Mercedes during the Bangle years, Mercedes have increased volume since then by going down market. BMW should repeat history by going up market with design innovation & leadership. In their case it’s not so much cloning as design cues & heritage that allows everything from hatches to limos & SAVs to sports cars to be identifiably BMW. When they are, people complain they are dull. Bring on Z4, 8, X7!

      • Thaal Rasha says:

        Most people are not car enthusiasts, they’ll prefer boring luxury car over a fun rwd car.

        • disqus_d4cEcykOJC says:

          BMW redefined luxury to include performance instead of Detroit’s ride like a cloud isolation. Pendulum seems to be swinging back, given aging demographic & decaying roads, think I understand why.

    • Giom says:

      @disqus_d4cEcykOJC: Bangles designs weren’t clones. He was the first (and last) guy to assign a unique identity to each series. There was no mistaking an E65 7 Series for an E60 5 Series. Before Bangle and after – they pretty much looked like twins.

  7. mr_score says:

    Mmm, love me some beaver x7…
    They’ve become a heavy, boring bloated crap quality brand, especially their incompetent service departments. Never going to get a beaver, sorry, Big Money Waster again.

  8. Max says:

    I’ll just stick with my old cars, thanks. If I were interested in a luxury car, BMW would not be my brand of choice, and if the styling of the new X7 is any indication of where they are heading, good luck to them, but I am not interested in a German designed more ostentatious Escalade.

    • C'mon Roy! says:

      Cool. Buy the M6 GranCoupé instead, 218d or whatever floats your boat. Luckily, they have a zillion of cars to choose from, so they made it really easy for you already.

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