BMW’s recent acquisition of ALPINA made headlines yesterday and drew mixed reactions from fans of both brands. Some seem excited about the idea of BMW owning ALPINA, as it means more money and resources for the latter brand to use for new, excellent vehicles. While other fans seem fearful that BMW will dilute the ALPINA brand into nothing more than a luxury trim level for even entry-level cars. We’re not sure how this new partnership is going to play out but there are some interesting new possibilities, including the US market finally getting some of ALPINA’s best cars.
For decades, ALPINA only sold a select few models in the ‘States. Typically, only its bigger, uber-expensive models crossed the Atlantic, as ALPINA isn’t a super well known brand here and few customers, if any, would buy less expensive, less profitable cars. Which made fan-favorites like the ALPINA B3 nonviable options. Now, though, such cars just might have a chance in America.
With BMW’s backing, resources, and hefty marketing budget, cars like the ALPINA B3 might finally be viable for the US market. US customers still might not buy ALPINA B3s and B5s in enough quantities to warrant continued production but at least the BMW Group has the funds to try. Before this acquisition, ALPINA didn’t really have the financial stability to chance selling those cars ‘Stateside but BMW would be able to. Whether it will want to is a different story.
Another reason why it might happen is because of electrification. If ALPINA makes an electric version of the i4, for instance, it would likely be easy-peasy to sell in the ‘States, as the powertrain/drivetrain would almost certainly be the same, so there wouldn’t be any need to re-crash test the car or homologate engines for US emissions. Same could be said once cars like the BMW M3 go electric — it would be far cheaper and easier to bring an electric ALPINA B3 to the ‘States than any internal combustion engine model.
The same could be said for some of ALPINAs SUVs. There are very reasonable fears from enthusiasts about what might become of the ALPINA brand now that BMW is in charge. However, I think there’s just as much room for optimism. The potential for new models in the US market is one of them.