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Yep, we think it looks bad as well. The BMW X5 meets the Dodge Pickup.

Controversial New Models for the Beemer Brand

April 16, 2004

It's quite a shock to the system when things change. Change brings a whole new set of challenges, namely the slow and sometimes painful process of adaptation. I'm anticipating such a challenge in relation to BMW's latest models.

For some, news of the BMW "Pickup" (we have been unsuccessful in our attempts to get an actual name from BMW) heralds a new age in the urban trendiness of the brand. For others, among whom I count myself, the Beemer 'truck' strikes horror into my mind as I grumble to myself about another entirely ostentatious vehicle without any practical function on our roads.

It seems BMW wants a finger in every segment of the automobile pie. From the strategic outlook demonstrated over the last few months and the huge release of new models, the line coming from BMW is that "if we don't sell it, we will soon sell it". This statement applies to the wide variety of automobiles with four-wheels available in the world market. The BMW 1 Series has established the Bavarian carmaker in the hatchback market for urban dwellers, while the X Series has brandished BMW as a viable competitor in the fast emerging and highly popular city-SUV market segment. Still further, it seems, that BMW will produce a 'ute' and a 'people mover' to extend sales to new market territory. On top of that, a super 'SUV' (or 'SAV' as BMW keeps insisting) in the name of the 'X7' will represent an ultra-luxury and ultra-sized addition to take on the larger American offerings by Ford, Dodge and Jeep head-to-head.


  • BMW 'Pickup' (Name not confirmed)
  • X7
  • BMW 'People Mover' (Name not confirmed)
  • Drop-top Six Series

Enter the ultra-luxury SUV (or SAV), BMW style , the X7.

This is BMW trying something its never done before, the "People Mover". The results could be scary.

Say 'hello' to the snazzy Drop-Top Six Series


I'm not the first to question the aggressive styling strategy adopted by BMW. BMW's new Head of Engineering and Design, Chris Bangle is a man who's not afraid to pull a few ambitious shots in the aesthetic arena. His first strategic deployment of new age styling arrived with the E65/66 7 Series in 2002 and has continued with the Z4, the 2003 5 Series and the soon to be available 1 and 2 Series models. Bangle's design impetus is expected to continue throughout all new models planned for release before 2007. Some have their reservations about the significant design revamp undertaken by BMW in recent months but others have praised the ingenuity of the carmaker for its resilience in the promotion of innovation - at a time where it seems other brands have 'run out of ideas.' And this is true, some manufacturers would have remained static in design and reluctant to make any major moves once in possession of a hugely popular model (say for example BMW's E39 Five Series). But BMW has crusaded ahead and gambled on the aggressively seductive newer models which may at first shock but do seem to have lasting appeal.

BMW has traditionally been a maker of luxury saloons. BMW's recent foray into small hatchbacks, enter the 1 and 2 Series - while too early to tell is an ambitious move. These smaller cars are generally highly fuel efficient, priced cheaply and previously hit a certain segment of the market of which BMW had little penetration. The 316i Compact made small inroads but was never really competitive. What BMW must realize, and hasn't embraced by the look of the first round of pricing on 1 & 2 units, is that these are cheap cars. They are meant to be produced bought for precious little cost. In Australia, the Toyota Echo and Hyundai Excel are examples of the highly successful hatchback. Both retail for under $15,000 (AUD). BMW's first 1 Series will sell for $37,000 (AUD), clearly above that of the average price range of the segment. To compete effectively, BMW will have to reflect the price concerns of the market for such a vehicle. Again, the 'People Mover', the stable product of car companies such as Toyota and Kia, is marketed as an economical choice on price terms. BMW, traditionally a luxury carmaker will either have to reduce production costs in these vehicles, forgoing quality and prestige, or accept what must be a limited proportion of the market share.

Thats the round up for now.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007 18:41 WST

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