The Bavarian automaker has no plans to stop and will not apologize for its designs

2023 BMW XM Label Red front three-quarters

without question latest BMW models polarize in their views. There are details such as the large front fascia of the 4 Series, M3 and M4, or the two-piece headlights of the new 7 Series. and of course whole models like the new XM, which looks extremely extravagant from all angles. now BMW CEO Oliver Zips confirmed Carsales that this controversial design has become a future strategy for the Bavarian carmaker and we will continue to see polarizing designs and production models in the future.


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There is no future-oriented design without controversy

Premiere of the BMW i7

At the event on the occasion of the USA the launch of the new 7 Series and its electric i7 counterpart, the magazine spoke with Zipse. When asked about the controversial design, he confirmed that it was the automaker’s plan, and otherwise such a design would not be produced. “If you want to change the design, any step into the future that is perceived as new is automatically going to be controversial,” he told Carsales, adding, “there is no such thing as future-oriented design without controversy.”

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At the same time, Zipse explained that the controversial design does not deter customers from buying, but rather creates a debate about what they do, citing the XM as an example and adding that past models with controversial designs still sell well.

The strategy came from an analysis of The Bangle 7 series

E65 three-quarter front view

According to Oliver Zipse, the origins of the strategy may lie in The 7 Series E65, which hit the market in 2001, was heavily criticized. It replaced the elegant 7 Series E38 and greatly polarized it with its controversial design at the time.

Upon analysis, however, BMW discovered that the model actually sold significantly better than the previous model. Zipse attributes this to the publicity of this design dispute, which seems like free advertising. That’s why he now wants to pursue controversial projects and actively encourages it in the design process.

Future design depends on sales

Premiere of BMW 3 series

Although the success of a design can only be measured when a carmaker is already in the middle of developing the next model, at BMW sales determine the future direction of design. Zipse concluded that the design of BMW’s volume modelssuch as the 3 series, X3, 5 Series and X5 should continue to appeal to more conservative buyer groups and thus be less controversial. On the other hand, in the case of niche models, the boundaries of design will expand in the future.

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