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BMW, the Ultimate Driving Machine, is developed from an independent company. This company was able to focus on turning great ideas into great cars. The company exhibits one of the most recognizable logos in the world, the blue and white BMW insignia which is known as the Roundel. This emblem depicts motion as it portrays the movement of an airplane propeller against a clear blue Bavarian sky. One of the most visible BMW design elements is the twin-kidney grill, introduced in 1933, the distinctive shape of the kidneys first emerged from an effort to reduce aerodynamic drag.
BMW is manufactured in the Leipzig Plant in Germany, which has been called one of the ten most important buildings of the 21st century. The building was designed by the renowned architect Zaha Hadid. The BMW company has remained relatively small and very independent for over 90 years.
The BMW Company indicated that it is not enough to build great cars, but also to strive to create lasting relationships.
The BMW ownership experience is said to be a partnership with the drivers, this experience continues to drive the market for these vehicles. The experience also shows the excellence in performance and how committed the company is to the vehicles that bear their name. The BMW Performance Driving School was built to create better drivers and to attract customers. They build these facilities because of their need to remain competitive in the market, with the idea of fine tuning their vehicles. The need for BMW motor vehicles continue to grow because of their performance as compared to vehicles in the same class.
Customers are seeking quality craftsmanship, well thought out design, and excellent customer service so as to build a loyal customer base.
With the present economy, where unemployment rate is at an alarming 9.5%, and the prices of motor vehicles going down due to competition by so many vehicle manufacturers, the BMW market has had slight growth throughout the world. Consumers are discovering the fun of driving a BMW.
BMW Motor Company is independent; therefore, they can do things differently in terms of developing their vehicles. They do not have to cut corners or costs to satisfy a parent company. This is one of the reasons for their strength in the market. BMW has an important racing heritage. All BMW vehicles feature near perfect front/rear weight distribution. This balance in the product is for high performance handling. BMW continues to gain more opportunities both locally and abroad, because of their attention to details and their innovative efforts. BMW weaknesses lies with cost of the vehicles, most of their vehicles are above the $30,000 mark, which is not affordable by the average consumer.
BMW is a motor vehicle company, and like other motor vehicle manufacturing company, is under threat. Other companies have manufactured and produce great automobiles which are competitive and comparable to the BMW. Companies such as Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, Daimler Chrysler AG, Volkswagen AG, Nissan Motor Corporation, Ltd., and Honda Motor Corporation have also produced top of the line motor vehicles with competitive prices and therefore, pose a threat to the BMW. The slump in the economy is also a threat to BMW, since less people will be able to afford the vehicles.
Since BMW is an independent motor company, it has relatively few major competitors, however, as an automobile company it still has a stiff competition. With today’s economy, consumers are not able to afford higher priced vehicles made by BMW, and are buying more affordable domestic and international cars. Companies like Toyota, Hyundai, or Ford may have more customers, but BMW is not for the average customer. In fact, most of these companies advertise and run promotions so much, that it can devalue the product offering in buyers’ minds, which is why BMW carefully promotes its products. The type of consumer that typically buys a BMW will not buy lower-end cars, but will consider other cars made in Germany, like Porsche, Audi and Mercedes, which are the closest competitors for BMW. Mercedes focuses more on luxury, whereas Porsche is more of a sports-car line. This is why BMW has created the Ultimate Driving Machine, since it can offer what all of these other German automobile companies offer, at a reasonable price when compared to them respectively.
BMW is an international automotive company that designs middle and high-end cars for consumers. The main product lines offered by BMW are the 3 series, 5 series, 7 series, and M series. The 3 series car is a smaller, faster car, whereas the 5 and 7 series are the higher end luxury sports car. The M series is the ultimate sports car with handling like that of a Porsche. The reason BMW makes these higher priced, higher end sports cars, is because this is what the consumer wants. When offering products, companies like BMW “make sure that the quality of the product offerings is in fact the quality that consumers really want”(Kotler, 2006). BMW’s product offerings give the company its product definition, which allows the company to stand apart from other companies. If a consumer wants a regular car that gets them from point a, to point b, they buy a Honda Civic. However, if a consumer wants a car that gets them to and from the same place, but with an extra kick of sport and luxury, they buy a BMW.
Product recognition, preference, and insistence are the goal of product identification. This can be achieved through the creation of logos, symbols, slogans, colors, and brand names. The BMW brand carries a rich history of quality engines, brakes, aircrafts, and automobiles. “Land, air and seagoing vehicles, automobiles, bicycles, accessories for automobiles and bicycles, vehicle components, stationary engines for solid, liquid and gaseous fuels and their components and accessories”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_BMW). The brand is symbolic due to its early 1900’s association with World War I /II development of aircraft engines and flight schools. During the 1920’s BMW began manufacturing motorcycles and re-designed the original logo. The new logo incorporated portions of the original logo to maintain recognition with existing consumers as well as build value around the automobile side of the business. ”The inner area of the Rapp logo was decorated with the head of a black horse – “Rappe” in German.
By analogy with this, the blue and white panels of the Bavarian national flag were placed at the center of the BMW logo. Not until the late 1920s was the logo lent a new interpretation as representing a rotating propeller. The BMW Trademark, called a “roundel”, was submitted for registration on the rolls of the Imperial Patent Office, and registered there with no. 221388 on December 10, 1917”( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_BMW). BMW has achieved its strong product recognition through effective international marketing of quality, value, prestige, and class. The company has done an excellent job maintaining brand value, while working to target several variations of segmented consumers. BMW has established preference and insistence through effective marketing of high quality, service guarantee, and luxury.
The BMW product earns justification through its ability to meet market needs and wants. BMW meets consumer demand from a want perspective. Consumer’s long for the experience to own, lease, or drive a luxury BMW machine. The BMW product serves a need from a service guarantee perspective. “We design extraordinary cars. It only seems right to offer a service plan to match. No other premium automaker provides such comprehensive benefits for absolutely no cost. So while other car owners will incur from several hundred to over one thousand dollars of maintenance or repair costs during the first 4 years they own their vehicles, you pay nothing for the first 4 years or 50,000 miles”(bmwusa.com).
BMW is the ultimate driving machine, and as the company offers additional products, consumers are willing to pay a little bit extra for the quality that BMW can provide. The competition is fierce, and the economy is always fluctuating, but BMW has always created the greatest products, backed up by German precision engineering.
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