BMW set an all-time sales record in 2021 when it delivered 2,213,795 cars. Last year, the German luxury brand didn’t manage to match the previous performance, but it still shipped 2,100,692 units (-5.1%). It’s an exceptional number and goes to show the new design direction, as controversial as it may seem, hasn’t really hampered demand. These past few years have been difficult due to supply bottlenecks, so achieving these numbers is quite a feat.
In an interview with Top Gear magazine, BMW Group Head of Design Adrian van Hooydonk said “We don’t ignore the chatter. We hear it. We see it.” He was referring to the criticism some of the models have received, specifically the X7 LCI, 7 Series / i7 G70, and the new XM. Of course, we mustn’t omit the overly vertical kidney grille installed on some of the smaller cars. “We also look at our sales figures and they look good,” which implies demand remains strong despite the backlash.
Nevertheless, the wind of change is blowing at BMW’s design studios. The man in charge of how the cars look says the automaker must implement new elements to keep the design fresh and relevant. The vehicles currently being worked on will be out in 2025/2026 and are set to be sold until 2033 or so. What can we expect? Adrian van Hooydonk told TG there will be a “cleaner” design language with a kidney grille proportionate to the size of the vehicle.
The i Vision Dee concept revealed at the beginning of the year in Las Vegas at CES provided a preview of a completely new look BMW is working on. The 3 Series Sedan-sized EV had a cleaner design, and we’ll likely see a closer-to-production version in September at IAA Munich where the company will give us a taste of the Neue Klasse once again.
Adrian van Hooydonk pointed out that BMW is not experimenting with designs, mentioning it’s not “throwing things out there to see what sticks.” He went on to specify that a “very deliberate process” is ongoing.
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