Automotive

Published on March 28th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair

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BMW’s Strategy Is Working Out Just Fine

Despite angering a huge number of old school automotive enthusiasts, BMW is doing more than okay.

I will be the first one to admit that I’m not 100% with BMW’s ongoing marketing and product strategy. From what I can gather, a sizeable number of vocal enthusiasts are also not entirely on board with the company’s current direction. More specifically to Malaysia, we’ve highlighted some of BMW Malaysia’s strange decisions in the last few years. Most of the criticism surrounds an odd PHEV strategy, shifting towards smaller and more electrified powertrains and aggressively promoting smaller, UKL-platform BMWs as alternatives to their mainstay of products.

The way their product portfolio looks in 2021 would have angered just about every BMW fan from 1981. Today, there are no manual-equipped BMWs on sale (save some M cars). Today, a significant number of BMW models use front-wheel drive setups derived from MINI vehicles. Also true is the significant shift to ‘X’ cars and the ever expanding marketing jargon and number of unrecognisable models.

The way their product portfolio looks in 2021 would have angered just about every BMW fan from 1981. Today, there are no manual-equipped BMWs on sale (save some M cars). Today, a significant number of BMW models use front-wheel drive setups derived from MINI vehicles. Also true is the significant shift to ‘X’ cars and the ever expanding marketing jargon and number of unrecognisable models.

However, it’s pretty clear that by and large, BMW Malaysia knows what they are doing. After being beaten in sales by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia starting 2015, BMW Group Malaysia officially took back the sales crown in 2020 with 11,016 vehicles delivered despite the difficulties faced during the pandemic.

More impressive is the fact that their market share in the premium segment was 52%, more than half of all premium cars sold in Malaysia in 2020 were from BMW Malaysia.

A significant chunk of sales came from none other than the 3 Series – a staple sedan in the BMW portfolio. Despite the trend of crossovers and SUVs becoming the norm for many automotive brands, nearly 30% of BMW cars sold were variants of the 3 Series. That being said, the crossover and SUV models by BMW when combined make up about 39% of their sales for 2021.

The G20 BMW 3 Series has proven to be an extremely desirable product, whether it’s sold as 320i Sport, 330i M Sport, 330e M Sport OR M340i xDrive model. While the 330i was initially criticised for not including Autonomous Emergency Braking, last year, this was corrected and the model’s popularity has skyrocketed since.

BHPetrol_Euro5 Diesel_2021

It goes to show that BMW Malaysia, knows the pull of their brand and has been diversifying their product range to cater to people who actually buy the products, rather than automotive enthusiasts who are still looking at features and design trends that most buyers do not place any value on today.

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Written work on dsf.my. @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.



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