Steane Klose | Jan 22, 2008

It would seem that BMW may be struggling to work out what people really want. They know what future U.S. fuel economy standards will require but it seems that while we all talk about being green, it is possibly empty rhetoric for the ‘dyed in the wool’ BMW devote.

BMW in theory, needs to find ways to lower the emissions and improve the fuel economy of its range of vehicles if it is to meet the upcoming U.S. CAFE economy standards, but are BMW’s clients prepared to go without their RWD V10’s and V8’s…?

"People go to cocktail parties and talk about being green and then drive home in their M6s," said Stefan Krause, BMW board member.

Mr Krause is of the opinion that BMW need to meet the new CAFE standards without distorting the image of its already existing brands, and to achieve this, an all-new “green” brand may be the way forward for BMW.

"We cannot take the blue out of BMW and change it to green. Maybe we could add a fourth brand," said Krause.

BMW have confirmed that they have looked at and rejected three potential ‘green’ options, including transforming Mini, purchasing another brand (such as Saab or Volvo) or reviving one of the iconic British brands that it owns the naming rights to, such as Riley or Triumph. All three were dismissed for various reasons, Mini for much the same reason that BMW don’t want to tamper with their current range of vehicles.

Which leaves BMW to serious contemplate an entirely new ‘green’ brand. By producing a range of green, highly efficient, vehicles BMW will have the opportunity to offset their improved economy against the more traditional BMW models that covet luxury and performance.

In simplistic terms they could sell (under their green brand) a FWD, four-cylinder car that achieves 40mpg, and use it to offset the sale of an M3 V8 that only achieves 30mpg, thus achieving the required 35mpg overall economy standard required in the States come 2020, without alienating their more traditional client base.

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