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Excellence From the Sky to the Land-A Review of BMW 100-year History Part Two

12. 5 series appearance

In 1970, BMW introduced the 2200 ti Garmisch concept car designed by the Italian company Broadcom, which provided design ideas for BMW’s new models. The final production version of the car was completed by French designer Paul Bracq. What is interesting is that the direct competitor of this car, the Mercedes-Benz W114, was also designed by Paul Bracq (he worked for Mercedes-Benz in the 1960s and came to BMW in 1970) . The size of the new car has increased compared to the “00 series”. The length has been increased by 120mm to 4600mm. The increase in size also brings a more calm and atmospheric appearance. In addition, the headlights were changed from double round lights to the same four round lights as the “New Six”, while the kidney grille and Hofmeister corners were completely retained.

The chassis code of this new generation model is E12, and BMW has given it a new name: 5-Series, so E12 has become the first-generation 5-series model in BMW history. The first 520 and 520i models to be marketed were equipped with the original M10 series four-cylinder engines, and then the M30 series on the “New Six” and the newly developed M20 series six-cylinder engines also appeared in the configuration table of this generation of 5 series cars. As of the cessation of production in 1984, a total of about 700,000 E12 models had been produced. Although the sales volume was not as good as the Mercedes-Benz W114, it was already a good result for BMW at that time.

13. The main force is born

BMW 6 Series

After the “00 series”, the two-door coupe E9 in the “New Six” was replaced with the new name BMW 6 Series. The 6-series coupe, code-named E24, officially started mass production in 1976. The name of this generation of 6-series still retains the “CS” in the E9 models (3.0 CS, etc.) representing the two-door coupe (628 CSi, 630 CS) Etc.), and is still using the M30 series inline six-cylinder engine on the “New Six”.

Compared with the E9, the length and width of the 6 Series Coupe (E24) have increased significantly, mainly in response to increasingly strict safety regulations. In terms of appearance, E24 inherits the E9’s four-circle lamp design and forward-leaning front line, but it abandons the chrome trim strips surrounding the body under the E9 window line, and replaces it with a circle of anti-scratch strips on the bumper height. The visual center of gravity is greatly reduced. Depending on the model version, its engine displacement and power are also different. The lowest-end 628 CSi uses a 184-horsepower 2.8L engine, while the high-end 635 CSi is equipped with a 218-horsepower 3.4L engine.

The M version of E24 was launched in 1983. It is called M635 CSi in Europe and M6 in the United States. It is equipped with an M88 series six-cylinder engine derived from M1 with a maximum power of 286 horsepower. In 1989, the E24 was officially discontinued, and the name of the 6 Series was shelved for 14 years. It was not until the emergence of the E63 in 2004 that it returned to the BMW product list.

BMW 3 Series

In the mid-70s, BMW “02 Series” ushered in a new generation, and it was the later BMW brand character “spokesperson”-the 3 Series that replaced it. The first generation of the 3 series code-named E21 was launched in 1975. Its designer and the previous E12 5 series are the same Paul Bracq. Due to family style, the E21 3 series looks like a reduced version of the E12 5 series. In addition, except for the lower configuration 316 and 318, which still use the old double round lights, all other models are equipped with the same four round headlights as the E12.

In terms of power, 316 and 318 models continue to use inline four-cylinder engines, while models 320 and above have replaced more powerful inline six-cylinder engines. This situation has continued on the subsequent 3 series, and it was not changed until the fifth-generation 3 series (E90) in the 1990s (the 320 also began to use a four-cylinder engine). In addition, the first-generation 3 series (E21) sedan version continues the “02” series two-door design. Starting from the second-generation E30, BMW has added a four-door form to take care of practicality.

BMW 7 Series

The latest replacement of the four main BMW cars in the 70s is the four-door luxury model E3 in the “New Six”. It is replaced by the BMW E23 model that was put into production in 1977. According to the latest naming rules, it is called BMW. 7 series. The appearance of the first-generation 7-series model is similar to that of the previously launched 5-series (E12). The family design makes it difficult to make a big breakthrough in styling, but the larger body size and more chrome-plated decoration can make people look at You can see its luxury and style.

The entire E23 7 series uses an inline six-cylinder engine. The initial version continues the M30 series on the E3 model. Later models are replaced with a technically updated engine series. The 745i model uses the inline six-cylinder code-named M102/M106 The turbocharged engine has a maximum power of 252 horsepower. As BMW’s flagship model, the cockpit of the first-generation 7 series is equipped with a large amount of leather and wood materials. Power windows, power rearview mirrors, power seats, seat heating, etc. have all appeared in its configuration list as optional accessories. ABS and trip computer are standard in the later versions, and the driver’s airbag can also be optional . In addition, the car is also equipped with a simple fault detection system for the driver, which can be said to be a very high-tech configuration at the time.

14. Technology and Innovation

The significance of the emergence of the 3 series, 5 series, 6 series and 7 series is of course not only that BMW has given a new name to its products at all levels, but it also means the formation of BMW’s product strategic planning. After completing the product layout, BMW can focus more on thinking about the following things: how to do its best with its products, and how to find newer market needs.

With the rapid development of new materials and technologies at that time, BMW established BMW Technik GmbH in 1985. Some of the best designers, engineers, and technicians in the company were grouped together, and these people were able to learn from their daily lives. Free from trivial work and KPIs, they have only one purpose of working here, and that is to design a BMW car of the future.

The first work of BMW Technology was the Z1 sports car that was officially unveiled at the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show. The “Z” in its name was taken from the first letter of the word “Zukunft”, which means “future” in German. As its name suggests, the BMW Z1 uses some unprecedented designs. For example, it uses a variety of plastic materials on its body. The body cover made of thermoplastic materials can also be easily removed from the body. The owner can independently replace the body shell of another color.

In addition, the most distinctive feature on the Z1 is its doors. The two doors are neither side-opening nor gull-wing doors, but a unique sunken door. Whenever the driver needs to get in and out of the vehicle, its door can be hidden within the threshold under the drive of the motor (very similar to the power window). It is worth mentioning that the car owner can open the roof and door at the same time under the conditions permitted by law to experience more exciting driving pleasure, because the laws of many countries at that time did not have special regulations for this special door. Of course, BMW also strengthened the design of the side of the Z1 to ensure the safety of the occupants when the door is opened.

15. The road to expansion

In the early 1990s, BMW’s performance was booming, but at this time its management was already worried about future risks: Japanese brands had already seized a lot of low-end market shares by virtue of their product quality and production efficiency. Begin to build its own high-end brand; the cyclical macroeconomic recession will put a small-scale company like BMW in danger of being acquired. In fact, GM and Ford have already shown interest in acquiring BMW.

Now we must expand our own scale to avoid being annexed, so where is the direction of expansion? For many years, BMW’s most influential car is the 3 Series. Its brand focus is lower than that of Mercedes-Benz, so it cannot produce ultra-luxury models like the Mercedes-Benz Pullman. At the same time, BMW did not approve the development plan of low-end front-wheel drive models in order to maintain its brand image of luxury rear-wheel drive, although it could bring greater sales to BMW. How about building a brand new low terminal brand from scratch? In this case, the required investment is too large for BMW, which is limited in scale, to afford it.

In the end, BMW has only one way left, that is, to expand its business scope by acquiring other brands. BMW first considered Porsche, but the quotes given by the Piesi and Porsche family were far higher than BMW’s psychological expectations. The subsequent acquisition of Rolls-Royce was also rejected by BMW executives. In the end, BMW targeted the British brands Land Rover and Mini. But the British have their own considerations. They understand the status of their car brands. If the Germans want to acquire the profitable Land Rover, they must also buy the “rotted” Rover.

BMW knew that Rover was a bad car brand, but obviously didn’t know how bad it was. Although many people inside the company opposed the deal, BMW’s then CEO Pischetsrieder decided to buy Rover. At the beginning of 1994, BMW bought all the shares of Rover Group in the hands of British Aerospace Corporation and Honda of Japan, and became the new owner of this old car company.

In this transaction, BMW has acquired multiple brands including Rover, Land Rover, MG and Mini. This also includes Austin, which has been discontinued. Interestingly, BMW licensed this brand more than sixty years ago. The car (Austin 7) only started to enter the field of automobile manufacturing.

But in the end, because Rover affected BMW’s economy, BMW sold Rover and MG in 2000.

In the end, the Mini brand was retained by BMW, but its name was changed from “Mini” to “MINI”, which also meant a new beginning. BMW’s positioning for MINI is in the small car market under the 3 Series, but this does not mean that it has to take the economic route. On the contrary, BMW made a fuss about the British descent and fashion characteristics of the old Mini and successfully built the MINI into A young, fashionable, energetic and creative brand.

Acquisition of Rolls Royce

In 1990, BMW tried to return to the field of aero engine manufacturing, which once gave itself countless glory. For this reason, it and Rolls-Royce plc, originally the same company as Rolls-Royce, The automobile business was later separated.) A joint venture company was founded in Germany. Although this cooperation did not achieve much success, BMW has established a good relationship with the holder of the “Rolls Royce” trademark. This played an important role in the subsequent competition between BMW and Volkswagen for Rolls-Royce.

At the end of the 20th century, BMW and Volkswagen initiated a bid for Rolls-Royce at the same time. The final result was that Volkswagen, which bid higher, received the Bentley brand and the Rolls-Royce factory and two trademarks (“Goddess of Celebration”). Brand, family-based straight waterfall grille), but BMW obtained the Rolls-Royce “RR” car logo from Rolls-Royce, and the engines of Bentley and Rolls-Royce important models at that time All are provided by BMW. This means that if BMW does not cooperate with Volkswagen, the Rolls-Royce that the other party has spent hundreds of millions of pounds on can no longer hang the “RR” logo, and there is no engine available (Volkswagen will need to wait several years if it develops independently ).

In the end, the two parties reached an agreement. BMW agreed to Volkswagen’s use of the “RR” logo until 2003, so that Volkswagen can focus on Bentley during this time, and Volkswagen will need to put itself in their hands after 2003 Two Rolls-Royce trademarks were handed over to BMW. In 2003, BMW, which has obtained all three Rolls-Royce trademarks, launched a new Phantom model, which is positioned higher than any car of BMW’s old rival Mercedes-Benz, and has become a new benchmark in the world of luxury cars. Since then, BMW has successively brought in Rolls-Royce Gust and Phantom models, injecting new life into this ancient brand.

16. Step into the new century

A rigorous engineer can bring power to a car, and a good designer can inject the soul into it. BMW’s chief designer Chris Bangle is undoubtedly such a person. Bangor became the first American design director of BMW in 1992. His work has caused great controversy and criticism for BMW and himself. The first of these is the fifth-generation BMW 7-series released in 2001. (E65) Car.

A rigorous engineer can bring power to a car, and a good designer can inject the soul into it. BMW’s chief designer Chris Bangle is undoubtedly such a person. Bangor became the first American design director of BMW in 1992. His work has caused great controversy and criticism for BMW and himself. The first of these is the fifth-generation BMW 7-series released in 2001. (E65) Car.

From the E23 in 1977 to the E38 in 1994, BMW’s flagship 7-series has been following a square and steady route, and it is becoming more square and steady. The design of the 7 series has been recognized by consumers, but Bangor believes that BMW cannot stand still, it must keep up with or even surpass the times. The E65 7 series was created under this idea. It subverted the design style of the previous generations of the 7 series. Since its inception, it has received overwhelming criticism. People cannot accept a “swollen” BMW, let alone accept it. Its trunk lid that “looks impossible to close”. Critics called this design “Bangle butt” and also launched the “Bangle Butt Campaign” on the Internet.

Also criticized at the same time as the E38 7 series are the Z4 sports car (E85) launched in 2002 and the fifth-generation 5 series sedan (E60) that was renewed in 2003. For the Z4, BMW adopted the “flame surfacing” design style, which used a large number of complex curved surfaces and polylines to build the entire sports car surface; the controversy of the E60 5 series mainly focused on the irregularly shaped large On the lamp, this pair of headlights with raised eyebrows is called “eagle eye headlights” because of their aggressiveness.

For a successful company, a huge change in design style takes a lot of risk, but time has proved that BMW’s reform is successful. BMW’s new design is fuller, more radical and more “powerful” than before, which has been recognized by American and Japanese consumers. No matter how criticized by peers or media experts, BMW’s sales have risen instead of falling. Many car series have achieved the best results ever. It was during this period (specifically in 2005) that BMW surpassed its once-god rival Mercedes-Benz and became the world’s largest-selling luxury car brand

17. Join new energy

BMW, which has successfully reached the top of luxury car sales, is not complacent, because it knows that as an industry leader, it needs to be at the forefront of the times, whether it is design or technology. After entering the 21st century, energy and environmental issues have become increasingly fierce. For this reason, BMW has also begun research on new energy. The first to be produced was the MINI E launched in 2009. It is an electric vehicle based on the transformation of the existing MINI model. The significance of its appearance is mainly electric vehicle testing and user feedback. Then the 1 series electric version was launched in 2012. ActiveE is also positioned in the same way.

With the preparation of these two cars, BMW’s real mass-produced new energy model i series finally went into production in 2013. The two cars of the i series are pure electric (later introduced extended-range electric cars) small hatchback i3 and plug-in hybrid sports car i8. As BMW’s strategic new energy models, the i series not only has more environmentally friendly driving methods. In conjunction with this, there are also a large number of lightweight car bodies made of carbon fiber and technology configurations such as Connected Drive interconnected driving. In addition, the stunning sci-fi design of the 2009 concept car was also retained on the mass-produced models. The launch of the BMW i3 has achieved good sales and has become one of the most popular electric cars in the world.

The history of BMW is as follows:

1916: Foundation of the Bavarian Aircraft Factory

1917: Rapp Engine Manufacturing Plant was renamed Bavarian Engine Company

1918: Become a limited company

1922: From Bavarian Aircraft Factory to BMW

1923: The first motorcycle was built

1928: Takeover of the Eisenach Automobile Company

1929: The first “BMW” was built in Eisenach

1934: Established BMW Aircraft Engine Company

1944: In an air raid, the factory in Munich was severely destroyed

1945: Licensed to repair US military aircraft and produce motorcycles. At the same time the Munich factory was dismantled

1948: The first motorcycle produced after the war

1959: The general meeting of shareholders, at which the Daimler-Benz takeover plan was organized

1960: 7,000 employees, annual turnover of 239 million marks

1969: The motorcycle production department moved to Berlin

1969: 21,000 employees, annual turnover of 1.5 billion marks

1970: Founding of the Herbert-Quandt Foundation

1972: The new management building is completed in Munich

1972: Established a factory in South Africa

1973: Opening of the Landshut factory

1978: Launched the concept of hydrogen energy engine

1978: 30,000 employees, annual turnover of 6 billion marks.

1979: Opening of the factory in Austria

1983: Opening of BMW West Kowloon Headquarters and Administrative Headquarters

1984: Inauguration of the motorcycle factory in Berlin-Spandau

1985: Construction of the R&D center building started

1985: For development, BMW Technology was established

1987: Inauguration of the factory in Regensburg

1990: The R&D center building was officially completed

1990: 70,900 employees, annual turnover of 27.1 billion marks

1992: The plant in South Carolina, USA was completed

1994: Purchased MG Rover cars, including the brand Mini

1999: Construction of cars in Russia

2000: Establishment of the Eberhard-von-Kuenheim Foundation

2000: Inauguration of the CKD factory in Thailand

2000: Sold MG Rover and Land Rover/LandRover

2002: Construction of the Baubeginn für das BMW-Werk Leipzig started at the Leipzig plant

2003: Application for the right to use the name Rolls-Royce

2004: Construction of the BMW Global Supply Center began in Munich and completed in 2007

2012: BMW formally submitted a formal application to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) for arbitration of disputed domain name ownership.

2014: i3 was officially born, BMW entered the era of new energy

2019: Revive the BMW 8 Series

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