Rick’s Gentleman’s Express Blog

Motorcycle news and opinion

What does the future hold for BMW?

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Chris Bangle, the controversial US-born head of design at BMW group resigned on February 3rd. Since 1992, Bangle led BMW in producing bigger, faster and sometimes radical car models. He is succeeded by Dutchman Adrian van Hooydonk, the man behind some of the early revival-Mini concept cars.

Apparently the company wants to de-emphasize big, luxury cars to concentrate on cleaner-running, smaller vehicles. This follows on the heels of the decision not to build the high-performance CS concept car which would have become the “8” Series. Some possible future vehicle ideas being tossed around include an electric urban runabout and a revival of the classic Isetta brand as a possible rival to the Smart fortwo.

What does this portend for the company’s motorcycle division, which makes up a very small portion of BMW’s total sales? It might mean the end of the high-end luxury 1200LT and more emphasis on utilitarian designs based on the smaller singles. If so, it would signal a return to the company’s roots in Post WWI Germany when it adapted a warehouse full of unusable airplane engines to a simple, shaft-drive chassis that was sidecar-friendly.

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February 4th, 2009 at 1:15 pm

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