What’s wrong with the design of the BMW XM and is there a strategy behind it?
The Romans already knew this: “De gustibus et coloribus not est disputandum.”
Or in Flemish: “You can’t argue about flavors and colours.”
With this thought in mind, I increasingly refrain from judging a car based on its beauty, but in the case of BMW, it’s becoming progressively harder not to have an opinion. After all, BMW is increasingly coloring outside the lines. This has started to become very noticeable in recent years with the growth of the ‘kidney’ (the grille on the front bumper) Oversized The kidneys are now decorated with LED lighting.
As a possible culmination of the push for the unconventional, BMW launched the XM at the end of last year, a behemoth of an SUV that should serve as a Christmas present for the BMW M division for 50 years. The design of that car is annoying in every way, but as a layman I couldn’t put my finger on the many wounds.
Frank Stevenson, designer of the first BMW car
Stevenson also has possible explanations for why BMW’s design department has gone awry lately. One theory is that BMWs have now become so ugly that fans have begun demanding that BMWs make beautiful cars again. BMW could then meet this demand under the slogan “Look, we listen to our customers” and that would likely benefit the stock price.
Although, of course, it’s possible that BMW is tapping into a market of potential customers who appreciate the new design language, or that the brand has simply lost its way.
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