“If you want to reach some customers, you have to stand out. It’s not our goal to please everyone in the world, but you have to please your customers.” BMW is fully aware that its new design direction won’t please everyone, but acknowledging the company’s past while also moving forward is a tricky balance. “There is some friction when your old product is so successful, and that’s what we’re seeing,” said van Hooydonk.
“If your market success isn’t there, then you have to change. That’s a very stressful situation as a company. It’s better to have this kind of stress [the controversy], even though it would be even better to have market success and universal praise for the changes. But somehow that’s rarely the case.”
Taking risks has paid off for BMW in the past with successful models like the 1500 luxury sports sedan in the 1960s. Dukec goes on to explain how BMW is aiming for customers to want its cars, not need them.