BMW M3 Forum (E90 E92)

BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Go Back   M3Post - BMW M3 Forum > BIMMERPOST Universal Forums > General BMW News and Cars Discussion
 
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      09-04-2017, 01:25 AM   #1
1230vani
Lieutenant Colonel
1230vani's Avatar
No_Country
204
Rep
1,929
Posts

Drives: F15 30d Msport
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: N/A

iTrader: (0)

CNN article about Alpina BMW relationship

BIMMERPOST
     Featured on BIMMERPOST.com
http://edition.cnn.com/style/article...bmw/index.html

(CNN) One of nature's most curious relationships is that between the pilot fish and the shark. The latter could swallow the former in a single gulp, but instead the huge predator allows its tiny companion to pick uneaten food from between its teeth. The pilot fish gets a free meal, the shark a free dental plan.

This mutual arrangement is replicated, in a way, in the car industry. Specifically, it resembles the relationship between BMW, a global giant that makes over two million vehicles a year, and Alpina, a family firm that produces around one-thousandth of that number.

Alpina's cars are re-engineered versions of existing BMW models. They come with different engine and transmission configurations, as well as bespoke cabin treatments that feature higher-grade leather and greater scope for personalization.

You might expect BMW to take a dim view of this (or to treat Alpina as a mere tuner). But in fact, every one of the tiny company's creations is assembled by specially trained technicians on BMW production lines around the world.

Furthermore, to help prepare for forthcoming models, BMW feeds Alpina's engineers top-secret information on product plans up to four years in advance. And long after the cars have been delivered to customers, the giant German brand honors Alpinas with the same after-sales warranties that cover its own vehicles.

It's one of the coziest, most trusting and downright strange friendships in the cut-throat car industry.

Mutual benefits

Alpina started life as a typewriter manufacturer, but turned its focus toward automobiles when the company's founder Burkard Bovensiepen started producing tuning parts for BMW in the early 1960s.

The octogenarian Bovensiepen still lives in a house tucked away on the factory site in Buchloe, Bavaria, where his swimming pool is heated with hot exhaust gas from the plant's engine testing equipment.

Bovensiepen's vision for his "exclusive automobiles" (a phrase that appears on a plaque inside every Alpina) was for them to be both faster and more comfortable than regular BMWs.

And therein lies the basis for the two firms' unusual relationship -- BMW doesn't consider Alpina a rival because its cars are sold in tiny numbers and thus don't directly compete with its own high-performance sub-brand, M Division.

What does BMW get out of the deal, though? To begin with, it's a revenue stream -- Alpina pays for manufacturing, vehicle storage and logistics. And then there's always the possibility that Alpina's engineers come up with something that benefits the whole BMW range. The tiny company has already licensed exhaust and gearbox technology back to its big collaborator.

Most of all, however, Alpina is flexible enough, personal enough and exclusive enough to keep a small band of ultra-discerning BMW customers happy. These are people who would, in all probability, go to another brand altogether if Alpina's distinct offering weren't available.

As it is, these customers are able to visit the factory, talk with individual engineers and even see their leather steering wheel being hand-stitched. Which, Alpina claims, makes the items more comfortable than if they had been machine-stitched items.

Limited expansion

Alpina's line-up ranges from BMW's smallest sedan, the 3 Series, up to the 7 Series limousine and even the X3 SUV. It offers petrol and diesel engines, with company bosses open about embracing hybrid technology in the future.

Bovensiepen has ceded day-to-day control of the firm to his sons, although he still takes a keen interest when not focused on his hugely successful wine import business.

The company is doing pretty well without him, recovering in key regions like Japan and Germany after the global financial crisis, while expanding into new territories such as Australia and, most significantly, China.

Alpina continues to shift a respectable number of units in the United States too (although -- in another peculiarity of its existence -- Alpina cars in the American market are purchased back by BMW and sold on through the car giant's own network).

But further expansion will be difficult. The lack of space at Alpina's factory site limits capacity, as does the number of available slots on BMW's production lines. And the Bovensiepens won't be switching from BMW to another brand any time soon, despite regular overtures from Japanese brands, notably Toyota.

While numbers may creep up eventually, it's hard to imagine annual production figures getting much beyond the 3,000 mark. After all, Alpina is a brand that is sustained and reassured by its own exclusivity. And by definition, the current set-up suits BMW quite nicely as well.
Appreciate 14
      09-04-2017, 01:42 AM   #2
alex2364
Captain
alex2364's Avatar
United_States
167
Rep
991
Posts

Drives: 2017 M4 ZCP
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Northern VA

iTrader: (2)

Garage List
2017 BMW M4  [0.00]
BMW Alpina is what Dinan wishes it could be.
      09-04-2017, 08:37 AM   #3
Chihuahua
Lieutenant Colonel
Chihuahua's Avatar
525
Rep
1,518
Posts

Drives: BMW
Join Date: May 2012
Location: USA

iTrader: (0)

Cool article, thanks for sharing.
Appreciate 2
      09-04-2017, 08:53 AM   #4
Lobb
Brigadier General
Lobb's Avatar
2482
Rep
3,201
Posts

Drives: 335i
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Manchester

iTrader: (0)

This is the kind of relationship AMG had with Mercedes. Before Mercedes bought them out and brought the operation in house
      09-04-2017, 09:55 AM   #5
1230vani
Lieutenant Colonel
1230vani's Avatar
No_Country
204
Rep
1,929
Posts

Drives: F15 30d Msport
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: N/A

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chihuahua View Post
Cool article, thanks for sharing.
Thanks I thought so too. Top Gear once said that Alpina steering wheel is one of the beat. They speciffically commented on that for example. I like seeing Alpine cars live, much better than on photos.
Appreciate 0
      09-04-2017, 12:06 PM   #6
Snappy Phoenix
Lieutenant Colonel
Snappy Phoenix's Avatar
United Arab Emirates
621
Rep
1,798
Posts

Drives: 2018 F83 M4 Competition
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Dubai

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2018 BMW M4 F83  [5.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1230vani View Post
Thanks I thought so too. Top Gear once said that Alpine steering wheel is one of the beat. They speciffically commented on that for example. I like seeing Alpine cars live, much better than on photos.
it's Alpina not Alpine
__________________
2018 BMW M4 F83 ///M Yas Marina Blue + Competition/Executive Package + M Performance Exhaust
Appreciate 2
      09-04-2017, 03:53 PM   #7
MSups6
Banned
61
Rep
114
Posts

Drives: Supra, Former Msport 435
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Toronto

iTrader: (0)

Question for those in the know, does alpinA have a m4/3 variant or are they just 4 series with more power ???
Appreciate 0
      09-04-2017, 05:19 PM   #8
Snappy Phoenix
Lieutenant Colonel
Snappy Phoenix's Avatar
United Arab Emirates
621
Rep
1,798
Posts

Drives: 2018 F83 M4 Competition
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Dubai

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2018 BMW M4 F83  [5.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSups6 View Post
Question for those in the know, does alpinA have a m4/3 variant or are they just 4 series with more power ???
4 series on steroids + usually a modified exhaust. the latest Alpina B4 for example has an Akrapovic exhaust as stock

If it was an M3/M4 or any other M variant, it would have even more power than the M car itself which isn't the case for the M3/M4. I believe the Alpina B4 has 414 BHP if my memory is correct
__________________
2018 BMW M4 F83 ///M Yas Marina Blue + Competition/Executive Package + M Performance Exhaust
Appreciate 1
      09-06-2017, 06:49 PM   #9
VMRWheels
General
VMRWheels's Avatar
1215
Rep
24,802
Posts

Drives: BMW
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Anaheim, CA

iTrader: (4)

Garage List
2013 BMW M3  [5.00]
2015 BMW M4  [0.00]
2013 BMW F30  [0.00]
2014 BMW F22  [0.00]
2013 BMW F06  [0.00]
Interesting article, thanks for sharing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1230vani View Post
Alpina started life as a typewriter manufacture
Kind of interesting Alpina was initially a typewriter company, had no clue this was the case and never would have guessed it.

Alpina typewriter logo:


Alpina BMW logo we all know and love:
__________________
Shoot me a PM for any VMR wheel or wheel & tire quote!
      09-06-2017, 06:55 PM   #10
F32Fleet
BMWCCA since '03
F32Fleet's Avatar
United_States
423
Rep
6,430
Posts

Drives: 2015 435i
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Southeastern US

iTrader: (0)

Nice find!
__________________
"Drive more, worry less. "

435i, MPPK, MPE, M-Sport Line
Appreciate 2
      09-06-2017, 07:25 PM   #11
clbmw
Major
212
Rep
1,347
Posts

Drives: 320d M135i
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK

iTrader: (0)

Good article

Seems that the relationship means Alpina can build a more comfortable / luxurious car but not allowed to surpass BMW on performance nor warranty.

New D5 S case in point - denied the tri turbo because M550d not coming to the UK, nothing to do with 'weight saving'.

Alpinas with longer warranty periods and greater power ceilings would sell in larger numbers IMHO. But hey what do I know, I'd love one but a two year guarantee on a very expensive modified BMW isn't a good starting point for me.
Appreciate 0
      09-06-2017, 07:29 PM   #12
ObsidianX
Private First Class
United_States
60
Rep
189
Posts

Drives: 2017 M2 (LBB, 6MT)
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northern Virginia

iTrader: (0)

Do they sell the Alpina B3 in the US? I've never heard of one.
__________________
2017 BMW M2 (LBB, 6MT)
2011 BMW 335i xDrive (N55)
2006 BMW X3 3.0 (M54B30) - Sold 5/17
Appreciate 1
      09-06-2017, 07:42 PM   #13
veylan
Enlisted Member
4
Rep
36
Posts

Drives: Crimson '08 128i
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2014 BMW i3 BEV  [0.00]
2014 BMW X1  [0.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snappy Phoenix View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1230vani View Post
Thanks I thought so too. Top Gear once said that Alpine steering wheel is one of the beat. They speciffically commented on that for example. I like seeing Alpine cars live, much better than on photos.
it's Alpina not Alpine

Not to call you out, but that's the typo you chose to address?

(Edit: interesting bug in iOS app. quotes.)
Appreciate 0
      09-06-2017, 08:36 PM   #14
spuntyb
Colonel
spuntyb's Avatar
United_States
566
Rep
2,332
Posts

Drives: 2015 F31 | 2015 F30 335
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: USA

iTrader: (0)

Very cool. Love Alpina. Thanks for sharing!
__________________
2011 E90 JB|Oyster (sold)
2015 F31 MG|CR /// Active-8
2015 F30 335 AW|CR /// Active-8
Appreciate 1
      09-06-2017, 08:47 PM   #15
noushy
///M Fan
noushy's Avatar
United_States
63
Rep
549
Posts

Drives: Alpina B7 G12, X5M F85
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Orchard Lake, Mi

iTrader: (0)

Totally agree with the article. Love my B7. It is special enough, comfortable enough, fast enough, and easy to maintain. It is rare and unique especially in Alpina Blue Individual. If it was not available, I probably would own a flying spur or S8 or an AMG S63.

Peace
__________________
2016 BMW X5M Long Beach Blue, M Perf parts, RKP diffuser, Akra Exhaust, Dinantronics Stage 2 with intake
2017 Alpina B7 xDrive Alpina Blue II, Caramel Individual Merino with Alpina Myrtle wood, full Stinger VIP
Appreciate 1
      09-06-2017, 09:17 PM   #16
raysspl
Colonel
447
Rep
2,324
Posts

Drives: walking, bicycle, & bus
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: eezitec.com

iTrader: (0)

Neat story! Need more Alpinas Stateside
__________________
Appreciate 1
      09-06-2017, 11:39 PM   #17
GrussGott
Major General
GrussGott's Avatar
United_States
5843
Rep
7,201
Posts

Drives: Mondstein F83
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Newport Beach

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2011 E93 M3  [0.00]
but the wheels....
__________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
I thought the next M4 was going to be a flying car powered by bloomin' onions and a teaspoon of mayonnaise. At least that's what I read on the internet @ BimmerPoop.org.
Appreciate 3
      09-07-2017, 12:16 AM   #18
garrettp36
New Member
2
Rep
6
Posts

Drives: 1997 M3 Sedan Estoril/Magma
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Huntington Beach

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by clbmw View Post
Good article

Seems that the relationship means Alpina can build a more comfortable / luxurious car but not allowed to surpass BMW on performance nor warranty.

New D5 S case in point - denied the tri turbo because M550d not coming to the UK, nothing to do with 'weight saving'.

Alpinas with longer warranty periods and greater power ceilings would sell in larger numbers IMHO. But hey what do I know, I'd love one but a two year guarantee on a very expensive modified BMW isn't a good starting point for me.
2 year?
Appreciate 0
      09-07-2017, 01:40 AM   #19
FC05
New Member
FC05's Avatar
0
Rep
13
Posts

Drives: E46 M3 (blk)/F31 335i (blk)
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Taipei / West Vancouver

iTrader: (0)

Interesting how Alpina always prefers luxury line exterior rather than M sports, but I noticed they now having M sport rear bumper and luxury line front for their new G30/G31 five.
Appreciate 0
      09-07-2017, 02:17 AM   #20
moff
Major
moff's Avatar
United Kingdom
292
Rep
1,450
Posts

Drives: 440i Coupe MPPSK
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Nottingham GB

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by garrettp36 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by clbmw View Post
Good article

Seems that the relationship means Alpina can build a more comfortable / luxurious car but not allowed to surpass BMW on performance nor warranty.

New D5 S case in point - denied the tri turbo because M550d not coming to the UK, nothing to do with 'weight saving'.

Alpinas with longer warranty periods and greater power ceilings would sell in larger numbers IMHO. But hey what do I know, I'd love one but a two year guarantee on a very expensive modified BMW isn't a good starting point for me.
2 year?
Yes, in the U.K. we only get a 2 year warranty with Alpina cars, but 3 years with normal BMW's.

Combine that with zero discounts and no finance deals means that volumes are very low. This is a conscious decision to keep the volumes low due to Alpina's low capacity.

The B3S and B4S actually have 8 more bhp over the M3 and M4 too (425bhp and 433bho). So they do compete directly with the M cars too.

I would love an Alpina B4S or B3S Touring but once specced they are eye wateringly expensive and the monthly costs higher than an M5.
__________________
2017 440i Coupe, BSM, Individual Opal White Merino Leather, Individual Leather Dash, Individual Piano Trim, Icon Adaptive LED's, M Sport Plus Package, HUD, Digital Dash, Reverse Camera, Lumbar, M Perf 405M 20" Wheels, M Perf. Aerodynamic Pack, MPPSK

Gone!: 2015 BMW 640d Coupe Imola Red with Ivory leather and 20" alloys
Appreciate 2
      09-07-2017, 03:01 AM   #21
MrBeranek
Private
Czech_Republic
9
Rep
94
Posts

Drives: BMW 1M, Alpina D3 Touring 2014
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Czech Republic

iTrader: (0)

Alpina

Nice article. I must say Im happy with my D3 wagon, but I would disagree with this:"And long after the cars have been delivered to customers, the giant German brand honors Alpinas with the same after-sales warranties that cover its own vehicles."

Its definitely not the same as BMWs own vehicles, since you cant order any prolonged warranty for Alpina.
Appreciate 1
      09-07-2017, 03:18 AM   #22
clbmw
Major
212
Rep
1,347
Posts

Drives: 320d M135i
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by moff View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by garrettp36 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by clbmw View Post
Good article

Seems that the relationship means Alpina can build a more comfortable / luxurious car but not allowed to surpass BMW on performance nor warranty.

New D5 S case in point - denied the tri turbo because M550d not coming to the UK, nothing to do with 'weight saving'.

Alpinas with longer warranty periods and greater power ceilings would sell in larger numbers IMHO. But hey what do I know, I'd love one but a two year guarantee on a very expensive modified BMW isn't a good starting point for me.
2 year?
Yes, in the U.K. we only get a 2 year warranty with Alpina cars, but 3 years with normal BMW's.

Combine that with zero discounts and no finance deals means that volumes are very low. This is a conscious decision to keep the volumes low due to Alpina's low capacity.

The B3S and B4S actually have 8 more bhp over the M3 and M4 too (425bhp and 433bho). So they do compete directly with the M cars too.

I would love an Alpina B4S or B3S Touring but once specced they are eye wateringly expensive and the monthly costs higher than an M5.
Having said all this I'd love to see what Alpina could do with the V12 in the M760i, shame it'll never happen.
Appreciate 0
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:17 AM.




m3post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST