Many changes have occurred in BMW, such as its transition to include electric vehicles in its lineup, which has been successful for BMW. One thing hasn’t change though — the iconic grille. In fact, regardless of the changes BMW makes in its lineup, the kidney bean grille is here to stay.
Three lines — one identity
Currently, BMW has three different lines of vehicles. These are the core products, the M models, and the i brand. Each line serves a different purpose and is marketed to a different customer base. However, BMW doesn’t want to be associated with different identities. Ultimately, they are all vehicles with the BMW logo. Thus, the purpose is to strengthen the brand using different lines with different roles — and the kidney grille is being used to link the different lines to show a singular unit — BMW.
Differences in the grille
The grille and grille size has been a source of contention for the company as it introduced the 7 Series featuring upsized grilles. In fact, the Concept 4 has a massive kidney bean grille and the Concept i4 has a massive grille. Many electric vehicles don’t have a traditional grille because they don’t require as much cooling as a gas-powered car does. This means that there are frequently differences in grille design based on the type of car. For example, the grille for a gas-powered car is required to have bigger openings for cooling purposes.
BMW is notably shifting towards electric vehicles and many auto enthusiasts have waited excitedly to see what BMW will come up with next, including in terms of its grille, which is notably controversial. BMW touts the importance of keeping something from the old days — its grille — even as the company advances into the future with the design of the kidney grille. The focus isn’t on the car, but on the identity of BMW. If the past is considered, it is remembered that the BMW iconic kidney shaped grille has always been distinctive to that of other manufacturers and represents the face of the car, or BMW itself.
It is expected that over the next few years, the range of electric vehicles at BMW will expand due to the invention of new models. While not every BMW vehicle is expected to have a large grille, they will all be kidney grilles, specifically modified to match the character of the model. Essentially, though the grille may be altered, they are all the same grille, giving the distinct lines a consistent identity — look here, this car is a BMW!
Changes afoot — company and car
It no longer works to have the exact same grille and the BMW identity shouldn’t encompass parallel universes where each line has its own character and different identities, yet made by the same manufacturer. By using one grille, though it’s tweaked to match the model, each car says “BMW,” which is what the customer loves.
Not everyone is enthusiastic about the use of the iconic grille, but BMW asserts that the grille will stay and the iconic grille is representative of the company. The iconic kidney grille, then, is a major branding tool of BMW which is used to draw customers in through showing that while the company has engaged in innovation, it’s still BMW and still trusted.
The iconic BMW grille is widely recognized across the world. However, while most would think that as the company advances, the use of the iconic grille would decrease, especially as it isn’t needed with the electric vehicle. BMW is proving that this isn’t the case. The grille is here to stay and will continue being a major part of brand recognition strategies for BMW, even as it advances further into innovation of electric vehicles.