In the recent past, the automobile industry has experienced various radical changes due to stiff competition between automobile manufacturing firms. There are various models of automobiles that have been designed and produced by various manufacturers, such as General Motors, Mercedes Benz, Toyota, BMW and Mitsubishi.
The competitive nature of the automobile industry has resulted to great specialisation in production of motor vehicles. Whereas certain manufacturers have opted to close down their premises, others have decided to go on with their operations but have opted to produce high quality and high performance automobiles. Additionally, certain manufacturers have chosen to serve specific segments of the automobile market. For any business to remain competitive in the global market, it must adopt appropriate marketing strategies that would assure successful marketing of its products. This essay will thus look into details at the BMW and one of its automobiles` brands, BMW M3 Coupe, to ensure that it is well sold in the market.
In this essay, I will also look at how the BMW has strived to remain competitive in the automobile industry through production of more advanced brands. Similarly, I will also discuss the various strategies that the company has deployed in order to ensure that its products are attractive and accessible to the customers. This essay also reviews the history of the BMW as well as its BMW M3 Coupe model.
Background Information about BMW
BMW, which stand for Bavarian Motor Works, refers to a German-based corporation which manufactures various brands of automobiles and motorcycles. In addition to automobiles, BMW also manufactures motor engines. BMW was founded in 1917 by the renowned German entrepreneur Franz Josef Popp (Lewin, 2008). The headquarters of BMW are located in Munich, the capital of Bavaria State, Germany. BMW also has a subsidiary called Rolls-Royce Motor Cars which it wholly owns. Rolls-Royce is located in Goodwood, United Kingdom. Rolls-Royce Motors Cars specialises in manufacturing luxury cars and other automobiles.
It is believed that Franz Popp chose Munich because it is the largest city in Bavaria and also because of its proximity to the river Isar which would provide adequate amount of water for cooling steel and other machines in the company’s manufacturing plants. BMW was founded when Rapp Motorenwerke was restructuring its operations. Rapp Motorenwerke was an automobile company which specialised in production of aircraft engines. BMW did not change its logo which it inherited from the Rapp Motorenwerek after the overhauling and restructuring of the company. Franz Josef Popp founded BMW as a manufacturing company for aircraft engines. However, the company was forced to change its operation and production lines from aircraft engines manufacturing to automobiles and motorcycle production when the Versailles Armistice Peace Treaty was signed between Germany and the Allied Powers (Lewin, 2004). The company started manufacturing motorcycles in 1923 while the production of automobiles was started in early 1929.
BMW is currently the largest automobile manufacturer in Germany with an annual production volume of more than one million five hundred thousand automobiles and approximately two hundred thousand motorcycles by the end of 2010. Its total assets are valued at approximately one hundred and ten billion euros. BMW provides employment opportunities to more than one hundred thousand people at its headquarters and manufacturing plants.
BMW produced its first car under license from the English-based Austin Motor Company (Coombs and Rendle, 2006). This first brand was named Dixi. Dixi had similar features and adopted its model from the Austin 7 brand. Upon the expiry of the license to produce Dixi in 1933, BMW decided to produce its own new model which was named after engineer Josef Ganz. According to Clarke (2006), this was a prototype and, hence, was not introduced into the market. The first successful car produced under the BMW brand is BMW AM1 which was produced under the assistance of engineer Josef Ganz. The BMW AM1 was very successful and, thus, induced BMW to increase its BMW AM1 production as well as stimulating the production of other models (Schumann, 2007). Some of the major engine brands that have been manufactured by the company include the BMW 132, BMW 003 and BMW 801.
In addition to its own manufactured automobile brands, BMW also has given license to Magna Steyr to manufacture the BMW X3 (E85) brand. BMW also has another manufacturing plant in Spartanburg in South Carolina, United States of America, where it manufactures the MINI Countryman and BMW X3 (F25) brands (Bentley, 2005). In 1935, BMW produced its first sports car model which it branded BMW 328.
At the beginning, BMW concentrated on the production of luxury saloon cars under the brand BMW 501. However, the company could not realise adequate profits from the production of this brand and, hence, opted for producing Isettas under license. The first motorcycle brand produced by BMW was the R 32 model which was manufactured in mid-1923 (Heneric, Licht and Sofka, 2011).
Today, BMW manufactures the BMW Z3, Z7 and Z8 alongside other brands. Moreover, BMW’s products are currently considered the most luxurious and excellent automobiles in the world. For example, in 1992, BMW was able to outsell Mercedes Benz in the European market. In 1919, BMW manufactured the BMW IV six-cylinder engine for aircrafts. The engine system came with great success and was able to set a world record for going beyond an altitude of approximately ten thousand meters above sea level. In 2008, one of the company’s models, BMW 118d, won the World Green Car of the Year (Wong, 2010).
Background Information about BMW M3 Coupe Car
The BMW M3 Coupe refers to a sports car produced by the BMW Company. It is one of the cars produced under the BMW 3 series which includes sports cars built with various body styles such as saloons, coupes and convertibles. The BMW M3 car models are developed by the BMW’s motorsports division. The BMW M3 Coupe succeeded the Z4 M Coupe model. It was first released into the market in 2005. It is closely related to the BMW Z3 model. The BMW M3 Coupe is believed to be one of the most high-performance vehicles ever produced by BMW.
According to Eckermann (2010), BMW was able to manufacture two generations of the BMW M3 Coupe model by the early 2009. One model of the M3 Coupe was based on the E36 Z3 model, whereas the other model was designed in a similar way to the E86 Z4. These two generations of the BMW M3 Coupe have a “sister” convertible model. The architecture and development of the BMW M3 Coupe was based on an earlier model, the BMW M Coupe. The M Coupe series are developed under the guidance and supervision of the company’s research and development chief, Burkhard Goschel.
The BMW M3 Coupe cars are highly advanced and have more powerful engines with quick response and highly improved braking systems. Additionally, the M3 Coupe models have sleek body styles with the tri-color emblem usually used for sports cars. The first models of BMW M3 Coupe cars were released in 2008. The designs were based on the Z4 Coupe designs. The Z4 Coupe is another series of high performance sports cars build by BMW. The BMW M3 is classed as sports sedan entry level car in the United States motor industry (Levinsohn, 2011).
According to Streeck (2005), automobiles` users have classified the BMW M3 and M5 series as the most successful sports sedan cars. However, the two models have received stiff competition from Mercedes Benz C63 AMG Coupe made by the Mercedes Benz Company and Audi Quattro GmbH from Audi Motors Incorporation. Streeck asserts that in 2010, the Automobiles Magazine ranked BMW M3 Coupe fourth amongst the Top Ten Sport Cars of the Year (Streeck, 2005).
The BMW further produces the BMW M3 Coupe in different models such as the Euro model, the U.S. model and the Sports Evolution model depending on the target market. It is estimated that the automobiles` manufacturer produced more than four thousand pieces of the BMW M3 Coupe model with the U.S. and European markets accounting for more than sixty percent of the total production (Babson, 2007). Most BMW M3 Coupe cars have seats ranging between two to three. The M3 Coupe differs from the convertible model in that it has permanently fixed roof unlike convertibles where roofs are temporary placed.
Analysis of the Market in terms of Size, Competitors and Product Life Cycle Stage in relation to BMW M3 Coupe. The size of a market refers to the number of customers that an organization serves with its products. Customers comprise of both individual and organizational consumers. BMW M3 Coupe model has a wide market size. It has the largest market in the motorsports market. However, it closely rivaled with Mercedes Benz C63 AMG.
According to Bellon (2009), the success of BMW M3 Coupe in the market annoyed many “people”. Here, Bellon used the word people to refer to BMW’s competitors, especially Mercedes Benz and Audi companies. After the success of BMW M3 Coupe in the market, Mercedes Benz also designed their coupe car, which they dubbed Mercedes Benz C63 AMG Coupe. Mercedes Benz developed the C63 AMG Coupe model which had more improved features such as highly power engine, two sporty doors and high speed automatic engines. Additionally, the interior of the C63 Coupe was vastly improved. In my view, this new model of Mercedes Benz posed a great threat to the BMW M3 Coupe model. It became the major competitor of BMW M3 Coupe in the market.
In marketing, the product life cycle refers to a series of stages that a product undergoes during its development process. These stages include introduction, growth, maturity and decline. BMW M3 Coupe, just like any other product, has to undergo all the stages of product life cycle. As at now, it has undergone the first three stages. BMW was able to effectively introduce the product into the market after successful test marketing. It received great acceptance by the consumers, grew gradually and now it is at its growth stage. I would recommend the company to device ways of promoting the product in the market to ensure its continued consumption.