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BMW Design Chief Says That “It Is Not Our Goal to Please Everyone”

The E9 is one of the cars that got me into cars when I wasn’t tall enough to see over the steering wheel. I was too young to understand what made it special, but even as a child, the 2800 CS owned by one of my neighbors had that certain something that made it stand out in the crowd.
BMW 4 Series (G22) 150 photos
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An older iteration of me got a taste for the automaker’s newer sedans and coupes, and I’m one of those guys who like Chris Bangle-designed cars too because those Bimmers are a mixture of bold styling with traditional cues. The same can’t be said about the second generation of the BMW 4 Series that introduced the pig snout to much criticism from enthusiasts and owners.

After the unveiling of the all-new 4 Series, design boss Domagoj Dukec made it clear that BMW doesn’t care about how we feel. “You can’t listen to social media reactions. It won’t help you,” he told Autocar last year.

Criticized by Frank Stephenson and Chip Foose, the oversized kidney grille carried over to the M3, M4, and iX. The e-SUV is the worst offender due to the OK Boomer message that rubbed the wrong way with the automaker’s core audience. You know, the boomers that actually have the money to spend on a brand-new BMW and service it when it goes kaput.

Fast forward to the present day, and BMW continues to defy the people who have the power to make or break the German automaker. “It is not our goal to please everyone in the world,” said Domagoj in an interview for Top Gear, which is full of laugh-out-loud yet seriously worrying quotes.

“Not all our products get the same critics,” added Domagoj. “You can see that on something as polarizing like the kidneys on the 4 Series, 20 percent of people are liking it. That fits the type of customers we are targeting.”

But 80 percent of people, whatever people may mean in this context, gave BMW a thumbs down. How can you, the chief designer, ignore the majority when Mercedes-Benz is breathing down the Bavarian automaker’s neck?

There is a significant difference between a forward-looking design and a poorly-executed design that appears to be infused with intentional controversy just for the hell of it. On that note, I’m betting 10 bucks on BMW regretting being arrogant at a corporate level in a few years’ time.

 
 
 
 
 

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