The battle is on for hitting the top spot in the global luxury car sales market and the future is in its hands who win the largest share of the small premium car market in the emerging economies. One of the foremost companies in this segment, BMW is facing tough competition at least from its German counterparts Audi and Mercedes Benz. Both the companies are launching very competitive products to give them a hard time and BMW thinks its front wheel drive architecture will give it a competitive edge against these rivals. The front wheel drive architecture, known internally as the ULK, will be playing a very important role in its future growth.
But BMW has traditionally been known for specializing in rear-wheel architecture cars. Think 3 Series, 5 Series etc. and you will understand what I mean. But company executives are of a different opinion and they also dismiss any complaints from the brand’s traditional followers who say the front wheel drive layout is a step too far from BMW’s rear-wheel-drive heritage. Frank Niederlaender, the company’s product manager for front-wheel drive said “Customers realized they could get the driving dynamics BMW is renowned for from an SUV. We will see the same transition happening with front-wheel drive.”
BMW’s sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson is of the opinion,
“One of the big advantages of UKL is that we are able to launch a lot of products almost simultaneously because we are doing the engineering at once.”
The current 1 Series has received a lot of negative feedback because of its cramped legroom at the rear and the company claims this problem will go away with the next generation model since it will be underpinned by the UKL. The UKL will be underpinning up to 12 BMW and Mini cars accounting in total for 40 percent of the group’s unit sales within a span of just 10 years. And BMW will be targeting mainly Europe with its front wheel drive cars. Time will only tell if they can maintain the BMW rear wheel drive-like driving heritage. We will keep you posted on the latest developments, stay tuned.
via – Automotive News