Maintaining the strength of the Alpina Brand

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Robertb
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Post by Robertb » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:02 pm

I wondered about the 'lacks cachet' comment in Evo.

Odd, because aside from the M3, M Power has nothing like the history in motorsport of BMW Alpina.

I suppose it comes down to the simple fact that in 99% of cases "I've got an Alpina" will be met with a blank stare where "I drive an M3/5" will be met with a knowing nod.

I dont think the Sytner connection helps at all- Alpina needs to be available and supported properly at all BMW dealers. Until then, it will always be a bit of a quirky choice. Personally, that's the way I like it, but it does nothing for residuals IMO.
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Post by rcshott » Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:42 pm

All good comments - fellar's ....lets NOT EVEN MENTION chavs... in future!!! They're on another planet & not worthy of comment in OUR league!"????????????? :evil:

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Post by blacky » Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:46 am

iv grown up knowing about alpinas & thinking i would never be in a position to own one.after much messing about with my 306 over the last 6 years & my insurance never really dropping much i was surprised to get a quote on a B10 that was the same as my 5 door 306.i was also thinking of an M5.i think the B10 was purchased by me as it is a bit of a rarity & you don't see them every day were as M3's & M5's turn up round every other corner

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Post by jacoda434 » Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:26 pm

Most people dont even know what an alpina is thats why the resale value is haed to push

Alpina Need to spend a bit to bring the brand to the people

just even an alpina banner in every BMW salerooms would be a start

but that may drop the value of the Ms

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Post by Grant » Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:41 pm

Raymondo wrote:I have to agree with Simon.

A move away from the BMW shell (i.e. creating their own car from scratch),

Using a more reputable dealer than Sytner's who will market the brand in the way that it should (i.e. not flooding the market with cheap cars - B3s 2004, Roadster 2005 and D3 2006 which devalues the brand. Who actually wants a cheap stripped down D3? What drew me to Alpina's in the first was the interior and exterior styling that set it apart from BMW.

To me Sytner and Alpina seem happy with volume rather than "fine automobiles for the connoisseur". Maybe Alpina will just become another BMW division like M?

The sooner that changes the better and then I'll consider getting behind the wheel again of fine automobiles for the connoisseur.
Obviously not an accountant with any grasp of how market share is gained or what principles are behind the term loss leader.
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Post by hythe » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:32 am

It's the old conundrum - how can the cars remain exclusive, yet be recognised by a broader audience?

I hope they don't just go after market share - I don't think this is the game-plan - Sytner could shift several hundred UK D3s a year, after all, but the numbers seem limited. Perfect for brand awareness, really - it's affordable, everyone wants one, but still rare...
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Post by Steve A » Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:28 am

Diesel Fan wrote:
Raymondo wrote:I have to agree with Simon.

A move away from the BMW shell (i.e. creating their own car from scratch),

Using a more reputable dealer than Sytner's who will market the brand in the way that it should (i.e. not flooding the market with cheap cars - B3s 2004, Roadster 2005 and D3 2006 which devalues the brand. Who actually wants a cheap stripped down D3? What drew me to Alpina's in the first was the interior and exterior styling that set it apart from BMW.

To me Sytner and Alpina seem happy with volume rather than "fine automobiles for the connoisseur". Maybe Alpina will just become another BMW division like M?

The sooner that changes the better and then I'll consider getting behind the wheel again of fine automobiles for the connoisseur.
Obviously not an accountant with any grasp of how market share is gained or what principles are behind the term loss leader.

Grant agreed... but my take on the above quoted comment is absolute bo&&ocks. Without BMW, Alpina wouldnt exist in its format today, the format we all love, maybe it wouldnt even exist at all! and to imply the B3s, Roadster, and D3 are cheap and therfore dilute the brand is nonsense. For Alpina to survive in an increasingly competitive market place they need to expand, and sell more cars.

"Maybe Alpina will just become another BMW division like M?".......you say that like its a bad thing....i've owned a brand new E46 M3 SMG, and so far the best car i've owned by a country mile. ALPINA produce less than 1500 cars per year worldwide (less than lamborghini) how much more exclusive do you want?.... TVR exclusive?... then bankruptcy from lack of sales... i dont think so!

Alpina offer a different slant on performance, fast and cosseting, and i like that slant..maybe it is for the connoisseur (what does that really mean?) maybe not. But ALPINA is a business first and foremost and needs profit ..ie more sales and i wish then all the success in the world!


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Post by rcshott » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:45 pm

Ehhh...what was that 'L' word...
Never heard of 'em' :shock:

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Post by Joe » Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:20 pm

Hi all, well I'm new to the board but thought I would throw in my two pennies worth.

Fundamentally I think that Alpina's should absolutely be kept in small production volumes to maintain exclusivity. The key is how do Alpina become more high profile among performance car buyers. There are no doubt many ways to do this but from the little I know I think it's about building on their heritage and making it more visible.

I don't think they need to advertise to the whole car buying public, just the speed freaks out there. One idea could be for Alpina to enter into some kind of motorsport. BTCC, LeMan or similar. That way they could do what they do best and let the results do their marketing???

You would then have many more people (hopefully) desperate to get their hands on one of the few cars available. Should help residuals also.

Depends of their budgets I guess, but something like BTCC with a B3 based car could be a whole lot cheaper than an out and out marketing campaign!

Joe

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Post by D4 » Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:39 pm

ALPINA started in Motorsport but after winning almost everything they took part in (DTM etc) and grooming many world renowned drivers (Niki Lauda etc) they decided to bow out of motorsport to concentrate on producing the road cars...
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Post by Raymondo » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:40 pm

[quote="Steve Ashton"][quote="Diesel Fan"][quote="Raymondo"]I have to agree with Simon.

A move away from the BMW shell (i.e. creating their own car from scratch),

Using a more reputable dealer than Sytner's who will market the brand in the way that it should (i.e. not flooding the market with cheap cars - B3s 2004, Roadster 2005 and D3 2006 which devalues the brand. Who actually wants a cheap stripped down D3? What drew me to Alpina's in the first was the interior and exterior styling that set it apart from BMW.

To me Sytner and Alpina seem happy with volume rather than "fine automobiles for the connoisseur". Maybe Alpina will just become another BMW division like M?

The sooner that changes the better and then I'll consider getting behind the wheel again of fine automobiles for the connoisseur.[/quote]

Obviously not an accountant with any grasp of how market share is gained or what principles are behind the term loss leader.[/quote]


Grant agreed... but my take on the above quoted comment is absolute bo&&ocks. Without BMW, Alpina wouldnt exist in its format today, the format we all love, maybe it wouldnt even exist at all! and to imply the B3s, Roadster, and D3 are cheap and therfore dilute the brand is nonsense. For Alpina to survive in an increasingly competitive market place they need to expand, and sell more cars.

"Maybe Alpina will just become another BMW division like M?".......you say that like its a bad thing....i've owned a brand new E46 M3 SMG, and so far the best car i've owned by a country mile. ALPINA produce less than 1500 cars per year worldwide (less than lamborghini) how much more exclusive do you want?.... TVR exclusive?... then bankruptcy from lack of sales... i dont think so!

Alpina offer a different slant on performance, fast and cosseting, and i like that slant..maybe it is for the connoisseur (what does that really mean?) maybe not. But ALPINA is a business first and foremost and needs profit ..ie more sales and i wish then all the success in the world!


Steve[/quote]

No Im not an accountant. Just a plain old fasioned petrol head.

Yes I do know what a loss leader is having been a sales manager in the 90's. But imagine you'd paid top whack for alpina only to find out the loss leader dulluted not only market value of your car, but everything you'd thought Alpina stood for (petrol head thinking and romancing rather than my accountant cap ok!!).

Yes you my think my comments are b*****s, but what was said was from the heart rather than thinking like "accountants" like you two are. I fully appreciate that if Alpina went down the TVR route that they may not last for long. But to me Alpina are shifting direction and if they truely want to shift direction, then a move away from BMW would be best. I would prefer to see days of old at Buchloe, but it will never happen. So why sit on the fence? If they are going to do things, then get it right. They can share technology like VAG do, but they need an identity, not a BMW identity.


I don't think M are bad, I never said that. I was trying to highlight the difference between a mass market specialist (M) and low key specialist (Buchloe). I actually think what M do is amazing having owned the new M5 for a few months.


"maybe it is for the connoisseur (what does that really mean?) " See Alpina marekting brochures from the 1990's. Was a quite commonly used phrase back then.

Alpina would not be here thanks to BMW, but sometimes thing change. It started out with Bukhard tweaking the 1500 engine remember, so you you are right!! But does that mean we have to stick with them forever? Who'd have said water cooled and 911 and in the same sentence a few years ago! Again see my comments about making a move and making it right.


Granted my comments on Sytner are personal and should have been excluded.


The whole thread was about "maintaining the brand" and I put my comments in.


People driving Alpina's now are from a wide and varied background from someone like me who has been passionate about Alpina for over 20 years, to the guys picking up their D3's and finding their way with the brand.


I guess I am just like some of the guys on the flat 6 forums who detest anything water cooled and that can be annoying. So I can understand why you found my comments b*****ks as I think the 996 is an amazing car and understand the reasons why Porsche did it - market share and facing bankruptcy. But that's because flat 6 does not run through my veins like those guys, Alpina does. I'd never drive a 996, you won't get me out my 1989 Targa Super Sport for alll the tea in China lol! But I admire what they've done with evolution, same as you do with the D3 and Alpina.


I agree that change is required to move forward, but whether my opinions are the right ones, Im not sure. If I was, I'd hold a senior position at Buchloe. But please don't pass my comments as b*****ks just because you don't agree with them.

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Post by Charles » Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:04 pm

Raymondo - points well made.

Having originated this thread, it's interesting how the focus has shifted somewhat since the arrival of the D3 in the ALPINA stable.

Whilst the D3 carries a huge number of ALPINA characteristics through into the new model, the pricing strategy based around a standard spec has resulted in a large influx of "similar" vehicles. I understand why ALPINA and Sytner took the position they did, but sometimes the longer term implications aren't taken into account at the time the decision is made.

Don't get me wrong - the D3 is well and truly a "proper" ALPINA. However, the marketing strategy has potentially undermined what contributes to the ALPINA brand in terms of exclusivity and individuality.

And I think that this is the main thrust of what Raymondo is trying to put across
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Post by Grant » Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:11 am

Raymondo,

I didn't call your opinion b0ll0cks my friend.

I may not agree with any particular persons opinion but I would fight to the death to protect their right to have an opinion.

Thats what we do in the military eh Charles? :) Accountant indeed.. :evil: Thats the Mrs trade! She counts it while I spend it LOL

Here is a potted version of my take on this matter.

5-6 months ago, like many people my age and younger, I didn't have a clue about Alpinas. Even though I had had a couple of BMWs.

I was driving along the M27 (soory to those who have heard this before) and a young lady stoofed her car into the back of my 1 year old 3 series I'd had from new.

I then went to BMW to get a quote for her insurance company and whilst there spotted a D3 which even the most hardened petrol head must admit is a fairly pretty sight.

I went home and researched a little about Alpina and D3.

In the year previous I had driven over 40,000 miles and my car was just over a year old. Despite this I decided to change it for the D3 which meant that I suffered £9000 depreciation with the mileage adjustment taken into account. Therefore in real terms my D3 cost more like £36k

This got me into and made me an enthusiast of the brand.

Some say that the D3 is not the way to get a feel for the brand. I disagree.

I needed a vehicle that I could drive for such high mileage, that would be covered unlimited mileage and that would be reliable and pretty much trouble free.

Therefore I went for the D3, I could have had any sort of Alpina available as I was a cash buyer.

The result of all this is that because I have been bitten by the bug, I am a future customer of the brand with regard to bigger petrol types when my lifestyle allows it.

I retire from the RN in just over 5years time and my annual mileage will plummet, at present I commute from Wiltshire to Gosport Hants.

This is what I meant by loss leader (not that they'll make a loss) and market share being gained.

No offence to anyone but without attracting fresh (younger) blood, brands die. The young professionals who currently buy D3s will move onto bigger models when the circumstances allow.

All I can say and it's just my opinion is that people much smarter in the world of economics than you and I make these decisions and don't make them on a whim.

If BB and AB think it's worth their badge then I'm not going to argue with them.
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Post by Charles » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:35 am

Grant wrote:Raymondo,

I didn't call your opinion b0ll0cks my friend.

I may not agree with any particular persons opinion but I would fight to the death to protect their right to have an opinion.

Thats what we do in the military eh Charles? :) Accountant indeed.. :evil: Thats the Mrs trade! She counts it while I spend it LOL
True indeed but it's becoming a little tougher to hide the expenditure at the moment :?
No offence to anyone but without attracting fresh (younger) blood, brands die. The young professionals who currently buy D3s will move onto bigger models when the circumstances allow.


I think this is the critical point, Grant.

If D3 owners graduate to bigger (read more expensive and new) ALPINAs as a result of D3 ownership then the strategy has worked. Equally, if because of the increased numbers of ALPINAs on the road then awareness increases and it attracts new owners into the fold, then the strategy has worked. If demand for the D3 continues then Sytner can increase new prices and residuals stay up such that the owner is happy with their ALPINA purchase and will recommend to others, then the strategy has worked.

As you rightly say, the economics of the situation require very big brains - and I for one am only " a bear with a small brain".

There is no right or wrong to this debate. Personal opinion will, by its nature, be mixed with emotion - for all the various and individual reasons why we went with the brand in the first place and why we continue to love (or not as the case may be) the product, brand and support received.

The central most important thing for me as an owner is that whatever Sytner and ALPINA do from a marketing and pricing point of view, that the brand is not being diluted (or being seen to be diluted by the marketplace).
Charles
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Post by rcshott » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:43 am

Slightly off track but worth a mention.

Met an old fellow in hospital last week (6 weeks now, today, Friday. Hope to be out Mon or Tues.) Anyway this old gent has a little car which is the only one in Australia. Sounded liks "Singer" but that's not it. Only a very small number made, & bugger, he has sons.

I have his address, so soon after I get out I go visit him & maybe get some pics. Watch this space!

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