BMW has received “very positive” feedback to its radical shift in styling for certain models including the BMW X7, according to product boss Peter Henrich.
Henrich told Autocar that he was “convinced” this bold styling direction under design boss Adrian van Hooydonk was the right way to go, and that customer data showed it was being well received.
“This is crucial for success,” said Henrich. “BMW customers are demanding. They want to express something and are not afraid of vehicles with strong characters. They are looking for it. So we have decided to focus even more on strong characters and bold design.
“The design team with Adrian van Hooydonk do an excellent job in designing and defining that character. The feedback received has been very positive. When first shown the X7, people said: ‘How big is the kidney grille?’ But customers never reacted like that and the car is a great success. It’s sold out for a very long period and people love it.
“There are always people specifically looking for something critical and afraid of something new. But we are very self-confident and will continue.”
When asked if BMW would apply such radical design to next-generation versions of its traditionally more conservative models such as the 5 Series, Henrich said it was important each model got its own character.
“Each car has its own positioning,” he said. “In the early stages of development, we sit down – product, design and engineering – and define the character and the positioning. This is then the base for the design and engineering team. Some cars are more extroverted, more bold than others as they have different messages to transmit.
Designers ditch controversial grille