Perhaps it ‘s little surprise but Autocar is reporting that BMW is going to be positioning it ‘s Project i or iSetta brands as premium within the marketplace. The idea is to let the other marques worry about the low end while BMW plays to its strengths. However what is interesting about the piece is the discussion on design and how bold BMW may or may not be. Here ‘s an excerpt:
A key consideration for the styling will be the brand positioning of BMW’s EV models, an important detail yet to be finalised. “Whether Project i cars fit below Mini, between Mini and BMW or above BMW is one of the important things we’re still deciding,” said Marc Gerard, boss of BMW interiors.
One of the major factors in developing the styling is whether buyers of electric cars are prepared to make two significant steps: to drop a combustion engine in favour of electric power, and to pay for a car with radical styling. For that reason, there’s a strong feeling inside BMW that making one step — the move to electric power — is enough and that the styling should be conventional to avoid alienating buyers.
BMW is also developing new ideas for interiors that will influence the Project i production cabins. Head-up displays and a multi-function TFT screen, both seen on the Vision ED concept, are likely to become the primary methods of getting information to the driver.
There are many things to consider in regards to the styling of these cars. One is the brand identity and how important design will play-out in that. Additionally what type of consumer does BMW expect to attract and how much do they want to spend on sustainable transportation? Surely BMW will be asking these and many more questions as development ramps up on a number of iSetta products. Look for further information to leak out over the next 3-6 months as BMW intiates in-depth research into the category and starts to formulate strategic positions.