A few years ago I was told by a source that BMW was so impressed with the success of JCW (John Cooper Works) that they were going to try to extend that idea into the BMW brand. With the launch of BMW Performance products this past summer, they ‘ve quietly started the process.

Selling performance parts through BMW dealers was always going to be tricky for BMW. How would this new line (not quite a brand within itself) compete with M products? The obvious difference is that M accessories are few and far between. In fact most aren ‘t even officially available in the US.

But as BMW enthusiasts how are we suppose to look at BMW Performance parts as compared to M brand versions? Are they on equal footing? Do they offer something M parts don ‘t?

The upside for BMW is that can also give something back to their dealers. All the parts are either VPC or dealership installed. The parts generally have a 35%-40% markup over invoice so it ‘s a profit machine for dealers that have often squeezed within the process of actually selling new cars.

It ‘s also interesting to see how BMW has launched the line. It ‘s obviously aimed at enthusiasts as the first products are dedicated to the E46. Second out of the date will be E81 1 Series products from the popular 1 Series Tii concept car.

Finally I think BMW needs to do a better job in creating a story and in turn some authenticity for this line. With the M brand we know the background; cars and performance parts created by people with performance being the ultimate goal. Comfort, affordability take a back seats and performance becomes the ultimate goal. And finally there ‘s a history there with real motorsport success at it ‘s heart.

BMW needs to create this kind of authenticity with BMW Performance much like it has with the M brand and to a lesser extent JCW.

You can check out the E81 and E90 BMW Performance Parts catalog (in German) here (courtesy of 1addicts.com).