BMW is returning serve to its critics who suggest the German marque’s new styling direction – the big grilles in particular – is a turn for the worse.
BMW has been actively engaging with its audience on social media recently to defend its design decisions, though it’s now put head of design Domagoj Dukec into the limelight to explain.
Speaking to Top Gear, Dukec said “I’m reading social media and press, and I can see that some people are wondering where BMW is heading, but I can assure you that we have a clear vision about where we’re going.
"We all love the brand.”
It sounds like the criticism is reaching the design team, but it’s not going to stop them.
“You can create something beautiful, and we also have cars which are just pretty. But there are some customers that, if you want to reach them, you have to stand out.
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“You have to create something that is not in-line; maybe not like an everyday car or an everyday product, but that’s exactly the reason,” Dukec told Top Gear.
Dukec drew parallels to the Bangle-era of BMW design that oversaw the mid-2000s E60 5 Series styling.
Dukec says its design was “so criticised” at the time, but is now looked back on with fondness. “That was breaking with everything so far [up to that point],” Dukec said.
“Now, this is a special time. [The new cars are] different and distinguished, I think this is something we are used to. It is not our goal to please everyone in the world.
"You can’t make a design which pleases everyone. But you have to please your customers,” he added.
BMW ran an odd social media marketing campaign titled “What’s your reason not to change?” on the back of the iX electric vehicle’s release, hitting back at critics of its design who said “Can’t you make electric cars look like normal cars?” and “Looks like a low-budget ’80s sci-fi movie.”
BMW even addressed critics with the phrase “OK Boomer” on Twitter.
It seems BMW is putting on a brave face in defence of its new unorthodox styling, but, reading between the lines, it seems that there’s an element of damage control.