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(E) Individuals

BMW Individual is a service for those who want to own a car that uniquely reflects their personality. Whether first-class materials, striking colours or exclusive technical fittings and modifications - at BMW Individual we hand-build cars with a unique character. A love of detail and the highest degree of handcraftsmanship guarantee cars of fascinating individuality. But BMW Individual is a department of BMW Motorsport Gmbh :

Introduction : BMW Motorsport GmbH was founded in Munich in 1972. BMW AG motor sport activities were looked after here and the BMW values of sportsmanship, dynamism and high performance uniquely cultivated. Since 1993 the company has carried the name BMW M GmbH, Gesellschaft fr individuelle Automobile. The name of the company has changed, the character of its cars hasn't: they link racing car technology with absolute everyday pragmatism and perfect comfort. Company History : 1972: Founding of BMW Motorsport GmbH. 1978: Founding of the BMW Driver Training business group. 1992: Integration of the BMW Individual business group. 1993: Renaming of the corporation as BMW M GmbH, Gesellschaft fr individuelle Automobile. 1996: Founding of BMW Motorsport Ltd., England as an independent company looking after motor sport activities. Racing Successes : The history of BMW M is rich in motor sport successes - whether in the touring car class or Formula 1 where BMW won the title of world champion in 1993. This affinity with racing has remained to this day: team spirit, the joy of innovation and perfection still from the basis of BMW M. Fields of Activity :

The Three Business Group of BMW Motorsport : BMW M Automobiles - the complete synthesis of high performance and innovation. BMW Individual - the way to your tailor-made BMW. BMW Driver Training - the way to achieve superior driving skills. BMW M Classics : The M1, M3 and M5, the M 635CSi and the M 850CSi - to name but a few examples - have not only found a place in the hearts of automobile fans but their presence on the world's streets over the last 20 years has developed into the legend of M. Not simply 'old-fashioned' classics, they are living proof of the power of innovation and the fascination of BMW M. Of course, here the M 850Csi is THE one we all want to heard from, With this sports coup the engineers at BMW created a dream car. Every detail of the 850CSi reflects the innovative spirit, aesthetic class, power and dynamics. With a total of 1,510 units built, it has today become a much sought-after rarity. Technical highlights such as Automatic Stability Control + Traction (ASC+T) with differential lock and active rear axle kinematics were premiered in the BMW 850CSi. The 12 cylinder engine of the BMW 850CSi with 5.6 litre capacity develops 280 kW (380 hp) and accelerates the 850CSi from 0 to 100 km/h in 6 seconds. "Individuality is the sum total of the freedom you enjoy in life." Freedom is the greatest possession. Hardly anything can be of greater value than the realisation of one's own desires: for example in the form of an automobile which is as exclusive as it is unique. With its unusual vehicle conceptions, BMW Individual fulfils the desire for automobile freedom. From the sum total of individual options, masterly compositions are created which are perfect down to the last detail. Discover some examples of the 840/850 masterpieces of BMW Individual :

BMW M GmbH M Individuals By Ian Kuah BMW's Individual program was launched to the public at the 1992 Geneva Show with the unveiling of a specially

trimmed and painted 7 Series and an 850CSi. Its 10th Anniversary seemed like a good reason to revisit its home in the fascinating BMW M GmbH facility in Garching. BMW Individual was set up to address the needs of clients who want to deviate a little, or a lot, from standard specifications, particularly with the interiors of their cars. According to Adolf P. Prommesberger, Managing Director of BMW M GmbH, "Around 90 percent of BMW's clients are happy with the standard cars and the options that they can order. BMW Individual exists to meet the special needs of the remaining 10 percent and fulfill them as far as possible." It was obvious to BMW that aftermarket tuners were making a good living from such work, and many clients had approached dealers and even the factory itself to have such work done. It did not make commercial sense to continue turning clients away, so BMW Individual was set up to offer clients a factory personalization service whereby their special requests could be built into the car at the manufacturing stage and delivered through their local dealer with a full factory warranty. While you have a choice of many non-standard shades of wood and leather in the Individual brochure, over and above BMW mainstream, clients can have any color of paint or leather within reason and good taste applied to their car. "One client wanted an interior trimmed the same color as his expensive luggage," explained Adolf Prommesberger."This is quite a normal request." As a full factory warranty applies to all BMW Individual work, the department has very strict quality control standards, and these dovetail with the materials used into normal production cars. Prototype cars have to undergo the harsh test regime of exposure to intense sunlight and freezing sub-zero temperatures for months before they are passed for production. And so it is with the special wood and leather products used in the interiors of cars from BMW Individual. After all, the last thing a client wants to see is his lovely hand-stitched leather dash top peeling under the sun or the wood veneer fading and cracking! "We test how thin leather has to be to fit a part like a glove, and how thick it must be for toughness and longevity," said BMW M's effusive press officer, Friedbert Holz. "This takes time; unfortunately, some clients who cannot wait might have to make do with just a full leather interior without special wood and leather dashboard for up to 18 months after a new model is launched. Getting a new car into production takes priority over everything, and it is only once that has settled down are we able to get vehicles for testing. The problem is that a new model has a different dashboard shape and different wood contours to previous models, so we have to start our durability and weather testing from scratch." This is the reason why 5 Series customers could only order special wood after October 1996 even though the car had been in production for a year. The leather-covered dashboard for this model was only available as a BMW Individual option from March 1997. The very first fully personalized car to emerge from BMW Individual's workshops was a 750iL for Karl Lagerfeld. In 1992, the famous designer approached BMW requesting a special car for himself. "As a professional designer, he was able to work on the project alongside our house designers," Friedbert Holz explained. "He even helped our people by contributing some very good ideas which they absorbed into their repertoire." BMW Individual has since collaborated on further 7 Series cars for this distinguished client. The silver and red 7 Series for the Four Seasons Hotel in Berlin was a spin-off from Karl Lagerfeld's own car. "At the time, the hotel was owned by two of our good customers.

Karl Lagerfeld did the interior design for the hotel and has a suite there for life. The hotel had a Bentley at the time to chauffeur VIPs around, and we asked Karl if he could help us get a contract with the hotel for a 7 Series. The owners were approached and said they were interested if the car were painted and upholstered to Karl Lagerfeld's design. "The two-tone bodywork was painted by Willy Maurer, a well known car painter who did some of the ART cars for us," Friedbert said. "The interior used English buttons on the seats, and it was one of the first cars with an audio-video system, second car phone in the rear and a few other touches like writing desks on the backs of the front seats and tissue paper dispensers in the rear door pockets. The hotel used the car for two years, and then we bought it back for our museum." Another famous designer, 76-year-old Mr. Mori from Japan, also commissioned a special BMW and kindly allowed BMW to exhibit the car on its stand at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show. Not every car that gets the BMW Individual treatment goes through the Garching facility. Very special cars like Karl Lagerfeld's 7 Series have so many alterations from standard that they require days of personal attention from craftsmen. Less specialized packages that BMW Individual has put together, for the recent limited-edition BMW 3 Series Club Sport for instance, are fitted in place of the normal items on the normal production line. Similarly, if you ordered two-tone leather for the seats of your new BMW and a special color for the wood, the order would be processed through your dealer, and the leather and wood executed at Garching as the car was being built. The seats and panels would then be brought to the main factory for fitting on the production line so that the flow of assembly is not drastically interrupted. All the same, BMW normally quotes additional time for an Individual product over the normal 12 weeks between placing an order and delivery. In recent years, a lot of strategic changes have been made. Individual is now available for all BMW Models, but the scope of changes are sub-categorized into three or four areas. Most exclusive are very special commissions like the Karl Lagerfeld cars. Focused at wealthy individuals and board members of large companies, these flagship cars number about 600 per year. Next in line are the personalized cars for people who want a special color of paint or interior trim. About 12,000 such cars are made per year, the maximum number BMW can cope with. Small production runs of special edition cars to a set specification are the next serial production item. "We make anything from 5 to 1,000 such cars in production runs," said Prommesberger. "These are made for specific markets or dealers. In 2001, we built 20,000 cars like this. Ten cars to one specification for the Singapore importer is unique, but it is not quite what we do. It is not our typical Individual philosophy. "In Germany we have sold a limited edition Compact known as Young Line, aimed at younger owners, and we are building a 3 Series Coupe Club Sport or AVUS as we call it internally, for the UK. We also did a Sport package for the Compact, 3 and 5 Series cars, and BMW has sold a total of 55,000 such cars.

All these cars have the parts like body styling, wheels and special seats fitted on the main production line. It is the only way to get quality and low unit costs." We asked Prommesberger why the M3 waiting list is so long everywhere. "We would love to make more cars," he told us. In fact, our main factory in Munich could make far more bodyshells and interiors, but the bottleneck is caused by the fact that the motors are individually hand-made. The engines have to be shared between the M3 Coupe, Cabriolet and the M Coupe and Roadster, and we are at full production capacity right now, turning out 120 M3s a day. "So far, we have sold over 22,000 M3s, which is more than we ever expected to sell. Six thousand of these were ordered with the SMG gearbox. The M5 production is running at 25 cars a day, 10 less than full capacity. You could say that demand for the M5 is tailing off, as the new 5 Series is imminent." I was curious to know how many M5s have been sold since that badge first appeared in 1986. "We have made over 19,000 M5s of all types since 1985," said Adolf Prommesberger. We built 2,100 E28 models, over 12,000 E34s in 3.6- and 3.8-liter form. You may be surprised to know the current manual only E39 M5 outsells the 540i in the U.S. market despite the fact that Americans generally prefer automatics. We have sold 7,440 E39 M5s in the U.S. to April 2002, which is about 40 percent of production." The E28 and E34 M5s were low-volume models built in Garching on a small production line. "There was no way we could achieve the volume we needed for the E39 M5 here," Prommesberger explained. "So we build the E39 M5 at Dingolfing, alongside normal 5 Series. As before, the M3 is built exclusively in our Regensburg plant." "We are very proud of our engines," said Siegfried Friedmann, Project Manager for M3. "A lot of people think that Porsche is our target, but that is not true. We have our own unique niche, and an M3 is much cheaper than a 911 Carrera even if it offers most of the Porsche's performance. The BMW is a more practical car with four seats and a boot. It is an everyday use, high-performance car." "Our M3 engine is unique," he explained. "If you compare it to a mainstream BMW 3.0-liter engine, it might have no more than a dozen components in common. It was designed from the start as a sporting engine, and the whole car was designed for a small target group of customers. On the other hand, the body styling is fairly restrained, as our customers expect social acceptance as well." We asked if there would be a four-door version of the E46 M3. "The E36 M3 four-door was not a big seller for us, so we will not go down that route again," Siegfried replied. So what does it take to turn a mainstream BMW model into an "M" car? "If there has been a decision to develop an 'M' model of a mainstream car, we study the packaging of the BMW AG prototypes and make decisions on what components have to be changed to give the car the high-performance character and manners we are seeking," explained Herr Schmidt. "We need a more sporting engine and sharper handling characteristics while at the same time maintaining a high level of comfort and luxury.

Once these components have been designed, tested and signed off, production can start at the mainstream factories." BMW M GmbH is a multi-faceted organization with a whole wealth of talents that ranges from restoring older BMWs with a pedigree, like the famous Art Cars, to building totally new personalized cars for clients with varying sizes of wallet. But for the car enthusiast, the most glamorous part of the operation is arguably the development department for the cars that proudly wear the famous "M" logo.