BMW acquires Alpina
BMW has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the Alpina brand for over half a century, now it has purchased the Buchloe manufacturer officially making it part of the BMW Group. Founded in 1965, Alpina was active in BMW tuning and motorsport from the 1960s, it began manufacturing passenger BMWs in 1978. In 1983 Alpina was recognised as an official automotive manufacturer with the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, today the Bavarian firm, owned by the Bovensiepen family, employs around 300 people and in 2021 it produced 2,000 vehicles.
Interestingly 2021 was the most successful year in the history of Alpina, which is based in the Ostallgäu district of Bavaria. News came a few weeks ago that the BMW Group had secured the rights to the Alpina name in an agreement said to secure the long-term future of the brand. It follows an extension of the longstanding cooperation agreement between the two parties, which was extended for another five-years in late 2020, expiring at the end of 2025. Both parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details and no shares in the company will be acquired as it enters this new chapter of its life.
BMW says that the global move towards electromobility, and increasing regulation in the automotive world (particularly emissions legislation, software validation and requirements for driver assistance and monitoring systems) poses a significant risk for the survival of small-series manufacturers such as Alpina. The acquisition is termed a 'strategic realignment that will secure the long-term viability of the Buchloe operations'.
“For over fifty years, the Buchloe firm has demonstrated how to deliver top-quality car cachet through meticulous attention to detail. The BMW Group is also driven by this same passion for cars that capture the imagination. That is why we are now embarking on a new chapter in our long-standing partnership. Acquiring the trademark rights will allow us to shape the longterm course of this brand steeped in tradition. We are delighted to welcome the Alpina brand to the BMW family,” said Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management responsible for Customer, Brands and Sales.
Andreas Bovensiepen, co-managing director of Alpina, added: “We recognised the challenges facing the automotive industry early on and are now setting the right course for Alpina and for our family firm. This marks the beginning of a new chapter. Both the Alpina brand and our company are extremely desirable. We made a conscious decision not to sell Alpina to just any manufacturer, because BMW and Alpina have worked together and trusted one another for decades. That is why it is the right decision strategically for the Alpina brand to be managed by the BMW Group in the future.”
Cooperation between Alpina and BMW will continue as before but in a different form. Alpina will continue to use its engineering expertise in developing, manufacturing, and selling BMW Alpina vehicles as it always has until the end of 2025. Its expertise in the areas of chassis, aerodynamics, and interior equipment will continue to be applied to cars pre-assembled on BMW production lines before heading to Buchloe for Alpina modifications. The service, parts and accessories business for existing and legacy Alpina vehicles will continue to be sited at the Buchloe location in the long term, and there will be no changes to the existing aftersales setup. The wine business that also forms part of the family firm will be unaffected.
The sale and resulting discontinuation of the current Alpina vehicle programme at the end of 2025 will have implications for existing jobs at the Buchloe site. BMW says it will support Alpina with the necessary adjustments to the workforce at the Buchloe location over the coming years. Up until the end of 2025, BMW will work with Alpina to offer those employees who will not be able to continue working at Buchloe a new position with the BMW Group, and it will help them find new jobs with suppliers and development partners.
Sytner has been sole UK concessionaire for Alpina since 1985. Alpina's chassis tweaks have been a highlight in recent years. The brand has created some iconic cars over the decades.
Alpina will continue as it always has until the end of 2025...