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BMW 3 series SWOT Analysis, Competitors & USP

Posted in Automobiles, Total Reads: 5843

SWOT analysis of BMW 3 series analyses the brand/company with its strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities & threats. In BMW 3 series SWOT Analysis, the strengths and
weaknesses are the internal factors whereas opportunities and threats are the external

SWOT Analysis is a proven management framework which enables a brand like BMW 3
series to benchmark its business & performance as compared to the competitors and
industry. As of 2020, BMW 3 series is one of the leading brands in the automobiles

Detailed SWOT Analysis of BMW 3 series along with Marketing Analysis &

The table below lists the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats), top
BMW 3 series competitors and elaborates BMW 3 series market segmentation, target
group, positioning & Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

Table of Contents +
BMW 3 series SWOT, Competitors, Marketing STP & Brand analysis Table

BMW 3 series Brand Analysis

Parent Company BMW

Category Luxury Sedan

Sector Automobiles

Tagline/ Slogan Driving enjoyment in beats per minute

USP Spacious, Comfortable & luxurious

BMW 3 series STP

Segment Luxury Sedan segment for professionals and executives

Targeted towards affluent individuals who would spend for an international

Target Group
branded luxury car

Positioned as a premium car in the luxurysedan segment providing

comfortable drive and spacious accommodation

BMW 3 series SWOT Analysis

Below is the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats (SWOT)

Analysis of BMW 3 series. Strengths are:
1.Available in luxury, sporty and modern variant
2. Spacious legroom and headroom
Strengths 3. Available in a wide range of colors
4. A strong road presence and brand identity
5. Has become a popular luxury car choice for upper class luxury owners
6. Excellent marketing and brand visibility through print ads, online ads and

Here are the weaknesses in the BMW 3 series SWOT Analysis:

1. Intense competition from other luxury competitors means market share is
2. As it is a luxury car, sometimes maintainence costs go high
Following are the Opportunities in BMW 3 series SWOT Analysis:
1.Expanding automobile market and available space for competitors
2. Looked upon as an entrant model by customers who wish to own an
international branded luxury sedan
3. Owned by a renowned and reputed brand name i.e. Audi, which can help
market penetration
4. Cost reduction can lead to more competitive pricing
5. Augmenting the distribution and service network in various countries

The threats in the SWOT Analysis of BMW 3 series are as mentioned:

1.Increasing fuel costs
Threats 2.Competition from other big automobile giants
3. Competitive products offering same level features at a lesser price
4.Product innovations and frugal engineering by competitors

BMW 3 series Competition

Below are the top 4 BMW 3 series competitors:

1. Audi A4
Competitors 2. Mercedes E Series
3. Volkswagen Passat
4. Volvo S60

The brandguide table above concludes the BMW 3 series SWOT analysis along with its
marketing and brand parameters.


PESTLE Analysis of BMW analyses the brand on its business tactics. BMW PESTLE
Analysis examines the various external factors like political, economic, social, technological
(PEST) which impacts its business along with legal & environmental factors. The PESTLE
Analysis highlights the different extrinsic scenarios which impact the business of the brand.
PESTLE analysis is a framework which is imperative for companies such as BMW, as it
helps to understand market dynamics & improve its business continuously. PESTLE analysis
is also referred to as PESTEL analysis.
Let us start the BMW PESTLE Analysis:

Political Factors:
The political factors in the BMW PESTLE Analysis can be explained as follows:
BMW is one the leading luxury car manufacturers of the world. There are two major political
factors which have recently affected BMW. Firstly, the escalation of the trade war between
U.S.A. and China. And, secondly, the rising political uncertainty in the Europe largely
because of Britain’s decision of taking an exit from the European Union. Since, higher taxes
were imposed on the goods traded between U.S.A. and China; it weakened the stock markets
and hence causing a decline in the stock prices in the automobile industry. Apart from the
trade tension between the two countries, higher duties were imposed on U.S.A. on the import
of Steel and Aluminum by the European Union. Also, Brexit i.e. Britain’s exit from the EU
can have a negative impact on the company as it will increase trade restrictions causing
increase in the costs and decrease in the volume. Moreover, the increase in trade restriction
by U.S.A. can also cause the other countries to increase their tariffs on the goods traded with
U.S.A. This can cause a decrease in the vehicles exported from the U.S.A. which will affect
BMW negatively.

Image: pixabay

Economic Factors:
Below are the economic factors in the PESTLE Analysis of BMW:
Apart from the European Union, a major chunk BMW’s revenue comes from China and The
United States of Nation. So, any uncertainty prevailing in these countries can adversely affect
BMW. The increased investment done by BMW for the electrification of their drivetrain
systems (which is responsible for providing power to the wheels) can increase its costs
significantly. Also, the company aims to expand its production centers. Due to these factors,
the company expects a significant reduction in its profits before taxes from 10675 million
Euros to 9815 million Euros. Due to the recent investments, BMW’s Return on capital
Employed (ROCE) in 2018 has also decreased as compared with 2017. Another point for
concern for BMW is that the automobile sector is not expected to grow in 2019 as well.
U.S.A. and China are likely to observe a negative growth i.e. 1.6% & 2.4% respectively.
Social Factors:
Following are the social factors impacting BMW PESTLE Analysis:
The BMW Group has a presence in more than 140 nations. The BMW group has 3 divisions
i.e. the automotive segment, the motorcycles and the financial services. A major chunk of
BMW’s revenues come from its automotive segment with all its brands catering to the
premium segment. BMW is focused on increasing its customer satisfaction. Apart from
increasing customer satisfaction from its vehicles itself, BMW aims to provide extra services
to improve their experience. The introduction of its BMW CarData service has allowed its
customers to get services as per the requirements generated from the data captured. The
Cardata service, thus, provides its customers with tailored solutions. BMW’s Mini makes use
of the service “BMW Connected” to enhance its customer’s experience.

Technological Factors:
The technological factors in the PESTLE Analysis of BMW are mentioned below:
BMW Group realizes the importance to integrate technology in its vehicles and also in the
services that it provides. BMU has opened an Autonomous Driving Campus in Germany
recently which will be a facilitator in designing of the automated vehicles. The Campus has
created around 1300 jobs for the people belonging to the IT sector. With the help of these
people, BMW aims to explore technologies like artificial intelligence and integrate them in its
solutions. Also, a new facility has also been opened in Beijing, China. Apart from the
automation, this facility will also help in developing new digital services and working on the
new age designs. With the company focusing on digitalization, it remains prone to Cyber
attacks. Although the risks related to cyber crimes can never be mitigated, but BMW should
continuously work towards implementing more secure techniques for the protection of their
and customer’s data.

Legal Factors:
Following are the legal factors in the BMW PESTLE Analysis:
BMW Group has been subject to various legal problems all over the globe. In the year 2017,
more than 100 of BMW’s customers complained about the engine failures while driving.
About 30 of them had taken this matter to the court as well. Also, in the year 2018, more than
3, 00,000 cars manufactured between 2007 & 2011 were called back as they were also prone
to complete engine failures while driving. Till date, about 90 of the BMW’s customers have
also complained about the mysterious fires in their parked BMW’s. The South Korean
Government charged a hefty fine of about $9.9 million to the BMW Group for allegedly
hiding the problems related with the fires in its engines.

Environmental Factors:
In the BMW PESTLE Analysis, the environmental elements affecting its business are as
The BMW Group has always been an organization famous for contributing towards the
sustainability. The group has been contributing towards the UN Environment Program since
2001. In fact, the Group was the first in the automobile sector which came out with the post
of an Environment Officer. BMW group has also reduced its carbon footprint by reducing the
C02 emissions of its European vehicles by 42%. Also, with the introduction of electric
vehicles, the CO2 emissions have further dropped. The BMW i3 is fully electric with zero
carbon emissions. While their hybrid models have C02 emission as less as 45g/km.
To conclude, the above BMW PESTLE Analysis highlights the various elements which
impact its business performance. This understanding helps to evaluate the criticality of
external business factors for any brand.
Browse analysis of more brands and companies similar to BMW PESTLE Analysis. This
section covers many brands and companies.


August 8, 2019 by Abhijeet Pratap

BMW Marketing Mix


BMW logo (Pixabay)

BMW, the renowned premium vehicle brand, was founded in 1916 as BFW
or (Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, AG). In 1917, it became BMW G.m.b.H. and
finally BMW AG in 1918.  Today, it is among the most successful vehicle
makers of the world. The brand has retained continuous focus upon
innovation. It invests a huge sum each year in research and development.
The BMW group includes BMW AG and all of its direct and indirect
subsidiaries. BMW AG is responsible for managing the entire group. Its
business is divided into three main segments that include automotive,
motorcycles and financial services. It is a global brand that operates across
more than 150 countries. All brands BMW owns focus on the premium
customer segment. The company owns three of the most famous premium
vehicle brands in the entire industry including BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini
You will read in detail about these three brands in the products mix
segment of this marketing mix analysis. BMW is also among the most
successful makers of premium motorcycles. The brand has maintained
exclusive focus on customers’ taste and convenience. The result has been
growth in popularity and customer loyalty. BMW is among the industry
leaders in the automobile industry. Among its top priorities for the near
future are electrified cars and sustainability. The company wants to offer its
customers around the world a safer and better driving experience. Read
more about BMW, its products, placement, pricing strategy and
promotions  in this marketing mix.
The business of BMW is divided into three main segments including cars,
motorcycles and finance. Apart from BMW, it also owns Mini Cooper and
Rolls Royce brands. Its products cater to the premium vehicle market. Mini
Cooper is a distinct riding experience in the small car segment. Rolls Royce
has maintained a strong, one century old tradition in the ultra luxury car
segment. BMW in itself is one of the smartest car brands available on the
planet. The name itself is considered synonymous to driving pleasure. In the
motorcycles segment too, the brand offers an extraordinary premium
experience. BMW offers motorcycles in the Sport, Tour, Roadster, Heritage,
Adventure and Urban Mobility segments. 
Apart from that, BMW Motorrad offers equipment to make riding safe and
comfortable for motorcycle owners.  BMW is one of the most desirable car
and motorcycle brands of the world. In 2017, across all segments apart
from Rolls Royce, the brand enjoyed higher sales. The focus of BMW is now
on electrification. The sales of electrified cars produced by BMW is now
increasing. Last year, it delivered 103,080 cars with electrified drivetrains to
customers. The company has raised its sales target for the year 2018 to
140,000 vehicles. It aims to have more than half a million BMWs and Minis
flying on the roads by the end of year 2019.
BMW has set a clear roadmap for itself to 2025. It plans to electrify all its
brands gradually. BMW plans to bring a battery electric MINI by 2019 and
first fully electric model from the core BMW brand, the X3 by 2020.  iNEXT,
BMW’s new technology flagship, will follow in 2021. 
Other important areas of focus for BMW are car sharing and autonomous
driving. It decided to open its campus outside Munich to autonomous
driving in 2018. It is working with Intel and Mobileye for the development
of autonomous driving technology. A large number of famous companies
from around the world are joining forces with BMW on its shared platform.
However, security of customers and their privacy (security of personal data)
is a major priority in this area.  Its ‘Connected Drive’ service that is designed
to keep the drivers in control of everything inside and outside their vehicles
has got more than 10 million BMW vehicles connected. BMW’s premium
car sharing service called ‘Drive Now’, which it acquired during early 2018
has more than a million customers in 13 cities. Drive Now is the favourite
service of a large number of families and business travellers around the
world. Its ‘ReachNow service’ is available in US as well as China through
local partnership.
BMW has brought a large range of premium models to the market. In the
below tables you can learn about the variants and their sales volume for
2016 and 2017.

BMW Sales Volume by Models 2016-17

Show   entries

BMW Models 2017 2016 Change in %

BMW Models 2017 2016 Change in %

BMW 1 Series 201,968 176,032 14.7%

BMW 2 Series 181,113 196,183 -7.70%

BMW 3 Series 409,005 411,844 -0.70%

BMW 4 Series 131,688 133,272 –1.2%

BMW Models 2017 2016 Change in %

BMW Models 2017 2016 Change in %

BMW 5 Series 347,313 331,410 4.80%

BMW 6 Series 11,052 13,400 –17.5%

BMW 7 Series 64,311 61,514 4.50%

BMW X1 286,743 220,378 30.10%

BMW X3 146,395 157,017 – 6.8%

BMW X4 52,167 58,055 –10.1%

BMW X5 180,905 166,219 8.80%

BMW X6 40,531 43,323 -6.40%

BMW Z4 1,416 5,432 -73.90%

BMW i 33,676 29,280 15.00%

BMW total 2,088,283 2,003,359 4.20%

Showing 1 to 15 of 15 entries

MINI sales volume 2016-17

Change in Proportion of Mini sales
Mini Models 2017 2016
% volume 2017 in %

MINI Hatch (3- and 5- 194,070 198,37 -2.20% 52.20%

door) 3

MINI Convertible 33,351 30,050 11.00% 9.00%

MINI Clubman 59,572 63,509 – 6.2% 16.00%

MINI 84,888 68,301 24.30% 22.80%

Change in Proportion of Mini sales
Mini Models 2017 2016
% volume 2017 in %

MINI total 371,881 360,23 3.20% 100.00%


Sales Volume of Rolls Royce Model 2016-17

Rolls Royce Models 2017 2016 Change in %

Phantom 235 389 -39.60%

Ghost 1098 1175 -6.60%

Wraith/Dawn 2029 2447 -17.10.%

Rolls Royce Total 3362 4011 -16.20%

Sales Volume of electrified models by BMW

2016 and 2017
Electrified Models in Units 2017 2016 Change in %

BMWi 33,676 29,280 15.00%

BMW iPerformance 63,605 32975 92.90%

Mini Electric 5799 - -

Electrified total 103,080 62255 65.60%

BMW is a global brand with operations in more than 150 countries.
Production Network of BMW:
BMW is headquartered at Munich. Its production network had 31 locations
in 14 countries as of 2017. It includes 19 BMW Group plants, five joint
ventures, four partner plants and three contract production plants. The 19
BMW Group plants include 13 automobile and engine plants, two BMW
motorcycle plants, three sites for component production, pressed parts and
tools and one supply centre. Apart from its 31 production and assembly
plants, BMW has 16 research and development locations worldwide. It also
has 43 Sales subsidiaries and Financial Services locations worldwide. (annual
report, 2017.)
Sales & Service Network of BMW:
BMW has dealerships of each of its brands in several countries around the
world. It has a global dealership which includes 3,400 BMW, 1,580 MINI and
140 Rolls-Royce dealerships. BMW Group’s branches and authorised
dealerships handle sales in Germany. Outside of Germany, subsidiary
companies and some independent import companies handle sales. At more
than 1500 locations, BMWi dealership and agency network covers sales and
service. BMW motorcycles sell in more than 90 countries. More than 1200
dealerships and importers sell BMW motorcycles in these countries. In more
than 19 countries BMW provides financial services under the ‘Alphabet’
banner. The worldwide sales, service and financial network of BMW plays a
strong role in maintaining its global presence and providing services to its
customers. Customer service has grown highly important in the 21st
century and how a brand offers after sales services affects its image and

BMW is a premium brand that follows a premium pricing strategy. It
competes with the other premium car brands like Audi, Aston Martin,
Mercedez Benz & Volvo. The premium pricing strategy of the brand
supports its premium image. However, BMW invests in technology and has
brought  a large range of cars, SUVs and small MINI cars to the market.
These cars are attractive in look and are also loaded with technology. Most
of the cars by BMW are priced in the $35,000 – $100,000 range.

Rolls Royce cars are made for the ultra Luxury segment. Apart from their
luxurious looks, these cars too have the best in class technology. All BMW
cars from BMW to MINI and Rolls Royce are just as appealing as they are
luxurious. The Rolls Royce cars are priced much higher than average BMW
cars at above $300,000.

Pricing strategy of a brand has a major effect on its marketing too. BMW’s
pricing strategy is related to its premium image. It appeals to the premium
customer segment. The purchasing power of the middle class and the
upper middle class has grown post recession. This has led to growth in
sales of luxury vehicles and SUVs. However, premium pricing can
sometimes become an obstacle to sales. RollS Royce sales fell this year.
BMW AG on the other hand recorded better sales. Product innovation and
marketing  also play an important role in mitigating the negative effect
premium prices can have on a  brand’s sales. Sales of the BMW and MINI
cars have grown continuously during the last four years despite the
premium pricing strategy of BMW group.

Marketing and promotions are now a critical part of every vehicle brand’s
sales strategy. BMW’s selling expenses include sales, marketing and
advertising expenses. In 2017, total selling expenses of BMW reached 6.2
Billion Euros which was at 6 Billion the previous year. BMW uses several
channels for the promotion of its brand and products including traditional
and digital channels. Its strong image as a global player and a luxury brand
also plays an important role in the marketing of the brand. Its  famous
slogan ‘Sheer Driving Pleasure’ indicates the distinct experience that BMW
has created for its customers. BMW’s marketing strategy includes video
marketing, print advertising as well as other forms of advertising and
promotions including motor shows, print advertising and sponsorships.
BMW has built a distinct image as a vehicle brand. It featured on Fortune’s
world’s most admired companies list again in 2018 at 19th position and it is
on the top among the vehicle brands. In 2017, BMW was at 21st position on
the same list. As a responsible vehicle brand, BMW has achieved several
more awards. Overall, level of recognition of the vehicle company is very
high. Known as the favourite drive of the rich and the spoilt, BMW makes
hearts thump with its brilliant models. The BMW logo is easily discernible
among the crowd of brands in the vehicle industry.

It is a famous brand and including its own website, its products are
discussed on the internet on media and vehicle blogs too. New releases by
BMW, MINI or Rolls Royce attract a lot of media buzz. In the U.S., it
sponsors and supports a wide range of educational, civic and cultural
programs. It also supports several charity  and not for profit organizations
as a part of its social responsibility program. Social media is now an
important channel of marketing for BMW. The company uses videos heavily
as apart of its marketing strategy. It has uploaded around 850 videos to
YouTube which include educational and promotional videos.  BMW has
maintained an active presence on the other social media channels too
including Twitter and Facebook. The company uses these channels for
promotions and customer engagement. Social media has supported the
marketing efforts of several brands strongly. Its growing use worldwide has
brought businesses closer to their audience. BMW is using it proactively to
stay connected with its global audience.

BMW is a famous global brand of vehicles with sales and operations across
more than 150 countries. Its financial performance during the previous
several years has remained strong. Revenue of BMW went up to €98.3
Billion in 2017 rising from €94.2 Billion in 2016. In the recent years, BMW
has grown its focus on electrification. It is continuously expanding its fleet
of electric cars and has ambitious plans for the period of 2018-2025. As a
luxury vehicle brand, BMW has acquired immense popularity. The number
of competitors in the market is high. BMW has to spend heavily on R&D as
well as marketing and sales. For its customers, BMW has brought a
luxurious driving experience. It is continuously innovating to make these
vehicles safer and more convenient for its customers.  Moreover, BMW is
focusing on making its premium ride sharing services a success in key
markets across the globe. The future of mobility rests on technological
innovation. From automated riding to AI for higher interconnectedness,
several things will make the battle all the more intense for vehicle brands.
However, BMW has got a strong production, sales as well as R&D network
and several other major strengths too. Based on these factors, ride might
remain easier for the auto-brand in the future.

 Sources:
 BMW Annual Report 2017