Bmw Strategic Analysis

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Table of Contents

1. Value Chain Analysis2
1.1 Primary Activities3
1.2 Supporting Activities7
2. External Analysis11
2.1 Porter's Diamond11
2.2 Five Forces Framework14
3. SWOT17
4. Conclusion21


"Sheer driving pleasure" is what BMW remarks as the major attribute of itself, "sheer driving pleasure" is what BMW puts as it's home country slogan, but in what extend is it a pleasure to drive, or better run this multinational company in the aggressive automotive market? To answer this question and give a future outlook on what could be the strategic driving direction not only for its cars, shall be the emphasis of this report. Within this paper, one of the most successful car manufacturers shall be analysed in detail in order to explain its current market situation and to value its strategy. First, a general introduction to BMW will be given, while several analysing tools are used in the second and main part of this study. Here the value chain model is used to give details about inner-company matters and serves as our internal analysis. Due to the size of this paper and overwhelming information for the external part, the authors decided to emphasize on the examination of BMW's two major markets, Germany and the United States. Together these two make up for almost half of BMW's total car sales and therefore represent the most important strategic positions. For the external analysis of Germany, the home market, Porters Diamond is used, while the five forces framework is applied to the U.S. market analysis. The results of the conducted observations are compared and summarized in a final SWOT analysis, where upon the concluding future outlook for BMW will be based. Although the BMW Group also comprises financial services, software products and motorbikes besides the car production, only the latter is of importance for the strategic analyses given in this paper, since the automotive branch is responsible for 82 percent of the annual turnover.

In the beginning, the company and its history shall be introduced briefly: BMW is one of the leading European car makers of prestige automobiles, including the brands BMW, MINI and Rolls Royce. Established during the First World War, BMW manufactured aero-engines and remained leader in their production until 1945. Having survived the Second World War, BMW concentrated on the automobile production, introducing a wide range of cars. Faced with financial difficulties and the threat of bankruptcy in 1959, this illustrated a lack of focus regarding the company's strategy and planning. It was for the new main shareholder Herbert Quandt, who visioned the company's strength of building powerful motors, to lead BMW to its historical turning point in 1961 when it launched the new model BMW 1500. Soon the brand was established as for leading engineering excellence, an attribute it still holds these days, adding brand characteristics such as power, reliability, luxurity, advanced technology and premium prices. The target customer of BMW is the young, affluent professional, the company's slogan "the ultimate driving machine" is dedicated to attract this peer group and it represents BMW's strategic position. By the year 2003 BMW had more than 104,000 employees, and was responsible for three third of the group's sales. Its' plants in Germany, United States, United Kingdom, Africa and China have a remarkable flexibility, and the cheap production costs resulted in even higher profits. When BMW overtook Lexus in 2003 numerically, it sold more than 277,000 cars, of which MINI, the 3-series and the 5-series are the most successful models. Nevertheless, BMW is still positioned somewhere between a niche and a major market player, pushing hard on the American and Asian market to reach its ambitious and demanding goal: to be number one in the premium car market.

1. Value Chain Analysis

The following extract will outline how BMW...
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