Launching the Bmw Z3 Roadster

Topics: BMW Z3, James Bond, GoldenEye Pages: 2 (517 words) Published: November 16, 2010
Launching the BMW Z3 Roadster January 1996 marked the beginning of Phase II of BMW of North America Inc.'s Z3 roadster introduction. Phase I had centered around the placement of the new $28,750 two-seat convertible in the James Bond hit movie, GoldenEye, which premiered several months earlier. While not yet critically evaluated, results of the "out-of-the-box" pre-launch campaign appeared very positive: word-of-mouth concerning the Z3 and the James Bond cross-promotion were favorable, and product orders far exceeded BMW's initial expectations. The challenge now was to design a marketing program that would sustain product excitement until dealer product availability beginning in March. Phase 11 planning had to be undertaken within the context of other important events in the BMW product family: (1) the April launch of the redesigned 5-Series; and (2) the company's role as "official international automotive sponsor" of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games, which would begin in earnest with the Olympic Torch Relay 5-Series event in June. While these other elements of the BMW product family clearly impacted the Z3, the marketing approach and ultimate results for the Z3 would influence the whole BMW operation in the United States. Dr. Helmut Panke, chairman and CEO of BMW (U.S.) Holding Corp. since 1993, noted that the Z3 was destined to be "the first BMW not made by mythical little creatures in the Bavarian woods. This car will be made in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Some people think BMW means German-made. With the Z3, we must show we can be successful as a global company, manufacturing at strategic locations -- even if not in Bavaria. Assembling of cars in the United States requires BMW to replace `Made in Germany' as a symbol of quality with `Made by BMW'." As Brandweek put it, Panke was "saddled with the task of exporting BMW's mystique from the Bavarian hills to the fields of South Carolina." Industry commentators characterized the Z3 as "the new standard bearer for a...
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