Alpina and BMW Are Officially A Couple – Here’s What It Means
BMW has taken the plunge and acquired Alpina, opening a new path into the futureby Robert Moore, on
BMW M models are great – they provide awesome performance, outrageous handling, and hard-to-rival on-track performance. But, if you want something that’s over the top and tuned more toward luxury and comfortable driving, that’s where Alpina comes in, at an added cost, of course. Alpina has made a name for itself by catering to people who want an ultimate driving machine but spend 99-percent of the time on well unmaintained public roads and not on the track. Alpina’s special tuning turns any BMW into a magic carpet that floats seamlessly down the road, generally looks better on the outside, and has a few extra luxury bits on the inside. Up until this point, Alpina has worked closely with BMW and even had the ability to access vehicles before they were released to the public but worked independently. All of this, however, will change in the near future as BMW just acquired Alpina, something that secures the latter’s long-term future but calls into question what it all means for the Alpina brand.
What BMW’s Acquisition of Alpina Means
For Now, Things Between Alpina and BMW Will Remain the Same
With BMW and Alpina working so closely together in the past, it’s not hard to assume that nothing will change, and BMW will just make some extra profits from owning the brand. And, while little was expressed about the deal between the two companies – including the financial aspects of the deal – we do know that until 2025, Alpina will operate in the same fashion it does now. This means that BMW will still pre-assemble the vehicles, send them off to Alpina for special tuning, and the vehicles will be sold with the Alpina badge with all those fancy Alpina touches and tuning. As of January 1, 2026, things could change. We don’t know exactly what will happen, but there’s a good chance BMW will aim to reduce costs, and that means big changes.
BMW Could Bring Alpina Tuning In-House, Potentially Diluting the Brand
Post-2025, BMW’s desire to cut costs and streamline production could mean that Alpina will be brought in-house and all Alpina vehicles will be built from start to finish within the walls of BMW. This might turn out to be a bad thing because that means BMW will have all say on what the Alpina badge represents and what those models look like. It would be very easy for the Alpina brand to be diluted to the point that they aren’t that special anymore. Remember, Alpina also gives its cars a slightly different look, and those designs came from its in-house design team. If it’s BMW’s in-house design team, Alpina’s might not look the same anymore.
Then again, this is just one path that BMW could take with Alpina. Even if production does move within BMW’s walls, it’s quite possible that it will operate as a separate division. BMW could bring over Alpina’s entire team and let them do what they do best. The same brass will have to sign off on their projects, but they may be given the freedom they need to keep operating as they usually do for the most part.
There Could Be More Alpina Models in the Future
Right now, Alpina-badged vehicles are pretty rare. 2021, for example, was the brand’s best year ever, and it sold less than 2,000 vehicles across the globe. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have a fair number of models, including the B7, 3 Series-based B3, 4 Series-based B5, and crossovers like the XD3, XD4, and the newer XD7 – Alpina has a bigger lineup than Chrysler, but we’ll leave that discussion for later. Up until now,the B7 was the sole model in the U.S. lineup until the XB7 and B8 Gran Coupe were launched in recent years. Now, with BMW ownership it’s possible that a lot more models – especially the smaller crossovers – could find their way onto U.S. roads too. One this is for sure, with BMW being the owning party of Alpina, it’s highly likely that we could see the volume of Alpina models produced and sold increase.
Alpina Will Likely Sell Electric Vehicles in the Near Future
Alpina’s CEO. Andreas Bovensiepen has made it clear that Alpina will forgo producing and selling electric vehicles as long as possible, if ever. But, now that Alpina resides under BMW’s umbrella, that vision could change as things get restructured after 2025. In fact, the official announcement about the deal included an interesting statement with the phrase “transformation towards electromobility and increasing regulation worldwide.” It’s also worth noting that it’s not like the twin-turbo V-8 is going to last forever, so if the company is going to last in the long term, which is obviously what BMW wants to happen given this new acquisition, the shift to electrification, hybrid or otherwise, will have to happen.
BMW and Alpina in the Future
At this point, there’s a lot that could happen between now and the end of the decade. BMW could completely ruin the Alpina brand and what it stands for, or it could make it better. I’m willing to bet that we’ll be seeing the latter scenario. The end goal through this acquisition will be for Alpina to survive long term while ensuring Alpina-branded vehicles don’t lose that “special” feeling. Mercedes was able to pull that off with Maybach, so there’s no reason BMW can’t do it with Alpina – as long as it’s careful. I for one am excited to see what happens, and I’m willing to bet the Alpina brand might see even bigger sales figures in the coming years.