And it has nothing to do with corporate ineptitude.
Back in March, the news arrived that BMW would be the new owner of Alpina, the niche automaker that creates more expensive and impressive Bimmers. Don't believe us? Just check out the Alpina B4, an M3 alternative with class and elegance and much more luxury. In fact, even BMW itself says that Alpina doesn't need any help and has carved out its own niche beautifully, but if Alpina is doing so well, why did it allow a BMW buyout? After all, this buyout only comes into effect at the start of 2026, so Alpina's existing arrangement with BMW is clearly working just fine for both entities. According to German publication Bimmer Today, the answer has to do with politics.
"The sale is an early reaction to the constantly tightening legal framework," an Alpina representative told Bimmer Today. "The simplifications that apply to small series manufacturers in individual countries are already a thing of the past. Due to the politically decreed transformation towards electromobility and the increasing regulations worldwide, the requirements and thus also the costs and risks for small series manufacturers are increasing significantly."
Essentially, the problem is that new regulations geared toward increased electrification strategies will severely affect a small manufacturer like Alpina. Remember, a big part of its appeal is the brand's ability to enhance both luxury and performance, and in an EV, that's a lot more difficult to do if your engineers haven't been involved from the beginning of a car's development process.
While Alpina could formerly be excluded from certain safety and emissions regulations due to the small volumes it generates, these exceptions are starting to fall away under new laws that are being proposed, and Alpina must adapt or die. What this means for the near future is that Alpina will carry on until 1 January 2026, enhancing existing BMW products. But thereafter, as electrification becomes more important, "cooperation [between BMW and Alpina] in the area of development services will be intensified."
The representative went on to outline how Alpina will transform into Alpina Classic, providing aftermarket parts for existing BMW models, while "from 2025, the BMW Group will expand its range in the luxury segment with the Alpina brand." This fits with earlier suggestions that BMW Alpina will become the high-end luxury division of the Munich-based automaker akin to Mercedes-Maybach. We look forward to seeing how that translates to new vehicles come 2026.