What does this mean for the company's new sub-brand?
If you want the Ultimate (comfortable) Driving Machine from BMW, you need to splurge for one of the company's models tuned by Alpina. Unlike the in-house M Division, which caters its cars for the track, Alpina is a separate company that knows its customers will spend 99% of their time on bumpy public roads and tunes them accordingly. Alpina has always operated independently from the BMW Group, but that changes today. BMW AG has officially acquired Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen GmbH & Co., securing the long-term financial future for the latter. No shares in the company were purchased, and both companies agreed to keep the financial details a secret.
BMW and Alpina already worked together closely, sharing access to new vehicles for development before releasing them to the public. For a long time, the 7 Series-based BMW Alpina B7 was the Alpina model available in the United States, but the lineup has recently expanded with the Alpina XB7 SUV and B8 Gran Coupe.
From now until 2025, Alpina will operate the same as it does now. Under the current agreement, BMW pre-assembles the cars on its assembly line, then sends them off to Alpina for the company's special tuning. It's unclear how Alpina will operate starting on January 1, 2026. BMW may potentially move Alpina production in-house, which would reduce costs but take away some of that "special" feeling.
Of course, this move could also result in more Alpina models being produced, both in volume and breadth of the lineup. 2021 was Alpina's most successful sales year ever, yet the company sold fewer than 2,000 cars worldwide. With BMW as the new owner, we could see more Alpina-badged cars rolling across the showroom with more than three models offered in the US. This could open Alpina to sell more models here, including the 3 Series-based B3, 4 Series-based B4, and crossovers like the XD3 and XD4.
Alpina CEO Andreas Bovensiepen previously stated he didn't want to produce any EVs, but that stance could change after this latest move. The press release announcing the deal mentions the "transformation towards electromobility and increasing regulation worldwide," so we doubt Alpina can keeping using twin-turbocharged V8 engines forever.
"For over fifty years, the Buchloe firm has demonstrated how to deliver top-quality car cachet through meticulous attention to detail. The BMW Group is also driven by this same passion for cars that capture the imagination," said Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management responsible for Customers, Brands and Sales. "That is why we are now embarking on a new chapter in our long-standing partnership. Acquiring the trademark rights will allow us to shape the long-term course of this brand steeped in tradition. We are delighted to welcome the Alpina brand to the BMW family."