An exclusive look at one of the world's most successful and controversial companies, and the mysterious family behind it.
BMW is arguably the most admired carmaker in the world. It's financial performance is the envy of its competitors, and BMW products inspire near-fanatical loyalty. While many carmakers struggle with falling sales, profits and market share, demand for BMWs continues to grow, frequently outpacing production. Now, David Kiley-Detroit Bureau Chief at USA Today and author of Getting the Bugs Out, which covered Volkswagen's demise and rebirth, goes inside the fabled German automaker to see how it does what it does so well. With unprecedented access to BMW executives, Kiley goes behind the walls of BMW's famed "Four Cylinders" headquarters in Munich at a time when the company is in its most aggressive, and some say riskiest, expansion in its history and when some of the company's new products, like the 7 Series sedan and Z4 roadster, are for the first time drawing as many barbs from critics as bouquets. Kiley covers intimate details of the boardroom drama surrounding the company's nearly disastrous acquisition and subsequent sale of the British Rover Group and its expansion into selling MINI and Rolls Royce cars. Besides being a world-class carmaker, BMW is also considered one of the smartest consumer marketing companies and Kiley explores the extraordinary value and management of the BMW brand mystique. He also takes a revealing look at the mysterious and ultra-private Quandt family of Bad Homburg Germany, which owns a controlling stake in BMW: Johanna and Susanne Quandt, two of the wealthiest women in Europe and Stefan Quandt, one of the wealthiest bachelors on the continent.
David Kiley (Ann Arbor, MI) is the Detroit Bureau Chief at USA Today who has covered the auto industry for 17 years. He has been featured on Nightline, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR and the Today show. He is also the author of Getting the Bugs Out: The Rise, Fall, and Comeback of Volkswagen in America (0-471-26304-4), also available from Wiley.
|Product dimensions:||6.38(w) x 9.27(h) x 1.17(d)|
About the Author
DAVID KILEY is the Detroit Bureau Chief at USA Today and a journalist with fifteen years of experience covering the auto industry. As an automotive and advertising analyst, he has been featured on Nightline, CNBC, CNN, National Public Radio, and the Today show. He is also the author of Getting the Bugs Out: The Rise, Fall, and Comeback of Volkswagen in America, also available from Wiley.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. The Ultimate Cars.
Chapter 2. The Ultimate History.
Chapter 3. The Ultimate Family.
Chapter 4. The Ultimate Brand.
Chapter 5. The Ultimate Stylists.
Chapter 6. The Ultimate Blunder.
Chapter 7. The Ultimate Brand Expansion.
Chapter 8. The Ultimate Hydrogen Future.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Some of the readers may be disappointed with this book: it is not about the story of building the ultimate driving machine, but the history of Bayerische Motoren Werke. This book is for the readers who are interested in learning about the German automobile industry and trade.
Anyone who has ever driven a BMW wonders why the car feels so uncannily nimble and supple. Automotive journalist David Kiley answers that question with an intriguing book that strikes just the right balance between gearhead details, behind-the-scenes corporate maneuvering and compelling story telling. Along the way, Kiley offers insight into BMW's mostly successful efforts to build its brand. While Kiley sings BMW's praises, and presents a convincing case that BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG) produces the world's best cars, he doesn't shy away from the details of the owning family's ups and downs, the company's disastrous Rover deal or the public's tepid response to its latest redesigns. We recommend this fascinating book to auto enthusiasts and to managers in any industry who aim to build a brand while staying true to their core values.
I'm not sure if Kiley is a new fan to BMW or if he simply wanted to give equal weight to all facets of the company history. I felt, as a lifelong Bimmerhead, that he sometimes skimmed over major turning points and dates that true fans would have dedicated entire chapters to. The read was, by all accounts, well thought out and covered what Kiley deemed the "major points" very well, even, it seemed, with some bias towards BMW. However, on the whole, the book misses the point. He skims over some of the major design ideas and evnts that have galvanized BMW, in many minds, as the Ultimate Driving Machine. If you know nothing about BMW, or you just want to learn more about the company or how to stay succesful in the auto world, then by all means pick up the book and educate yourself. If you already know alot about the company, you will learn some great trivia, but you will come away feeling that you need to write a response to other readers, if only to let them know that they have not heard the entire story. In fact, they have missed what makes a BMW a BMW besides the Roundel.