Bayerische Motoren Werke AG or BMW was established during First World War as air craft engine manufacturing company. During post Second world war era, due to drop in aero-engine demands, the company had struggled. Without any focus it had started manufacturing, under license, small bubble cars to limousines. Later BMW diversified into automobiles and motorcycles, making them its main products by 2000, and in process making it one of Germany’s largest and most successful companies.
BMW come-up with new and innovative design and technology and the vehicle becomes an integral part of a networked world will be living. Through innovative, tailored to the personal needs of the driver and passenger comfort features make it possible to optimize safety and infotainment experience in the car deliberately. The design of the study is the relationship of the driver with his vehicle and dialogue between the driver and front passenger as well as the interaction of the vehicle occupants symbolize with their environment. The layering principle to take over in which individual components several functions, both interior and exterior implemented. The new design also help in the headlights and tail lights integrated sensors in the monitoring of traffic and the environment, instead of external antennas to send information to the outside mirrors and receive data for navigation. The vision in the BMW Connected Drive presented innovations in the field of display and control concepts is an advanced head-up display, which provides a three-dimensional representation of information and symbols for a visual fusion of the real road image with virtual content.
New information on route precisely to where there is the possibility of turning in relation to the current field of view. Depending on driving conditions, different instructions with respect to their relevance in either the front or shown in the background! In addition, complete the conceptual study of a freely programmable instrument cluster, which displays the Advertisement in the head-up display. The three-dimensional display some information depending on the situation more or less be highlighted visually hard to get the proper attention to each case.
BMW’s heavy cost German base might affect the profitability of company in the long run as more and more competitors shift product development activities to lower cost countries. BMW might be forced to negotiate a way to maintain cost competitiveness and its reputation for German engineering excellence. The continuing decline of the dollar against the euro threatens to undercut BMW’s topline thereby tempering its profitability. The rising price of raw materials such as steel threatens to offset the company’s earnings.
The main markets for the BMW has been Western Europe, USA, Japan and the pacific region with the markets of Germany and the US accounting for almost half the total sales. USA market grew by 8% on the previous year and becoming the biggest market for the group and overtaking the Lexus brand for the first time. In Chinese market there were growing demand for the higher end models of the range, specifically for the 7-series and 5-series.
The expansion of the European Union (EU) to has converted the EU into the world’s biggest trading bloc with a combined population of around million. This offers ample opportunities for BMW to leverage its strong European position in the premium car segment to garner more market share across new and expanding markets. BMW’s concerted forays into the Chinese luxury car market portends to an increase in the earnings of company over the coming years. China already ranks as the third largest market for BMW’s 7 Series luxury limousines. BMW predicts that robust growth will place China among the company’s seven largest markets in a few more years.
Understand the Company
The match of threats with strengths or opportunities with weaknesses gives a situation, which is neither favorable nor unfavorable. Both combinations should not be a major priority to work on right away, rather BMW should keep these combinations in mind for the future, where they have dealt with the immediate exploitable opportunities and the most serious threats.
- Perception: BMW known as an icon of performance and luxurious vehicle in Premier class vehicle segment. The company has earned high level perception in Buyer’s mind as “Ultimate driving machine” with their quality products. The main factor for this is BMW’s high qualified German labor force that made the difference of BMW over competition.
- Brands and product portfolio: The brand BMW automobiles have well set in the premium sector of international car market with 3 popular brands BMW, MINI and Rolls Royce. This has addressed customer’s various needs. Models like BMW 1, 3, 5 & 7 series for different class of peoples at different price range. MINI is for customers who look for small cars especially in UK market.
- Technology and Manufacturing plants: Wide range of products from air craft engines to motorcycle production from there to automobiles. With different product diversification BMW has improved their technology, innovations skills and designs which help them to create an edge over the competition. With the state of art manufacturing plants of BMW’s in Germany, UK, USA and China they are able to produce high quality products to maintain the customer perception and fight against prices with the support of low cost labor plants in China and Spartanburg.
- Well-known company with a high status branding
- Very high recognition factor
- Pioneer in Research and development and design as well as in marketing
- Good engineering and technology research capability
- Designs and builds many of the innovative components and features
The main weakness of BMW is their market segment. Premium car category is one of the niche areas in international car market which operates at a high price and not expected to a volume growth. And the other weakness is they have not manufactured what customer wanted. They insist to sell what they produced (Time magazine, 2007). BMW products are powerful, reliable and luxurious but not exceptionally good, technology of BMW is not exceptionally good compared to the brands like Citron. Designs of vehicles are conventional and traditional not extra ordinary yet the price of the products is extremely expensive. This Weakness of BMW is pulling them down in the competitive environment.
- Doesn’t have much product recognition among the general public
- Small sales volume in developing countries, so no economies of scale
- Possible supply problems with components, especially if demand increases
- Not targeting higher middle class of society having potential buying power
- Not focusing on Australia, Asia, Africa and other developing regions
The demand for “greener” technology is increasing at the moment, posing an especially big opportunity to BMW, since they are on the forefront of “green” solutions through their leadership of the Dow Jones sustainability index. The fact that China is now the biggest single market for automobiles is a big opportunity for the BMW Group. Through the utilization of their strong brand image and their strategic alliances with Chinese partners, they should be well equipped to benefit from the opportunity. Moreover, does the demographic change in emerging markets lead to a growing middle class which is a core market segment for BMW. They can explore this opportunity by drawing on their strong brand image and their market knowledge.
The increased demand for leasing agreements and other activities performed by the financing department is creating a possibility for BMW to increase its activities in this area and further diversify their operations. BMW should be able to grow their financing department through their good connection to qualified employees and their strong cash flow position. (Trendence, 2008)
- Emerging markets and the possibility of high growth in these markets
- Favorable standing in the consumers eyes due to their branding and marketing
- Focus on the environment and green technology, a continued focus on the environment in the car production, will give BMW the opportunity of increasing their sales as their cars becomes more environmentally friendly
- China the world’s largest car manufacturing market
- Positive demographic development for BMW. A growing middle aged population, which have the financial means to buy their products
- Increasing leasing opportunities, which gives them a possibility of diversification
- A return of the economic recession in Europe and the US is threatening the BMW Group. The company is very dependent on these two markets, since they stand for about 80% of the company’s revenue. A solution to this problem might be the differentiation into emerging economies, where growth prospects are good.
- The recent copyright infringements by some Asian car manufacturers pose a big threat for BMW, since it undermines their growth prospects in emerging economies. There is no obvious way to solve this problem, since suing for copyright infringements will only yield to a satisfactory result in countries, which enforce laws against copyright infringements.
Understand the Market (5 Cs)
- Political instability in some emerging economies is a threat to the company’s operations. BMW can however not leave out the chance to grow in emerging economies, since these through their size will represent a future core market to the company. When entering emerging economies it will be a good idea for BMW to establish a connection to a local supplier in order to ensure the close customer contact and a legal secure basis.
- Increasing the production will affect the perception: Traditionally BMW was operating in a very niche market segment with low supply and premium price which secured their position. But with the new plan of increasing production it may direct to proximity issues with product portfolio as an example, could model 1-series cannibalize model 3-series. And If not communicated properly brand image will be affected with the increased supply. These issues may trouble the brand perception.
- Increasing the production of small cars will affect the margin: Small car segment has been predominantly dominated by the volume car makers like Toyota. With their low production cost they can play in this market and make margins (Times magazine, 2007). With the high production cost of BMW, it is not able to compete in this segment. Therefore new strategy may lead to lowering profits of the company.
- Hamper the quality of the products: Quality of BMW makes them to operate in the premier class category strongly. This perception has lead BMW products to the leadership position. With the pressure of increasing production by controlling cost may result in affecting the quality of the products. This may trouble perception of the brand.
- Large automobile companies entering the market with full and hybrid electric cars, the GM Volt and Toyota Prius etc.
- The price of oil increasing dramatically in the short run
- Competitors having a breakthrough in related energy technologies, like hydrogen powered cars, natural gas, or ethanol etc.
Worldwide, the BMW Group is one of the most successful multi-brand premium car manufacturer in the automobile industry. The Rolls-Royce phantom holds the number one position in the super-luxury car segment. Moreover, BMW is the only automobile manufacturer possessing three non-overlapping premium car brands in its portfolio.
The BMW group on an average spends petty good % of its revenues on R&D, which is one of the highest in the industry. The keen focus on R&D is evidenced by the number of new models the Group has released over the past few years. Thanks to its R&D efforts, BMW has also developed an innovative array of engines such as the Hydrogen – H2R (1 and 2) Hydrogen Combustion Engine, the Straight-six petrol engine –3 etc.
The customer base is ranging from private customers and companies to governments. BMW has until recently not been able to strike any deals with governments, because their cars are relatively expensive and therefore are not used as e.g. police cars. However, BMW has just won a contract, stating that they will be supplying engines to the American government for a value of 1.35 billion (www.bloomberg.com, 2010). This does not only ensure BMW a revenue source for the following years, but also a economies of scale guarantee.
However, it is a hard fact that the due to the expensive product of BMW, it is reachable to the high class and rich customers only.
BMW is waging a tough pitched battle against Toyota's Lexus division for overall sales leadership in traditional luxury brands in the USA. The Rolls-Royce Phantom is still the market leader in the luxury car segment. The key international competitors for BMW in the buoyant Chinese market include DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen and Ford.
By increasing the collaboration between BMW and their suppliers they are able to achieve more beneficial prices, a better product development and co-operation in research and development (BMW AR, 2009). However the increased cooperation between BMW and its suppliers comes at a price. It can be very difficult for BMW to maintain full control as more and more is outsourced. This is always something that a company must consider before entering a co-operation.
Since September 2005, the BMW Group has been working on a modular system for hybrid-driven vehicles in collaboration with Daimler, Chrysler and General Motors at a joint development centre near Detroit, USA. The objective of these cooperation arrangements is to bundle the extensive know-how held by each of the entities involved, exploit benefits and realize potential efficiency improvements.
The following table illustrates some key BMW Group production plants across the world.
BMW’s key automobile production plants worldwide
Value Proposition Statement:
||Hams Hall plant
||BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd, Shenyang (joint venture with Brilliance
||China Automotive Holdings)
||TRITEC Motors Ltda, Curitiba (joint venture with DaimlerChrysler)
BMW’s value proposition statement comes in the mind of customer as a Most Admired Car Company in the World.
Decision Making Unit:
A DMU is an individual or a group of individuals who are participants in a decision making process, who can share a common goal(s) which the decision will hopefully help them to achieve and who share the risk arising from the decision. In BMW Group, the DMU comprises of board, operating management and production engineers while the DMU for BMW Group’s the purchase of materials and components consists of the buying department, design and development engineers and operating management
Decision Making Process:
BMW group properly addressed the issue of decision making unit(s) that influences the purchase of capital equipment by manufacturing etc. The for example for buying decision these groups are identified policy makers/deciders, purchasers, users, technologists, influencers and gate keepers. It is believed that a proper understanding of the participation of these groups will greatly influence the marketing strategies of sellers of this equipment.
Hierarchy of Effects:
For BMW’s new luxurious and comfortable product range buyer ready to pay the higher amount also if BMW meets the expectation of variety of customer. By proper marketing strategy BMW definitely target new market segment having the huge potential and buying power.
The 5 M's
BMW Group is the world's leading provider of premium automobile products and premium services for individual mobility. BMW’s mission is “to be the most successful premium manufacturer in the industry”.
The BMW’s good reputation is created through several things, but one thing, which is prominently mentioned, is their ability to be innovative. Customer feels luxury, prestige and the symbol of esteem while they ride BMW.
The BMW believe in the proper Media campaigns and sponsor many events related to Racing competitions, events and Auto Shoes and expo etc. For example BMW advertisement that was the first e-advertisement that made it to Campaigns 'Pick of the Week' (Doman).
BMW is regularly considered the one of the most prestigious company provide value for money for their products.
The BMW products consistently considered as the value buy for customers with high performance and satisfaction. BMW products also fuel efficient and provide competitive cost per mile and mileage,
Understand the Opportunity
The car industry is assessed to become even more competitive in the future. This puts pressure on BMW to continually improve in order to stay ahead of the competition. The overall influence of factors in the premium car segment predicts a continuously worsening situation for BMW. The most significant factors in this connection is risk of new entrants to the market. Especially, car producers from emerging markets, which could drag on economies of scale from a huge home market, were considered a big threat in the future. In general BMW’s position in the premium market it not assessed to be under threat. The strong brand and BMW’s experience in R&D will help BMW to remain competitive in the future. BMW should however expect to lose market share, if new brand make their entrance to the market.
It is very difficult and probably impossible to obtain a true and fair picture of the company’s internal resources without insider knowledge. The internal strategic analysis is therefore limited in its scope and will only be a minor part of the overall strategic analysis. For the presentation and analysis two models are chosen. The first divides the internal resources into three groups: intangible resources, tangible resources and organizational capabilities. The second, Mc Kinsey’s 7S model, will try to catch the more difficult accessible areas, as for instance strategy and systems (Lægaard, 2003). Finally, the resources will be evaluated against the VRIO framework, which indicates the factors which are most likely to be competitive resources for the BMW Group
BMW with its possession of premium brands is of course in an unique position with respect to its image. This position can hardly be imitated; it is at least not possible for competitors to totally imitate the brand. Competitors may however want to approach it, if BMW’s brand remains as profitable as it has been until now. To create brands with the same wide spread premium reputation would however be extremely costly for competitors, so BMW’s brands are definitely core resources.
BMW’s good reputation is created through several things, but one thing, which is prominently mentioned, is their ability to be innovative. An indicator for their innovative capability, which was previously mentioned, was their winning of “the engine of the year award” for several years. Possessing a workforce and a work environment, which creates so many innovative solutions, is not only valuable, it is also rare and costly for competitors to imitate.
The BMW Group is one of the most successful multi-brand premium car manufacturers in the automobile industry. The BMW and Rolls-Royce brands of the company serve the premium and ultra premium segments of the automobile market. The BMW brand includes Sedans, Coupes, Tourings, Compacts, etc. The company sells small cars through its Mini premium brand.
|BMW 1 Series
|BMW 3 Series models
|MINI One D
||Rolls-Royce 100EX (Centenary Experimental Car)
|BMW 5 Series
|• 525i Sedan
|• 530i Sedan
• 545i Sedan
|BMW 6 Series models
||Rolls-Royce Phantom (Centenary model), limited edition
|• BMW Individual 6 Series Convertible
|• BMW Individual 6 Series Coupé
|BMW 7 Series models
|MINI Cooper S
|• Security vehicle
|BMW X3 Series (X3)
||MINI One Cabrio
|BMW X5 models
• Security vehicle
|BMW Z4 (Z4)
||MINI Cooper Cabrio
|BMW M models
• M3 Coupé
• M3 Convertible
|MINI Cooper S Cabrio
BMW’s cost of manufacturing are to a very big extent determined through the cost of raw materials, which are used for the production of cars and motorcycles. The most used raw materials are by far steel and aluminum. These fluctuate a lot in price, which means that BMW has difficulties in predicting the future prices and therefore has the risk of under pricing their products and earning less than desired on their products or maybe even incurring losses (BMW AR, 2008). The prices on aluminum and steel have risen over the last years and it is expected that the price of steel to increase by further 10-15%.In order to counteract the volatility in raw material prices, BMW hedges.
These can be seen as aimed at the market place that is not also sensitive to price, and as such we must argue that the market positioning may be seen as a strength as there will not be such a reaction if the economic conditions change. The customers that are in the target group are happy to pay a premium price for what they perceive as a premium product (Thompson).
Along with the production plan they have fine tuned the marketing approach to find new customers in USA and Asia market rather than focus on saturated Europe market. To improve the prices of the production they have streamlined the Spartanburg plant to run on optimal level and improved Chinese plant where they have qualified labor at lower cost. With this new strategy BMW expects to use its resources at optimum level to deliver interesting profits.
For example when it comes to marketing it was a BMW advertisement that was the first e-advertisement that made it to Campaigns 'Pick of the Week' (Doman). However, in a long-term purchase such as these, there is a need for more substance than just marketing; otherwise the life of the company would be relatively short due to the nature of the purchase. It is in these longer-term systems and strategies that we can see many of the strengths of BMW, we can consider these by starting with the market position of the company.
BMW is working fine from different operating theaters as shown in the following graph:-
Pricing is one of the key elements of BMW due to the factor of market segment which they presented. Therefore closely monitoring and controlling the distribution network to avoid unnecessary cost factors. On the other hand BMW have the pricing depending on the national environment of different countries and different model series to compete against competition.
The brand portfolio of BMW has been extended several times, thereby always keeping in mind how the brands are perceived by customers. It has always been in the BMW Groups spirit to have brands of high value with premium status in their respective markets (www.bmwgroup.com, 2010). One of the cornerstones of BMW’s success is its ability to create the new and unexpected. They have acquired their skills in research and development over several years, now making them able to drag on valuable knowledge for future developments.
This is the broad area where comfort meets luxury provided by BMW’s vast array of products that attracts existing as well as new customer and BMW may targeting to acquire more and more customer with wide range of verities of products.
BMW has different strategies to retain their customers by using Racing competition, advertising, media, sponsorship, merchandising, public relations and promotion to provide maximum impact of their brands and creating awareness about their brands and products by passing on messages and retain more and more customer by having continuous communication through different mediums.
The following table highlights the profitability of the BMW group:-
The profit drastically increase in the first two quarter of the year 2010.
Vehicles sold in all markets according to BMW's annual reports is give below in the form of table.
The following graph represents the Return on investment (RoI) for the year 2000 to 2010. It clearly exhibits the RoI consistently increasing for all product range of BMW.
Graph representing the of Number of product on y axis and No of years 2000-2010 on x axis
Execute, Observe, record
The enjoyment of special colors, forms and functions – individuality is the driving force behind the desire to shape customer’s own life, set own standards and leave not a single nuance to chance. BMW called this deï¬ning customer’s own space. It’s the extremely rare ability to not just express customer’s own style in everything do, but to create it. With this in mind, customer’s personal BMW Individual provides a very exclusive type of pleasure: the one that comes from having realized customer’s ideal – for self as much as for others.
BMW exclusivity has a high abstract value. The more intensely you experience it, the more it will increase. For the longer you drive a BMW Individual, the more you will cherish its exclusive ambience. You will enjoy details that you did not even notice at ï¬rst; the unique colors, the exquisite materials, the painstaking workmanship. And you won’t want to miss these details ever again. Which means that the value of your BMW just keeps on increasing?
The art of giving crystal-clear depth to a color! Making a paint ï¬nish appear three-dimensional requires a special skill. And it is an even more demanding task to create such brilliance that each hue stands out with crystal clarity. BMW’s Azurite Black metallic paint ï¬nish illustrates this clarity to perfection. The nuances of Azurite under the elegant, deep black surface create a brilliant interplay of colors changing from cobalt blue to dark indigo and ultramarine. The BMW Individual 20-inch light-alloy wheels with their V spokes, meanwhile, have a dazzling brightness of their own. That is because they come with a special brilliant paint ï¬nish.
Re – Do (Work the plan)
After long discussions and meetings, the whole plan that is sort out should be executed properly otherwise it will be just a piece of paper. All the facts should be evaluated on the statistical basis, the results should be re-analyzed, innovative approach should be adopted, adjustments should be made quickly, plan should be revised if it is needed to do so, and finally the revised plan should be properly implemented to achieve the targets.
BMW should be marketed with re-focus on the “Higher middle class” along with the brand image without overstating or misrepresenting the luxurious benefits. By doing this BMW definitely target new market segment having the huge potential and buying power.
Rebuild its independent Network of Distributors:
BMW has strongly controlled the distribution network for the benefit of brand management, effective communication and after sales service. This helped them to reach closer to the customer and create a niche market segment for product quality and young and ambitious customers with aims and aspirations. BMW also had long associations with its suppliers which allowed it to tightly control the supply chain and supplier’s relations. This influenced suppliers to provide quality products and resulted in BMW to keep up the perception of their production. However it also felt that the BMW don’t have sufficient network of distributors in Asia, Australia, Africa and other emerging new market regions.
Redesign the look:
BMW believes in high Performance, so BMW broadly focus on more dynamic, more sporty, more challenging and exciting driving dynamics. BMW’s history has always been intrinsically linked to the racetrack. Since the 1930s, BMW cars have been notching up victories on the most challenging racetracks the world over. Many of the technological breakthroughs created to win the most exciting and prestigious races in the world of motorsport have been systematically applied to BMW’s road cars. BMW’s engineers have always gone to great lengths to create the perfect synthesis between premium driving comfort and uncompromising performance.
To capitalize on this opportunity, BMW has created a new range of performance products called BMW Performance. These new products are a separate line within the BMW accessories range. BMW Performance blends eye-catching design and powerful dynamics with enhanced quality and safety features, making it the only choice for drivers looking to individualize their cars and boost performance.
Ad campaigns and marketing strategies change almost biannually in the auto business. The industry of premium cars is characterized by fierce competition. The name of the game is branding. No other industry is so focused on the usage of catchphrases. Take for instance BMW that uses the following catchphrase: The Ultimate Driving Machine (www.bmwgroup.com, 2010). The branding and brand awareness is something the car manufacturers are investing heavily in. Examples of BMW’s engagement in sponsorships are: Sport events and events with the focus on sustainability. BMW’s does obviously make sure that the events they sponsor are in line with the image, which BMW has. BMW e.g. sponsors golf tournaments (Golf Today, 2010), America’s Cup sailing (www.bmworacleracing.com, 2010) and Olympia 2012 in London (www.auto-motor-und-sport.de, 2010).
In the Automobile market competition is very high and many competitors share low cost and valuable products. Hence BMW has to differentiate itself from its competitors by producing huge varieties of products that satisfy the needs of different market segments/regions. The crucial successes indicator might be the cut in the production cost as per the market trend and the purchasing power of the buyers. Innovative, Luxurious and comfort Product introduction is vital to BMW’s success and funding should be allotted for continuous R&D, innovation and experimentation. This would reposition BMW as a Most Admired Car Company in the World.
The competitive advantage that BMW had enjoyed based on country of origin effect is dwindling with the technical expertise catching up. Entrants like Lexus in the premium category has also pushed the margins low in the emerging markets like USA.
The dynamic external factors coupled with geo-political tensions will result in slow down of the industry. This will hamper the BMW’s growth strategies. However, tapping the new under developed markets like China can provide a new limited opportunity as these markets do not poses any substantial barriers for new entrant.
The distribution of manufacturing plants in low cost areas and across different borders will help BMW group to sustain foreign exchange fluctuations. It will also lead to weakening of country of origin affect, whereby the perception of quality if not well communicated will drastically fall.
The new strategy set by the CEO to produce more car models will result negatively as explained in the previous sections. It will also result in decreased profits as has been stated by the CFO.
Corporate culture has been defined in many ways by various authors and researchers. However, many would agree that corporate culture can be referred to as a set of values, beliefs, and behavior patterns that form the core identity of organizations, and help in shaping the employees’ behavior.
The strong internal culture of innovation and long history of survival will definitely help boost the market image and the overall morale of the organization. This coupled with the “human network” belief of the organization will definitely give it a competitive advantage to BMW.
In conclusion, it can be rightly summarized that the strong internal culture and manager’s vision to adapt to external changes quickly with a shared corporate vision will help BMW stay a market leader and succeed in the dynamic auto-mobile industry.
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