September 21, 1999

IAA 1999 - Focus on the BMW Booth
Article and photos by Jason Teller

Since so many people draw comparisons between Audi and BMW, it is only fitting that AudiWorld should cover what BMW had to offer in Frankfurt. While most would agree that there is a rivalry between owners of the two different cars, most would also agree that both manufacturers are producing some pretty innovative automobiles these days. One way that BMW differentiated itself in Frankfurt was by having an enormous stage in their pavillion. On this stage -- during the course of a half hour show -- was everything from rain to smoke to fire to the complete model year 2000 BMW lineup. Oh, and did I mention the BMW dancers?

My first exposure to the BMW dancers was at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. BMW's big debut that day was the X5 and I guess they wanted to get across the sophisticated sure-footedness of the new car. Prior to pulling the sheet off the car there was a choreographed dance by these men and women wearing ultra skin tight outfits, goggles and skis. While music with a heavy beat played in the background the dancers proved that sex sells, even when it comes to automobiles! Well the dancers were back and improved for Frankfurt. The show comes across as more of a theatrical production than anything else -- precise dancing and music combinations and very high energy. Kudos to BMW for this creative approach to automobile marketing.

In addition to the dancers BMW did show a few cars! Included at the show was the new M5 and the M3 and Z9 concept cars. The official word on the M3 is that it is still a concept, although it is reasonable to expect that a redesign is forthcoming fairly soon. It wasn't clear to me whether the car at the show was a real car -- all of the windows were tinted competely black. It could have been a shell for all I know.

Click on any picture to view an enlarged version:

m31.jpg m32.jpg m33.jpg m34.jpg m35.jpg
m36.jpg m51.jpg m52.jpg m53.jpg stage1.jpg
stage2.jpg stage3.jpg stage4.jpg stage5.jpg stage6.jpg
stage7.jpg z91.jpg z92.jpg z93.jpg z94.jpg

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