Since the 1998 merger of BMW and Rolls-Royce, we’ve seen enhancements to the performance and interior qualities of the Rolls branch thanks to increased funding from BMW. Now we see custom personalization options similar to what Rolls-Royce has offered before, but available within the new 7-Series line-up of BMW models. Their new program, “Individual,” offers two ways to customize your 7-Series: Individual Collection or Individual Manufaktur.
Both programs offer a fantastic variety of extra options. The Collection is offered as a type of set package; you select your preferred package which can include any of the luxurious options ranging from finer, custom colored leather to extra reading lamps. Specialized leather steering wheels, roof liners and wheels are also options within the Collections. While this is a very, dare I say, individualized way of making your BMW unique, it is little compared to the BMW Individual Manufaktur option.
Manufaktur takes the imagination of the driver, applies it to the vehicle and brings it to life. Similar to Rolls-Royce’s bespoke program, though not quite as detailed with materials such as specified wood and metals, any requests from the customer are taken and applied to the vehicle. The result is a 7-Series full of character and unique individualization that no other manufacturer in its class can match.
Seeing one of the best luxury brands in the world offering options such as these is exciting, and opens the door to a future of expected quality within the luxury sedan class. The Individual program brings the German manufacturer another step forward in the competition. We look forward to see where BMW will take this program in the future with other line-ups, and to see what competitors will do to match up to the newest and greatest luxury options.
For the full press release, see the tab below.
Press information October 2013 BMW Individual. The expression of personality.
1. BMW Individual.
Each and every BMW customer is unique. He or she possesses an unmatched set of attributes and character traits that make up a quite distinct personality. BMW Individual lends expression to this uniqueness in exclusive and premium fashion. Here customers can select from choice ranges of colour and material design to lend their BMW automobile a personal touch that goes well beyond the standard options. In this, BMW Individual sets benchmarks both inside and out. Everything BMW Individual offers reflects the peak of what is achievable technically and in terms of quality. What began in the 1990s with the creation of bespoke vehicles for Karl Lagerfeld, José Carreras and a host of royalty has since become a byword for outstanding quality, the fulfilment of the most exacting requirements and an unerring focus on the customer. That is what BMW Individual has stood for for more than 20 years. The BMW Individual range is divided into two areas: the BMW Individual Collection and the BMW Individual Manufaktur. The BMW Individual Collection embraces equipment and fittings that are perfectly tailored to the various BMW model series, including exclusive paintwork finishes, high-quality leather upholstery and interior trims. Beyond this, customers can select specially designed BMW Individual leather steering wheels, wheel rims, Alcantara roof liners and technical features such as a cool box or extra reading lights. The BMW Individual Manufaktur is not so much a place as an idea which is turned into reality on a daily basis. That idea is total customer orientation. Here special requests from BMW customers, which go beyond the BMW Individual Collection, take shape. Whether it is elaborate paintwork, unconventional materials or outré requests, the BMW Individual Manufaktur draws on its experience and craftsmanship to make every vision of exclusivity a reality – provided it does not conflict with safety standards, the brand character or legal requirements. The Manufaktur also develops and completes special editions, show cars and market-specific special editions.
BMW Individual was quick to recognise the demand for individualisation at the very highest level. More than 20 years of experience provide fresh daily inspiration and incentive for the BMW Individual specialists. The number of customised vehicles currently runs to some 20,000 a year, each representing the special quality standards, handcraftsmanship and design competence of BMW Individual.
2. The BMW Individual Collection.
Beyond the sensational one-offs for Karl Lagerfeld or José Carreras, the BMW Individual Collection has from the outset formed part of the BMW Individual range of products. Initially, the BMW Individual Collection consisted of a range of exclusive paint options, premium leather appointments and select interior trims that were available to all model series by way of further enhancing the exterior and interior of any BMW. In the meantime, the range encompassed by the BMW Individual Collection has expanded significantly. Anyone today wishing to personalise their BMW beyond the standard choice of options can draw on model series-specific equipment ranges. Whether it’s a BMW 3 Series Sedan, BMW 5 Series Touring or BMW M6 Gran Coupe – each equipment line from the BMW Individual Collection is perfectly customised to match the relevant vehicle character. At the same time, the broad spectrum of products available offers plenty of scope for expressing one’s own personality. Now as then, the BMW Individual Collection is divided into specially created exterior paint finishes of exceptional brilliance and colour depth, finest Merino leather and choice interior trims from which customers can make their personal selection. These are complemented by further options such as wheel rims, leather steering wheels and technical features. The so-called compositions bring together the fine-grain BMW Individual Merino leather option, a BMW Individual roof liner, BMW Individual interior trim strips and BMW Individual steering wheel, as well as BMW Individual door sill finishers in a harmonious overall package.
To gain an initial impression of the BMW Individual range, customers needn’t visit a BMW dealership. Instead, they can find out about the BMW Individual Collection via the BMW Individual iPad app (https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/bmw-individual/id464751703) or indeed in the sales literature. This means customers can fit their preferred model with their personal choice of exclusive offers from BMW Individual from the comfort their own home.
2.1 BMW Individual paint finishes – surfaces with depth.
A BMW Individual is recognisable from a distance thanks to exterior paintwork that lends it a very special allure. Whether it is a brilliant metallic finish or softly shimmering Frozen matt paintwork, all the available BMW Individual exterior paint finishes express the elaborate form language of a BMW in a highly distinctive way. BMW Individual metallic paint finishes. A BMW Individual metallic paint finish possesses an extraordinary brilliance. Its special pigmentation means that the paint colour shifts depending on the incidence of light, lending the surfaces a striking depth. Each change in perspective triggers a different play of colour nuances that add new fascination to each new angle. All BMW Individual metallic paint colours are named after gemstones, minerals or precious metals to further accentuate their exclusivity. The complex play of colours of these exclusive BMW Individual metallic paint finishes comes into its own in direct light. Citrine black metallic paintwork, for example, takes on a shade of anthracite grey in the shade, for example, while in direct light the painted surface is suffused with a golden sheen. So-called Xirallic® pigments generate an unrivalled luminosity and brilliance. Iridescent paint finishes without Xirallic® pigments, such as Moonstone metallic, are based on a combination of various pigments. Like the gemstone, the paint shimmers in shades of blue, grey or yellow depending on the perspective.
A particular highlight of the BMW Individual colour palette – and the latest exclusive finish – is Pure metal Silver, which imbues the vehicle with a deep, radiant lustre. Extremely fine aluminium pigments generate light and dark contrasts on a brilliant surface which creates an effect reminiscent of molten metal. The finish, initially developed exclusively for use on a BMW concept vehicle, demands highly sophisticated processing techniques, but BMW Individual has managed to render it suitable for everyday use and applied it to production cars. The painting process remains the most elaborate to date for a BMW automobile. After two primer coats the surface has to be polished to an immaculate finish: the slightest unevenness would destroy the perfection of the paint finish.
A paint layer in Glacier Silver metallic and a further polishing stage then form the basis for the actual application of the Pure metal Silver paint. Finally, a clear coat and a sealant are added to ensure resilience and shine. BMW Individual matte paint finishes. The BMW Individual developers are constantly striving to push the technical envelope when it comes to paint finishes as well, with the aim of creating new colours and painting technologies. A case in point are the matt finishes which represent the latest development at BMW Individual, their silky sheen endowing the BMW vehicle with an entirely new aesthetic. This new matt paint technique powerfully sculpts the contours of the car and shows off the complex forms of a BMW to optimum effect. At the same time, the BMW Individual matt paint finishes are as easy to look after as shiny finishes, and it goes without saying that taking these vehicles through a car wash poses no problem. To ensure a perfect result, the application of BMW Individual paint finishes is a highly sophisticated process. To paint the bodywork of a BMW Individual automobile, normal paint shop operations at the plant are interrupted. Once the paint systems have been cleaned, the BMW Individual car is brought in and the paintwork applied. After the painting process, the entire system is cleaned again before normal operations resume. All add-on parts such as front and rear aprons, side skirts and mirror caps are painted by hand in the paintshop at BMW’s Landshut plant.
2.2 BMW Individual fine-grain Merino leather – perfection in its natural form.
The interior of an automobile is a living space that calls for a fitting design. The seats are among the few elements of a car with which driver and passengers are in permanent contact for the duration of a journey. Their upholstery has a definitive impact on ride comfort, interior ambience and driving experience. For years, BMW Individual has used only the most exclusive leather available: BMW Individual fine-grain Merino leather.
Naturally very soft and fine, BMW Individual fine-grain Merino leather boasts a unique look and feel. The essence of BMW Individual is reflected in this special leather, and its selection and treatment meet the most stringent demands. Only immaculate, unblemished hides are deemed appropriate for further refinement. A special retanning process and vacuum-drying – normally only used for upscale leather accessories – lend the BMW Individual fine-grain Merino leather a particular elegance. Careful treatment retains the natural character of the original material: breathable and robust, it is at the same time softer and more supple than other leathers used in cars and consequently provides the best possible comfort.
BMW Individual sets standards not only in the original material it selects, but also in its range of extended leather options. Across all the model series, the seatbacks are clad in leather. In the BMW Individual 6 Series and 7 Series, this extends to the upper and lower instrument panel as well as the entire door trim, including the B-pillar. The colours for the leather appointments are similarly hard to rival, with specially created shades ranging from expressive to classically elegant. All are available exclusively from BMW Individual. The highly detailed, top-quality workmanship of the leather deserves a special mention. Sophisticated seam patterning, various piping options, decorative perforations and eloquent contrast seams heighten the singular quality of the BMW Individual fine-grain Merino leather and perfectly complement the extended leather trim. The character of the various elements differs from car to car, thus underlining the personality of the driver and model all the way to the smallest details. 2.3 BMW Individual interior trims – exclusive eye-catchers. Whether rare precious woods, leather applications or sophisticated paint finishes, BMW Individual interior trims create exclusive highlights in the cabin. The precious wood trim strips by BMW Individual are distinguished by lively graining and expressive colours, with shades ranging from warm, dark colours to scintillating modern shades – always perfectly matched to the surrounding materials. Depending on the model, delicate inlays strike an exclusive contrast to the natural graphic of the wood. This most exquisite form of interior trim strip further accentuates the exclusive character and exceptional quality of workmanship of the BMW equipment ranges. The careful selection and further treatment of the woods follows the stringent quality criteria and high standards of sustainability espoused by the BMW Group. BMW Individual is keenly aware of this responsibility and selects and processes its choice timbers accordingly. An exclusive alternative to the precious wood trim strips is the Piano Finish Black interior trim. This owes the perfection of its high-gloss surface to the elaborate application of numerous paint layers, something that is otherwise only achieved by leading piano makers. As well as the fine-wood trim options there is also leather-lined trim in smooth or braided-look leather, which add high-quality and sporty contrasts simultaneously.
2.4 BMW Individual compositions and additional options. To intensify the exclusive spatial experience inside a BMW Individual vehicle, BMW Individual offers additional equipment options that are available to all models. They include the BMW Individual Alcantara roof liner, whose velvety-smooth surface creates a pleasant, heightened ambience. The leather-clad instrument panel from BMW Individual also lends the interior a new premium dimension that can be both seen and felt. To match the BMW Individual interior trims, the high-grade, exceptionally elegant BMW Individual wood ring insert adds a further sophisticated touch to the leather steering wheel. Exclusive BMW Individual wheel rims and the classy BMW Individual door sill finishers complete the core offering of BMW Individual. The so-called BMW Individual compositions bring together separate components such as the BMW Individual roof liner, BMW Individual interior trims, BMW Individual steering wheel and BMW Individual door sill finishers in a harmonious overall package. The overall experience of BMW Individual is invariably more than the sum of its parts. When customers choose a BMW Individual exterior paint finish or a BMW Individual upholstery variant, they also receive the exclusive door sill finishers with the “BMW Individual” inscription. With other options such as BMW Individual rims and the BMW Individual steering wheel, BMW Individual lettering is featured on the component itself, signalling the discerning tastes of the customer like a quality hallmark. But there is one BMW Individual inscription that is reserved exclusively for the BMW 7 Series: BMW Individual lettering on the rear trim strip.
3. The BMW Individual Manufaktur.
The BMW Individual Manufaktur is not so much a place as the expression of an approach that becomes manifest in exclusive one-offs and customised solutions. The essence of this idea is total customer orientation. The BMW Individual Manufaktur fulfils desires that go beyond the BMW Individual Collection. Even the most unconventional customer requests are turned into reality with precision and painstaking meticulousness, provided they are in keeping with safety requirements, the brand character and legislation. At the BMW Individual Manufaktur customers become designers. A team of specialists supports them in the process of creating their own customised BMW. The result is genuine one-offs that express a person’s individual character in a unique fashion. The expression of this individuality is as multifaceted as the customers themselves.
The possibilities of exterior customisation go well beyond the 100-plus paint finishes available from the BMW Individual Manufaktur. Customers can, for example, introduce their very own shade or request a hand-painted coach line for their car. Even unusual two-tone bodywork finishes have already been executed. When it comes to the interior of the car, customers can task the BMW Individual Manufaktur with adapting anything from the BMW Individual Collection range to their personal tastes. The key aim here is not just individualisation, for example by lining the entire interior – including the boot – in leather. More importantly, customers are also keen to personalise their vehicle for example through initials or logos on the door sill finishers, instrument panel, head restraints or roller sun blinds. Even materials provided by customers themselves – such as wood from their own tree or salmon skin for the interior trim strips – can be integrated into the cabin: the car becomes a canvas for the customer’s creativity. The experts at the BMW Individual Manufaktur have the experience and expertise to fulfil virtually any wish. BMW Individual special editions and collaborative projects. Luxury doesn’t necessarily equal luxury. That is why, at regular intervals, the BMW Individual Manufaktur creates market-specific, special editions that focus on the preferences of a particular sales region and encompass a special range of options. Beyond this, one-off models and limited editions are also produced in partnership with other companies. Such projects, for example in collaboration with famous watchmakers Girard Perregaux or illustrious names such as grand piano manufacturers Steinway & Sons and silver specialists ROBBE & BERKING, are not merely flagship products but, more pertinently, compelling evidence for the expertise of the BMW Individual Manufaktur. The meeting of two worlds sparks a creative atmosphere in which the boundaries of exclusivity are pushed further and new premium solutions are conceived and implemented in the most superlative way possible. The resulting products serve as a benchmark and as inspiration for developers and customers alike. As such, these special models stand for the origins of BMW Individual, i.e. customer orientation at its highest level.