Mr Schupet, you were General Manager of the BMW Group in Slovenia until 2015. What were your reasons for transferring to BMW M GmbH and therefore to BMW Individual?
As an enthusiastic collector of BMW M vehicles, I know how much our customers value their own cars. Even busy high-level executives take time when it comes to choosing their personal dream cars. And their demands are, of course, very high. What could be more exciting than understanding these demands right down to the smallest detail and then meeting them with the perfect automobile. This is possible with BMW Individual.
Why do you think people strive for individuality?
I believe there is more than one reason for this. Although one thing is for sure: We have long understood how little time there is after work and other obligations. We do not want to spend this time with trivial matters, but with beautiful things that enrich our lives. For me, these are things like special timepieces or limited editions of exclusive writing instruments. Another reason is that most of us fulfilled our basic needs long ago. So self-realisation has particular importance. The creation of an automobile according to your own ideas and principles is a unique opportunity to live out your individuality.
How would you describe the BMW Individual Manufaktur?
In plain terms, the BMW Individual Manufaktur is a team of designers, craftspeople and consultants that realises unique vehicles in terms of design and quality. But for me, it's much more than this. It is the extended arm of our customers. A tool that allows their automotive fantasies to come alive. And the results are vehicles that represent the highest form of exclusivity: tailor-made for individuality and mobility.
The BMW Individual Manufaktur is able to meet even the most extraordinary wishes. What particular highlights have you seen?
"Realise even the seemingly impossible" is a sentence that describes what we can do really rather well. And correspondingly out-of-the-ordinary vehicles have, indeed, been developed by the BMW Individual Manufaktur. For example, as well as a BMW M3 with extravagant scissor doors for an Olympic athlete, there was a BMW 7 Series Sedan which we refined exclusively with gold inlays worth 25,000 euros. A vehicle equipped with a safe for jewellery and gemstones was similarly exclusive. There was also a customer in Hawaii who asked us to create an interior trim using wood from a forest on the grounds of his own property. The result was fantastic. But it's not always this extreme. Some customers will only choose subtle paint finishes for the coachlines, embroidered cushions or personalised doorsill finishers. A unique piece from the BMW Individual Manufaktur does not have to be costly. But it will disproportionately increase the value and exclusivity of a vehicle.
Thank you very much, Mr. Schupet.