BMW announced the acquisition of longtime collaborator and luxury tuner Alpina, which will be folded into the BMW Group in 2025.
After nearly 60 years of going steady, BMW and luxury tuner brand Alpina are finally tying the knot, the former announcing an acquisition deal expected to close in 2025.
Alpina's roots can be traced back to the 1960s when the typewriter and textiles manufacturer began producing performance carburetors and crankshafts for BMW vehicles -- which are reflected in the brand's crest -- and, eventually, full-blown racing vehicles. Over the decades, the partnership between the automaker and tuner has grown, with Alpina now plucking chassis straight from BMW's assembly line for modification. Alpina's focus has also changed from racing to building luxurious grand touring vehicles, like the Alpina B8 Gran Coupe and the Alpina XB7.
Pending German antitrust and regulatory approval, the current BMW and Alpina partnership will extend to Dec. 31, 2025. BMW will continue to supply vehicles to Alpina for final manufacturing and modification with unique powertrain, chassis, aerodynamic and interior equipment. BMW said, "The company owned by the Bovensiepen family will continue to use its engineering expertise in developing, manufacturing and selling BMW Alpina vehicles within the existing cooperation until the end of 2025." Alpina's service, parts and accessories business will also continue independent operation with existing staff.
However, after 2025, remaining Alpina staff will be offered new positions within the BMW Group and Alpina's current branding, trademarks and vehicle program will be terminated and folded into the BMW mothership. BMW cites the "transformation toward electromobility and increasing regulation worldwide" as potential risks for small-series manufacturers like Alpina, calling out "emissions legislation, software validation and requirements for driver assistance and monitoring systems" as hurdles the BMW Group will help the boutique brand to navigate.
Here in the US, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Alpina was already a BMW subbrand. Bimmer already handles importing, sales and service for Alpina vehicles. For example, the Alpina B8 Gran Coupe is sold here as the BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe, which you can build and order using BMW's web configurator.
In the brands' homeland -- where Alpina has, until now, remained an independently recognized automaker with its own European network -- we yet don't know what the post-2025 BMW/Alpina relationship will look like if approved. Will it resemble the US model where Alpina is treated as a top-spec luxury designation or as a Mercedes-Maybach-esque ultraluxury subbrand? Only time will tell.