Innovation at BMW*



Case Code : SCBSTR060
Publication date :2005
Subject : Business Strategy
Industry : Automobile & Automotive
Length : 11 Pages


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Abstract: ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India RSS Feed

The case examines the growth of BMW, a German automobile company into one of the leading automobile producers in the world (by the 1990s). It critically examines the circumstances that made BMW radically change the way it was handling ‘innovation process management'at its automobile division. The case discusses in detail the various components of the new innovation process adopted by BMW and evaluates the effectiveness of these components. Benefits that accrued to the company, on account of the changed innovation process, in the backdrop of its changing strategic game plan, are also discussed.


The global automobile industry and the major players involved.
Innovation processes at other leading automobile companies such as Ford, Daimler Chrysler, Mercedes Benz etc.

Questions for Discussion:

1. Examine the growth of the BMW Group over the decades and critically evaluate the circumstances that necessitated a change in the innovation processes that were being followed at the automobile venture.
2. Analyze and describe the features of the new innovation process at BMW. What do you think are the major advantages of the new innovation process? Why? Are the advantages sustainable? Has the model influenced the corporate strategy in securing leadership position?
3. Comment on the results of the new innovation process at BMW. Why do you think organizations need to focus on effectively managing their innovation processes? What kind of companies need to focus more on such issues? Why?

Key words:
BMW, German, automobile, automobile, 1990, critically, change, innovation, management, components, innovation, effectiveness, strategic game plan

*Note : This case is a simplified version of a longer case study, and is intended for learners for whom English is a foreign language. The longer version of this case study (BSTR060) is available at: