Research Proposal

Perceptions BMW in Canada


To determine the perceptions of the BMW brand in Canada to inform a strategy meeting with client.

Early Findings

  • BMW tweeted on 24 October 2019, "The monster of the midway. Unleash the beast yourself." The tweet was accompanied parked askew in the middle of the road. BMW received some negative feedback for this advertisement in Canada, with some people claiming it was reckless and aggressive, given the number of people killed on the roads.
  • There are concerns that this type of advertising is not honest as it minimizes the fact that there are other drivers on the road, and the reality is that in most instances, there is no room to "unleash the beast." The fact is that the consumer does not drive on a closed track despite the advertisement implying they do.
  • Luxury vehicle purchases are triggered by a new vehicle purchase in 33% of instances in Canada. BMW entered a sponsorship with Heaps Esterin Real Estate, staging BMW's in the driveways of luxury homes in the digital listings and live homes to capitalize on this statistic. They were seeking to capitalize on the psychological impact the pictures created not only in the eyes of the luxury home buyer but the consumer that aspires to that lifestyle. The way the brand is perceived in the eyes of the average consumer changes, the advertisement implies that a BMW is a way into a lifestyle reserved for the other half.
  • It has become common for BMW in British Columbia to try to stop cars from leaving the country through the courts, as increasingly buyers are purchasing high-end vehicles and shipping them to Asia. A straw buyer will purchase the car on credit and without permission from BMW transfer ownership to a third party. The third-party typically pays the outstanding balance on the contract. The tax structure and demand for high-end cars in China means that the profit margin is high for those shipping vehicles there. Due to money laundering concerns, BMW is inserting clauses preventing this behavior into its contracts - "Do not be duped. If you purchase a vehicle as part of one of these schemes in violation of our agreements, anti-money-laundering laws, or other criminal laws, BMW will pursue all of its remedies against you."
  • BMW was the sixth worst selling vehicle over the first 3 months of 2019 in Canada. The model was the BMW 6 series 27, which saw sales fall by 69%.
  • Many Canadian consumers have a desire for personalized products. BMW is one of the companies that has expanded its product lines to account for this trend. The number of models in BMW Canadian range has increased by 83% over the last decade to account for this trend. However, there are contradictory trends around customization with some brands experiencing declining sales, with increased ranges causing greater consumer dissatisfaction.


  • Unfortunately, there is limited publicly available information on Canadian consumers' perceptions of BMW. We located several key reports, but were unable to access them due to paywalls.
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