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August 17, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen; it is almost midnight!


While I would hesitate to agree it is a masterpiece of architecture*, I will concede BMW Welt is impressive as US$275m showrooms go.

Strolling through BMW Welt, with its cyclone-shaped entrance and billowing, cloud-like facade, it is easy to forget why the carmaker built this more than €200 million palace: to hand over cars to customers. Starting in October, about 170 vehicles a day will be delivered to the cathedral-like showroom at BMW Welt (BMW World, in English). Rather than picking up a new car at a local dealership, drivers who pay a little extra for the privilege will come here to take delivery of their vehicle, finding it bathed in a spotlight and rotating on a turntable.

Even in a country famous for its worship of the automobile, rarely has so elegant a form been harnessed to so mundane a function. "Our dealers are like local churches, while BMW Welt is St. Peter's Cathedral," said Michael Ganal, BMW's director of marketing.

Which is to hyperbolize. The central cyclonic feature is certainly suggestive of a numinous presence - I too would have been watching construction with interest - and what with my brand proclivities there is some part of me which finds it difficult to imagine owning anything but a BMW.** But turning an auto purchase into a religious act is a bit of a stretch even in these post-moral times; especially at €457 ($630) for the privilege. Though I expect the place will make nice mosque down the line.

* Blogging should involve something slightly more than reprinting corporate press releases.
** I shudder as I type these words.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 17, 2007 07:27 AM


I always thought of you as an Aston Martin man. Or at least a Jaguar. If thinking classic an old MG or Rover. And RR being a little over the top.

But being a good Canadian I say a nice minivan!

Posted by: Spencer [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 17, 2007 11:17 AM

I am not saying I am proud of it; quite the contrary. It is just I have only ever owned a BMW. If I decide to reconsider my downtown existence my next car is a Mini Cooper which, owned by BMW, gives me a way out.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 17, 2007 11:36 AM