Cadillac Vehicle Information:
Auto Glass OE Manufacturer : Saint-Gobain Auto
Originally established in 1916 in Munich, BMW has its roots in aircraft, warfare, and industrial engine production. The Bayerische Motorenwerke (BMW) began producing engines for industrial use, and was later acquired by an airplane engine manufacturer. After the end of World War One in 1918, BMW saw demand collapse; at the time, the company mostly produced aircraft, and their largest client was the German military. It wasn’t until over a decade later, in 1929, that BMW first started producing consumer automobiles. During and after World War Two, BMW diversified its offerings by producing motorcycles, bicycles, and cooking equipment. After the war, the company faced a number of setbacks. Allied bombings had destroyed their Munich production facility. Their three eastern Germany factories were in the hands of the Soviet Union. The United States government didn’t allow BMW to start producing motorcycles until 1947, and they didn’t produce their first post-war consumer vehicle until 1951. Today, however, BMW is one of the world’s three best selling luxury auto manufacturers, and the company sits at number 11 on Forbes’s list of the world’s most valuable brands.
Popular Makes and Models
One of BMW’s most popular models is the Z4 Roadster. Sporting a straight-six 3.2-litre engine with 269 foot-pounds of torque, this two-door convertible comes in four engine sizes (including a twin-turbocharged model) and offers a 6, 7, or 8-speed automatic transmission (as well as a 6-speed manual transmission). The first generation Z4 Roadster was first produced in 2002 and upon its release, Automobile Magazine awarded it the Design of the Year Award. The first generation Z4 saw enough success to be renewed for two model years after its initial production run, and the second generation Z4 built on the original’s name by adding a twin-scroll turbo to its 4-cylinder engine.
Another popular model, the 7 Series, is a luxury full-size sedan that is also available as a stretch limousine. The 7 Series is in its fifth generation with the F01/F02 model. This model was the first 7 Series to enter the market with four-wheel drive and an optional 8-speed automatic transmission. BMW also manufactures a hybrid version of the F01 model, the ActiveHybrid 7. This hybrid vehicle comes factory standard with a six-cylinder N55 inline engine rather than a V8, with a 3-liter motor that gets 35 miles per gallon at highway speeds. The electric motor will fully engage for up to 2.5 miles at a time when traveling slower than 38 miles per hour.
What’s Coming in 2014
BMW is set to release a number of vehicles in 2014 across several of its model lines. There will be a new M5, a new M6 available as a convertible, coupe, or Gran Coupe, and a new X5 available with an inline-6 engine, a V8 engine, or a diesel engine.
BMW previewed the M235i at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. This new 2-Series BMW is a sporty two-door coupe with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine that generates 326 horsepower and tops out at 146 miles per hour. Accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds, the M235i has twin turbos and has been redesigned to offer a 50:50 weight distribution and variable sport steering, making for the easiest handling you’ll find in a BMW. The M235i also offers ConnectedDrive, a range of in-car apps that offer services and information such as traffic reports, emergency calling assistance, and a concierge service that immediately links the driver to a BMW representative. The concierge service offers assistance with locating nearby restaurants, late-night pharmacies, and even ATMs, and is available in every country, twenty four hours a day, for no added cost. Car and Driver Magazine reports that the M235i will weigh in just north of $44,000.
It is also rumored that BMW will release a new electric vehicle in 2014: the i4 Electric Coupe. This model was unveiled as a concept car at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2012. A sportier version of the i3, this vehicle will feature an extended driving range and a lower roof. The i4 will also move from the i3’s four-door hatchback style to a two-door sports car design. The i4 is also expected to be a carbon fiber vehicle and will likely retail for around $50,000.
Windshield and Windshield Manufacturer Information
BMW uses Saint Gobain Sekurit glass in its vehicles. This is the same brand of glass found in vehicles made by Saturn, Mercedes-Benz, and Saab. Saint Gobain is a French manufacturing company that produces high-performance construction and design materials. This 350-year-old company originally produced luxurious mirrors for the French elite and, thanks to a variety of patents courtesy of the French royalty, monopolized the glass industry until the French Revolution. Since 1986 the company has undergone rapid expansion and has acquired the world’s largest plasterboard manufacturer.
New Features That Affect Windshield Replacement Prices
A glass or windshield repair at an official BMW Service Center is free of charge for drivers with comprehensive insurance. Typically, BMW negotiates with an owner’s insurance company to settle claims directly, meaning an insurance claim for a BMW glass repair won’t count against your policy.
BMW also uses a proprietary resin and repair kit during the windshield repair process, which produces little to no distortion, maintains the safety of the windshield and protects the value of the vehicle. This proprietary equipment is not typically readily available at standard auto glass repair facilities—if it is, it is likely costly. That means aftermarket and third-party solutions are likely to be more expensive than a manufacturer repair.
Additionally, many BMW models feature a lane departure warning system. This warning system relies on sensors to notify the driver when the car is leaving a lane. The technology involved in such a system makes it more complicated and more difficult to perform a windshield repair, as re-calibration of the device is often necessary following a glass replacement. This can drive up the cost of windshield replacement.
A luxury German automaker, BMW has its roots in developing wartime technology and now manufactures multiple lines of luxury vehicles. Popular models like the 7 Series and the Z4 Roadster turned BMW into a household name while offering upscale vehicles for wealthy consumers. With a new electric vehicle and a twin turbo coupe on the horizon for 2014, BMW’s new vehicles are sure to be a hit once again. Although the lane departure warning system and proprietary windshield repair kit make third party aftermarket repairs more expensive, BMW owners with comprehensive insurance can receive repairs free of charge at an official BMW Service Center. Although a costly investment, owning a BMW is, as the company states, “sheer driving pleasure.”