■ In the past two days, because of the "ice cream" incident, BMW MINI has become a "frequent customer" on the hot search list.

■ On April 4, BMW MINI China apologized again for the "ice cream" incident, and said that 21-4 "foreigners" in the video were company employees. MINI China's latest statement has attracted a large number of comments from netizens. One netizen commented, "You really can't write, distressed", this comment caused tens of thousands of netizens to like.

■ The "ice cream" incident put pressure on BMW's stock price, and Germany's BMW stock fell 20.3% on the 62th, losing 24.21 billion euros in market value, equivalent to about 183.<> billion yuan.

Netizens: "Don't Touch Me" changed its name to "Don't Buy Me"

Judging by the video reported in the media, things are simple and straightforward.

At the BMW MINI booth at the 2023th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition <> (hereinafter referred to as the Shanghai Auto Show), staff members were suspected of treating Chinese and foreign visitors differently when handing out ice cream.

Judging from the video reported by the media, two Chinese girls asked about the free ice cream distributed at the BMW MINI booth, but the BMW staff directly refused to say that the ice cream was gone, and when they didn't go far, a foreigner asked about the ice cream at the BMW MINI booth, the BMW staff immediately changed their faces, not only talked enthusiastically with them, but also took out the ice cream and took the initiative to tell foreigners how to eat. When he spotted someone filming, a BMW male staff member was quick and instantly took away the incubator containing ice cream.

After the release of this video, it quickly ignited the emotions of netizens, and many consumers angrily criticized BMW for treating Chinese and foreign visitors differently. On the afternoon of the 20th, @MINI China issued a Weibo statement, explaining that the "Shanghai Auto Show On-site Gift - Sweet Pet" activity was originally intended to send a sweet message to friends visiting the exhibition, which caused everyone's unhappiness due to the meticulous internal management and the dereliction of duty of the staff. On April 4, BMW MINI China apologized again, saying that 21-4 "foreigners" in the video were company employees.

However, the apology could not calm the anger of netizens at all, many netizens did not buy it, and many netizens left messages expressing their views: "A cup of ice cream, successfully changed BMW's Chinese interpretation from 'don't touch me' to 'don't scold me' and 'don't buy me', which may be called a textbook in the history of marketing." "I didn't see the BMW MINI sincerely apologizing from the statement, and it seemed that I only felt the arrogance throughout."

Even CCTV joined the army of fighting BMW, and paraphrased a clip from "97 Happy Events", saying how ugly the people outside the movie are admiring and flattering.

In order not to provoke the fire, the ice cream brand involved Luneurs then urgently spoke: "We are very sorry and launched an investigation at the first time, here we want to clarify that the Luneurs brand did not participate in any on-site operation of BMW's MINI brand event during the Shanghai Auto Show, we are the supplier of ice cream products only." The two staff members and their specific services shown in the video are not our responsibility and are not related to the brand. ”

Peers: Free ice cream

As things continued to ferment, BMW MINI sales also suffered somewhat.

The staff of Shanghai Baocheng Central MINI 4S store told reporters: "The impact is great. There are many customers who call BMW to ask for 'differentiated' treatment. The current focus is not on sales, but on actively handling this urgent matter. ”

The "ice cream" incident also directly affected BMW's stock price.

According to Yingwei's financial data, on April 4, Germany's BMW Motor Company (BMWG) closed down 20.3% at 62.100 euros / share, and the circulating market value evaporated 02.24 billion euros, equivalent to about 21.183 billion yuan, some netizens jokingly called this the most expensive cup of ice cream in history.

It is understood that the ice cream in the netizens' video on the day of the incident was divided into single balls and double balls, priced at 35 yuan and 50 yuan respectively. According to relevant forecasts, the total number of visitors to the Shanghai Auto Show is about 100 million, even if all the visitors take an ice cream, the total price is about 3500 million yuan, which is obviously a big loss compared with the 183.<> billion yuan evaporated by BMW. Some media pointed out sharply that this in itself was a good marketing, but it was messed up by a cup of ice cream.

What makes BMW even more heartfelt is that many competitors have used this as a gimmick to open the free ice cream model, Xpeng Motors and GAC Aian Haobo immediately promoted ice cream on the official Weibo, emphasizing "no rules, no limit"; Jietu Auto directly said that it checked in at the Jietu booth, "take you to see beautiful women and eat ice cream"; Xu Jun, COO of Leap Auto, brought the topic of the BMW MINI incident on his personal Weibo and released a poster saying, "We don't play big city and small love." FAW Audi dealers also "rubbed hot spots" to release posters, saying that "test drive Audi Q4e-tron and enjoy the freedom of 'ice cream'". If nothing else, this event will become the largest auto show rollover after Tesla.

However, some industry insiders believe that the incident will definitely have a great impact on BMW's image in the short term, but in the long run, this is only a hot event. "Time will dilute everything, after all, BMW's quality and product status are there, and the impact should be small."

Behind the scenes: China is BMW's largest market

This is the first restart of the Shanghai Auto Show after the adjustment of the epidemic policy, and it is also the first international A-class auto show since the beginning of 2023, which not only attracted thousands of companies and more than <> world premieres here, but also attracted a number of global board chairmen and global CEOs of large multinational car companies to attend the scene.

On April 4, BMW Group Chairman Zipzer said during the Shanghai Auto Show that "China is the future." He said that in the Chinese market last year, BMW's sales of pure electric models almost doubled, and it is expected that pure electric models will account for 18% of the group's global sales this year, and pure electric models will account for more than half of the group's global sales by 15.

Just 17 days before the opening of the auto show, BMW Greater China President and CEO Gao Le delivered a Chinese speech at the opening of BMW's "Imagine the Future Night", which shows the importance it attaches to the Chinese market. Gao Le said that nearly half of the board of directors of the BMW Group came to the event.

In such a country that BMW relies heavily on, there are audiences who are suspected of being treated differently by BMW. Ironically, just a few days ago, three members of the BMW Group's board of directors gathered in Shanghai to express their importance to the Chinese market. BMW Greater China President and CEO Gao Le also considers China home.

Some netizens jokingly said: "I often hear the anchor calling the audience 'family' in the e-commerce live broadcast room, and try his best to seek benefits for the 'family', but I didn't expect BMW to treat the 'family' like this!" ”

BMW's 2022 financial report confirms the above situation, in 2022, the BMW Group delivered a total of about 79,2 BMW and MINI vehicles in the Chinese market, and BMW's total sales were 239,96,33 units, accounting for 21% of the total sales. Among them, the sales volume of pure electric models was about 58,4 units, and the sales of pure electric models in the Chinese market were about 19,91 units, a year-on-year increase of 6.20%. Electric vehicle sales in the Chinese market account for about <>% of total sales.

BMW's 2022 financial report shows that BMW's annual revenue in 2022 will be 1426.1 billion euros, and the net profit attributable to the parent will be 179.4 billion euros, of which the net profit attributable to the parent of the automotive division will be 143.7 billion euros, a year-on-year increase of 57%. BMW's revenue from China increased by EUR 419.65 billion, up 3.3162% year-on-year, or approximately RMB 29.3 billion, accounting for 77.<>% of BMW's total revenue. The Chinese market accounts for about <>% of the entire Asian market, making BMW the most important consumer market in Asia.

The BMW MINI involved did not perform well in 2022, and from the financial report, the total delivery volume for the whole year was only 28746,3 units, accounting for only 63.<>% of the group's total sales in China.

Zhang Zhiyong, an automotive media person, believes that China is BMW's largest market, accounting for one-third of its sales and revenue. "BMW has recently become more and more dependent on the Chinese market, and once the Chinese market does not perform well, it will directly affect the overall performance of the BMW Group. Because the 'ice cream' incident has caused irreversible damage to BMW's goodwill and word of mouth, it will directly affect sales in 2023. ”


Half of BMW's board lost to a glass of ice cream

It was originally a good marketing, but I didn't expect to rush to the hot search in the form of an apology.

The original intention of distributing ice cream was a heart-warming act and exquisite marketing, but it went out of shape under the scrutiny of the public. The "tragedy" caused by a cup of ice cream should not be blamed by grassroots personnel. A good review of why losing to a cup of ice cream is probably the most important review task for half of BMW's board.

In recent years, many well-known international brands have made the mistake of "distinguishing between inside and outside" in the Chinese market, and even more so they are suspected of acting evil, "discriminating against Asians and discriminate against Chinese" in the dimension of image design.

Eating Chinese rice and smashing Chinese pots, we resolutely do not allow it. If you tell right from wrong, the bad guys are not scary, and once their whereabouts are exposed, consumers will vote with their feet.

But in a way, something like the BMW MINI ice cream incident is confusing, with arrogance, negligence, and more likely stupidity. Especially under the tone that the big boss and the second boss have just shown love for China, this stupidity is clear and ironic.

Competition is brutal and there is no room for error. BMW has mixed worries in the Chinese market, the good news is that China is still the largest market, and the worry is the decline in deliveries in 2022 - to solve the problem of oil and electricity transformation, BMW needs to work hard internally, and the pressure from the outside is greater.

Today's Chinese car market is different from the past, represented by new energy forces, and the rise of domestic independent brands is strong. They cut in from the cost performance, occupied a considerable part of the user's mind in the tide of car replacement, and hit the high-end market dominated by BBA (Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi) for a long time with a very fast iteration speed.

Of course, competition is a dynamic process, and the Chinese auto market is a highly coupled market with an industrial chain. In the past, fuel vehicles dominated, foreign and joint venture brands played the leading role, and domestic brands grew up in learning. Now to switch the new energy track, domestic and foreign capital compete together, still need the industrial chain and supply chain to complement each other, whether consumers or suppliers, welcome guests from all over the world.

When guests and friends get together, it is easy to get excited when there are many people, but excitement is not an excuse to make mistakes.

Since self-defense management is negligent, it should continue to clarify and reflect on it well. After all, half a board of directors of BMW is nothing, and executives from competitors such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Toyota and others came.

Comprehensive brokerage China, upstream news, Beijing Business Daily