Hergs Moto short format interview feature series with six questions asked of key people in and out of the BMW Motorrad motorcycling community.
We hope you enjoy the insights into Felix Wunderlich, Head of Product Management & Development at Wunderlich.
1. Felix you work in a highly regarded family business that has been developing and producing high-end accessories specifically for BMW motorcycles for over 30 years. As a senior stakeholder and head of product, how would you describe the Wunderlich business today?
I grew up with our company, grew into it, and just like a person you’ve been with for a long time, we belong together. When I think about it, we are actually one! Looking back, this process was logical and consistent.
From the very beginning, Wunderlich has been characterized by courage and an innovative spirit, above all by the joy of developing perfect components for BMW motorcycles. Not to forget passion and experience. Passion! That is why we see all challenges in a positive way. After all, we have accompanied many important and successful BMW model generations and developed high-quality integrated and functional components with our constantly growing know-how. This Wunderlich spirit can still be felt in the company today and, according to my personal impression, our customers all over the world share and appreciate this attitude.
2. Wunderlich is known for its passion, innovation and engineering akin to BMW Motorrad. What drives your creative process when new products are conceived?
The passion mentioned above. Add to that, almost everyone in the company is a motorcyclist, a BMW rider. We know the motorcycles inside out, they are as familiar to us as they are to our customers, to whom we always listen. We have developed an unerring sense for identifying the model-specific potential for addition and improvement. The rest is years of experience. And attention to detail.
It goes without saying that we keep ourselves informed about the latest technologies. We are curious to learn about new materials and the latest developments and manufacturing processes – especially beyond our industry. They are the fuel of our creativity: as a team, we have developed a sense for quickly assessing the potential of technological innovations for our products and our processes. If the application of such technological innovations can deliver relevant product benefits for our customers, we implement them.
In doing so, we also consciously faced up to relevant social developments: for example, since 2017 we have founded our sustainability initiative Wunderlich BLAU, which leads to a constant improvement of our products and processes. Recently, we introduced our exhaust deflector “GONZZOO”, with which we consider the desire of a growing part of our customers to reduce noise levels. We are socially responsible.
3. With 3 Divisions, more than 80 employees and over 3,800 products and components, what part of your job and the business do you most enjoy?
I cannot separate this. We work very effectively with over one hundred employees – our coordination paths are extremely short. What motivates and spurs us on is our joint success. Our qualified employees, each in his or her own area of responsibility, the development of our components, the development of the company, all this belongs together. It only works together. And it is successful.
4. BMW Motorrad currently produce 23 models in 73 variants. Do you have a favourite and why?
It is hard for me to single out one model. From the G series to the R 18, all models have specific strengths, so every BMW rider can find just the right motorcycle. Fortunately, part of my responsibility as head of the development department is to ride and experience each model to get a full picture of its potential for product development.
If I had to decide, however, it would probably be for the current R 1250 GS, the all-rounder that puts a big grin on my face in all situations and no matter what the road surface. Whether loaded for a vacation with my wife in the Pyrenees or on a motivated round on the Eifel house route – the GS works everywhere outstandingly. In addition, I am a real fan of the Boxer-engine.
5. Our readers are all keen BMW Motorrad enthusiasts, if there was one thing you would like them to know about Wunderlich as a Company, product or Brand, what would that one thing be?
We really appreciate the close relationship we have with our customers. We were especially privileged to experience this loyalty during the lockdown. We used this time to develop innovative products, such as our purist, waterproof DRYBAG.
We used the time to develop other, contemporary communication formats for our customers: in addition to our Wunderlich app, we have therefore recently developed our interactive showroom and I would like to cordially invite our customers from down under to visit us digitally.
6. Last but not least; On a personal level, finish this sentence; “I wish I could…”
…get more people excited about riding a motorcycle.
Besides the major increase of joy and quality of life that we are so familiar with, the motorcycle can solve some of the mobility problems of our times.
Single-track vehicles relieve urban areas and their overcrowded feeder roads, require little space when parked and are very efficient.
Plus you never arrive stressed, so more motorcyclists would be a good thing to go for.
Thanks Felix, Arno and Leon for your efforts in putting this interview together.
We look forward to doing more together. #makelifearide