Hearing “McLaren” may ring a bell about the F1 racing team McLaren Mercedes. “Maclaren” happens to be a British manufacturer of premium baby strollers widely known for its 1965 innovation of folding umbrella model. So, what has BMW got to do with it? The German car maker along with Maclaren jointly developed a BMW buggy model! The stroller even has small windows in the shape of the iconic BMW grille on the canopy. Adding to the luxury, it has also got a reclining seat and a removable seat pad.
Baby strollers and carriages with badges of automobile companies is the new niche in the UK and the US markets, especially for name-plate conscious parents. This has diversified in to a whole new market. Speculations are Silver Cross, a supplier of strollers to the royal family is producing an Aston Martin model that might be just the perfect thing for the royal baby, Prince George.
The design cues of the Maclaren BMW model are tasteful and have been inspired from the automaker’s models in their museum in Munich. The BMW badge can be seen on the hub-caps of BMW style looking wheels and even on the buckle of the seat belt. This is a part of a series called ‘Objects of Design’ which has included luxury tags of Burberry and Lacoste in the past. The company traces its roots back to Owen Maclaren, an aeronautical engineer who designed landing gear for fighter planes, now positions itself as a prestigious premium stroller manufacturer across the world.
“The Maclaren BMW Buggy is meant to reflect the sleek design and efficient maneuvering of the BMW and the innovation, design, style and safety of Maclaren”, the designer of the model said.
The BMW link draws a special attention especially among fathers. The buggies even have VIN numbers like a car so that they can trace a unique part all the way back to its origin. Accessories include an expandable foot muff, a park blanket, an umbrella and of course a cup holder. The BMW Buggy is available in black, silver and blue for $385 (Rs. 26,000/-).
Aston Martin Stroller
Aston Martin’s new Silver Cross Surf Stroller priced at $3,000 (Rs. 2.02 lakhs) is limited to 800 models and the shape of the wheels on the pram replicates the twin-spoke configuration of the wheels on the Aston Martin One-77 supercar. Built on a chassis of aluminum and magnesium just like an actual Aston Martin, it also sports Aston-level Alcantara fabric and leather.
More affordable are the Jeep-branded strollers which come in many models and are available online from as low as $50 (Rs. 3000/-). Strollers are part of the lucrative licensing of the brand’s rugged, go-everywhere image. (No separate stroller figure is available, but sales of licensed Jeep products totalled a staggering $550 million in 2008.)
Indian market for baby-strollers is mostly unorganised. Looking at the sales figures of these licensed models, there seems to be an untapped market especially for the brand conscious automobile loving parents. Who knows one day you may see a KTM stroller or even a DC stroller!