I think it is an industry with a lot of siloization... I'm not sure that is a word, but let's pretend it is.
You have product planning groups deciding what ever part of the car will cost before any research has been done into the product and user, so no matter what you design, at the end of the day, the steering wheel assembly can only cost x.
Then you have an engineering run culture where many decisions are made by what is manufacturable and what did competitors due last year vs what do users actually want and where do we think our competitors are going.
Lastly there is a design culture that seems to want to ignore these things and just do hot sketches. Those hot sketches get selected and then manhandled to fit into the budgets already approved by the first group and the architecture already designed by the second. I think the culture develops that way because the internal teams are so competitive that they are always trying to out sketch or CAD model each other for internal presentations to win internal favor vs focusing on doing the right thing for the end product.
It doesn't work that way in all companies. I have a few friends at smaller car companies who say because of the smaller scale of the company it is more integrated and decisions are made faster with less people... but in those cases the brands tend to be saddled with old platforms, engines, and tech because they can't afford the R&D costs.
Certainly with these BMWs there is some serious creative direction pushing them. I've read they are very focused on the Asian markets and on harvesting the equity of the brand by getting cheaper products in every possible category with better margins. Those are not design decisions but they are the strategies that design is responding to. If I were them I would enter the Asian markets with a product line that looks more Germanic, not less. They will have to charge a premium to be there so they better have some differentiation. My other thought is what happens once all that brand value is harvested? How will they capture another generation? It seems like ti will be a tough hole to climb out of.
Good thing for us enthusiasts there are always vintage cars