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The BMW Group has revealed its plan for motoring’s future – autonomous, electric, fully connected and shared. The vision is outlined in statement issued today by Harald Krüger, the company’s chairman.
He says BMW has a clear idea of how customers in the premium segment will stay on the move after 2030. “Mobility will be autonomous, electric and fully connected. In all of this, the emotional experience will play a central role. Individual mobility will be tailor-made to fulfill all of our customers’ personal desires and needs.”
Krüger says Vision Vehicles unveiled this year by BMW, Mini, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad have helped to offer a clear picture of the Group’s path forward. “Global response to our BMW Group Future Experience tour has been extremely positive, especially in social media.
“Our image film for the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 alone received 46-million clicks on the online platform Mashable. This level of curiosity and enthusiasm confirms our strong belief that individual mobility is, and will remain, highly exciting and emotional in the future.”
Krüger says the 2030 transformation process will be driven by what he terms the four ACES: Automated, Connected, Electrified and Shared. Some changes have already been made, while others are in the pipeline.
“BMW and BMW i already offer customers the largest range of electric drive trains across all segments. We currently have seven models with a pure electric or plug-in hybrid drive train. Further plug-in hybrid models will follow, including the first Mini PHEV in 2017.”
According to Krüger, BMW i sets an example for the Group as innovator and technology enabler. “We are consistently applying innovations from BMW i across our brands and series models,” he says, adding that the trend towards sustainable mobility – part of the Group’s Number ONE > NEXT strategy – is irreversible.
“We are now launching Phase II of our successful electrification strategy. We are electrifying our vehicles across all our brands and across all segments and series.”
Krüger says an all-electric i8 Roadster will become available in 2018, followed by an all-electric Mini in 2019 and an X3 in 2020. The first all-electric iNEXT will be launched in 2021.
“Over the coming years, we will need to make significant upfront investments. This applies not only to sustainable drivetrains, but also to digital connectivity, autonomous driving and mobility services.
“Our financial strength continues to provide the basis for this. Profitability is a central pillar of the strategy, but our investors and stakeholders take a long-term view, just like we do.”
Another key part of the strategy is digitalisation, which Krüger believes will continue to shape future mobility. He says BMW has decided to build a new research and development centre for autonomous driving – one of the largest of its kind in Europe – near Munich.
“From next year we will pool all of our expertise in this area, at the new campus. It will provide our developers from different fields with an ideal and inspiring work environment. And we will develop and test our fully-autonomous, highly-automated vehicles at the new site.”
In Krüger’s words, BMW has already arrived at a place rival manufacturers are still dreaming about. “Our aim, and our vision, is to bring individual mobility into the digital age. We want to be the technology and innovation leader in the mobility sector,” he maintains.
Citing the new BMW 5 Series – which is scheduled to be launched in early 2017 – Krüger promises that it will not only set the benchmark in driving performance; it will also set new standards in connectivity.
The launch of the model will be followed by a slew of derivatives – a Plug-in Hybrid, an Efficient Dynamics Edition and an M Performance model. “Our customers have various needs – and we aim to fulfil them.
“By refining our business model to become the leading tech company in the mobility sector, we intend to lead the way,” Krüger maintains. “We have the spirit and the ideas to do so. Our four Vision Vehicles are proof of that.”