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Statements BMW Group Press Conference, Geneva International Motor Show
Statements Harald Krüger Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG Pieter Nota Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Brand BMW, Aftersales BMW Group Adrian van Hooydonk Senior Vice President BMW Group Design BMW Group Press Conference, 5 March 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, 8:30 a.m. CET
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Nicki Shields, Presenter: Good morning everyone and welcome to the 89th Geneva International Motor Show and the biggest year yet for BMW with so many new launches taking place right here, right now.
BMW has millions of fans all over the world, lots watching right now on social media (hello!) and so we decided that customers and fans should also have the chance to make their voice heard at the Geneva International Motor Show. So, under the motto, “Ask the CEO”, online fans and followers have been asking all sorts of questions regarding the future of mobility. And who better to answer those questions, (the clue is in the title), than the CEO himself!
Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG:
Hi Nicki. It’s good to see you.
Nicki Shields: Harald, more than one hundred people posted questions to you and today we’re going to take a look at some of them. Autonomous driving is currently one of the defining topics in the auto industry, and Mikkel would like to know how you will shape the future of autonomous electric vehicles.
Harald Krüger: We are working full speed on these future technologies. We already established an open development platform at our autonomous driving campus near Munich. Last week, we went one step further.
We announced a cooperation with Daimler for a next generation of autonomous driving. We both share the view that customer safety is our absolute top priority.
Nicki Shields: Many people asked: Are you going to rely entirely on electric cars from now on?
Harald Krüger: Our future is definitely electric. We are very proud to be the overall market leader for electrified vehicles in Europe. We will offer electrified cars in all segments.
The very popular BMW X3 is the first model we will offer with three different powertrains: plug-in hybrid, fully-electric, and internal combustion.
Nicki Shields: You have said that you will offer at least 25 electrified models by 2025, including 12 fully-electric, is that right?
Harald Krüger: Yes, absolutely. This year, we are really picking up the pace with the MINI Electric. And for BMW, the iX3 in 2020, then the i4 in 2021, as well as our new innovation leader, the iNEXT. By the end of next year, we will have launched more than ten new and upgraded electrified models.
Nicki Shields: Many of the questions were also about charging infrastructure, including this one from Milan. So what is BMW doing to support and grow this area?
Harald Krüger: A good charging infrastructure is essential and we are involved in many efforts to improve this. One of them is CHARGE NOW. Customers benefit from access to one of the world’s largest and fastest growing public charging networks – with over 100,000 charging points in 25 countries.
Nicki Shields: On that topic: I believe you have some news to share?
Harald Krüger: From today until the end of the Geneva International Motor Show – CHARGE NOW customers in Europe can charge for free.
This is our thank you to those who share our passion and are already driving electric.
Nicki Shields: Wow, that’s great news! No charge for charging! Thanks BMW. That’s a real sign of commitment to electro-mobility. Thank you Harald Krüger!
As we heard, BMW is rolling out many more new electrified models. At the same time, they are expanding their offer in the high-end segment. Let’s take a look.
Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design:
Good morning ladies and gentlemen!
In the past 12 months BMW has launched six new models, more than ever before in such a brief timeframe. We have launched cars like the new 3 Series, the X5, the Z4 and of course the 8.
With the design of these cars we have completely transformed the look and feel of the brand. We have made each car stronger in character while reducing the number of design elements.
The side views are clean, only one key feature line which is sharper and more precise than ever before. Today here in Geneva, we are showing the new top end of the BMW brand: The X7 and the new 7! As such, these cars need to have presence and exquisite design details. Slim headlamps in LED and laser technology paired with a vertically oriented grill create a modern and formal presence.
In the rear, we have created very slim and sculptural tail lamps connected by a chrome strip and in the case of the new 7 that chrome strip lights up to create a unique night signature for our flagship.
In the interior, we are reducing the amount of switches as our cars become more intelligent. The user interface in its 7th generation now allows for more voice and touch input as well as a more personal configuration by the customer. The hard keys that we do have are grouped in two islands and executed in beautiful materials like aluminium and glass.
Of course, the comfort in these vehicles is at the highest level as is the quality of the leather and the stitching. With the new 7, the X7 and of course the 8, BMW is raising the bar in terms of modern luxury.
Ladies and gentlemen,
That transformation of BMW towards a luxury tech brand will continue in 2019. So please stay tuned for more design news throughout the year!
Thank you very much!
Nicki Shields: Thank you Adrian. The expansion of the luxury and electric vehicle range continues at the BMW Group. Please welcome Pieter Nota, who will join to tell us more…
Hi Pieter, it’s good to see you again. One of the questions on social media fits very well here… Diana asks “How do you ensure to be a sustainable company while still offering luxury products”?
Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Brand BMW, Aftersales BMW Group:
The new BMW 7 plug-in hybrid is the perfect example that luxury and sustainability go hand in hand.
I was a first hour BMW ActiveHybrid customer back in 2010. And I’m delighted that the plug-in hybrid technology has been developed further and the electrified range is now more than enough for my daily trips to work and back.
Nicki Shields: Pieter, many of the questions that were asked online were regarding hybrid technology… Harald Hohmann asks: “Do you want to push more BMW fully electric models on the market or will BMW also invest in plug-in hybrids”?
Pieter Nota: We focus on both fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to suit various customer needs. Plug-in hybrids are the perfect solution for people who want to combine zero local emission driving in the city and longer trips without having to recharge. They provide a way to quickly improve air quality in urban areas. Hybrid technology definitely has its place. Today we are making a clear statement about that.
Now, ladies and gentleman – the world premiere of four new BMW plug-in hybrid models.
Pieter Nota: Today we are presenting our fourth generation of plug-in hybrid powertrains, with high-voltage batteries that allow for up to 80 km fully-electric range.
For the very first time, we are presenting our BMW X3 as a plug-in hybrid. As we have announced, next year we will launch the all-electric iX3.
The BMW X3 is one of our best-selling models worldwide and customers will be able to choose the drive train technology that best suits their needs. This is what I call a true customer-centric approach!
In addition to these four models, the 2 and 5 Series plug-in hybrids also have more electric range thanks to the new battery technology.
And there’s great news for 5 Series fans: The BMW 5 Series plug-in hybrid will soon be available worldwide with BMW xDrive.
Ladies and gentlemen,
With the expansion of our line-up, we will offer customers a plug-in hybrid in every segment. By the end of this year – we will offer a total of ten plug-in hybrid vehicles. All of this underlines our deep commitment to sustainable electric mobility.
Nicki Shields: Pieter it was great to hear about the progress BMW is making in e-mobility and to see the new plug-in hybrids.
Let’s not forget, as well as on our roads, BMW is also using its eDrive technology and know-how in the world of electric motorsport, with a team in the all-electric Formula E. The car is on display over on my right, and the team will be racing on the streets of Hong Kong this weekend – Good luck!
Thank you so much to all the fans for watching and your questions – all the questions will be answered online after. Thank you everyone for joining us today – we wish you a very exciting and successful Geneva International Motor Show!