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Statement Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Conference Call Quarterly Statement to 30 September 2023

Statement Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Conference Call Quarterly Statement to 30 September 2023

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Britta Ullrich
BMW Group

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Ladies and Gentlemen,


Before I talk about current developments, I’d like to say a few words about the change in the Board of Management of BMW AG.


As you all know, the Supervisory Board appointed Jochen Goller to the Board of Management, effective 1st of November. After various roles in China and the UK, as well as serving as head of the MINI brand, Jochen Goller has managed our activities in China very successfully since 2018.


Sean Green, who was previously Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing at our BBA joint venture, will be responsible for our business in China going forward.


Jochen Goller takes over from Pieter Nota, who led our Customer, Brands and Sales Board division from 2018.


Under Pieter Nota’s leadership, the BMW Group grew its global market share significantly. During this time, the BMW brand also regained its position at the top of the premium segment and steadily expanded it.


I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Pieter Nota and wish Jochen Goller all the best as he embarks on his new role.


I just got back from a trip to Asia about a week ago. I know that some of you were also able to get an idea of the current market situation over there, at the recent BMW China Days in Shenyang and Shanghai.


For me, the visit to Beijing and then the Japan Mobility Show in Tokyo clearly showed once again:


There is no “one-size-fits-all” for the mobility of today and tomorrow. Our world is multifaceted – and that’s why we need different technological solutions: On the one hand, to meet our customers’ wide-ranging needs. On the other, to comply with very different regulatory requirements in countries around the world.


China mainly relies on pure electric vehicles – although plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles also have a part to play in decarbonising mobility. In Beijing, for example, a large number of taxis already run on hydrogen.


In the third quarter of this year, we grew our business worldwide – thanks to our wide range of premium vehicles across all drive technologies.


Pure electric vehicles stood out in China, in particular: We more than tripled our sales there in the first nine months compared to the same period of last year.


In Japan, the current demand for all-electric cars is still relatively subdued. The focus is more on plug-in hybrids and cars with combustion engines. However, it became clear at the Japan Mobility Show that Japanese manufacturers, in particular, are starting to step things up – with their own concept cars and fully-electric options.

Japan recognised the importance of hydrogen early on. This is why our BMW iX5* Hydrogen pilot vehicle has been well received there.


For a global premium manufacturer like the BMW Group, technology orientation remains the right path for decarbonising mobility.

Our healthy sales and financial figures are proof of this. We will continue to pursue this path consistently in the future. In October, we presented the BMW X2 with the all-electric iX2* as the latest example of this.


The iX2 is, more than anything, a digital champion.


The new BMW Operating System 9 introduces the ideal platform for a comprehensive range of digital features and functions – such as totally new gaming and streaming capabilities.


It is features like these – such as optimised touch controls or seamlessly integrated voice control – that allow our customers to enjoy a unique digital experience in their car.


Early next year, our rollout of new all-electric products will continue: In the spring, the new BMW 5 Series Touring will celebrate its world premiere. It will be available with the same drivetrain portfolio as the Sedan, including the all-electric, i5* Touring. This gives us a real USP in a segment that is very popular – especially in Europe.


Our goal remains the same: more than half our global sales from all-electric cars, well before 2030.


To this end, we are also further expanding our leading role in battery cell technology. At our competence centre in Parsdorf near Munich, we are laying the technological foundations for the efficient and resource-saving production of battery cells. And we do this along the entire value chain.


We share the know-how we develop there with our suppliers. In this way, we are setting benchmarks in production, quality, performance, costs and ecology of battery cells.


Last week, we put the competence centre in Parsdorf into operation. Sample production of sixth-generation round cells has begun.


These cells are characterised by an up to 20% higher energy density. In addition, we were able to reduce the CO2 footprint in cell production by up to 60%.


Our customers will benefit from up to 30% faster charging speed and up to 30% higher range according to WLTP.


In line with our "local-for-local" principle, the BMW Group also ensures that the next step – high-voltage battery assembly – takes place as close as possible to the vehicle plants.


This approach secures our production, even in the event of unforeseen political and economic developments. Short transport distances also reduce the carbon footprint of vehicle production.


Production facilities for the sixth generation of BMW high-voltage batteries are currently being built at all major manufacturing locations:


In Debrecen, Hungary.

In Woodruff, South Carolina, in the US.

In San Luis Potosí, Mexico.

And in Shenyang, China.


We are planning a further assembly site for high-voltage batteries in Irlbach-Straßkirchen to supply our vehicle production in Bavaria. A clear majority voted to allow the planning process in Lower Bavaria to continue in a recent referendum. It not only secures the future of our Bavarian vehicle plants; it also sends an important signal, underlining Germany’s future viability as a location for industry.


We hope to start construction within the next year.

These high-voltage batteries will then be used in our NEUE KLASSE, which will also be produced at our main plant in Munich from 2026 onwards.


We provided a glimpse of the NEUE KLASSE at the IAA MOBILITY in early September.


The BMW VISION Neue Klasse shows how we are designing individual mobility to be more human, more intelligent and more responsible.


For example, the materials we are developing for the NEUE KLASSE will help reduce its carbon footprint.


An additional highlight is the Panoramic Vision Display, which uses the entire width of the windscreen and is visible to all passengers.


What has always set BMW apart is the perfect interaction of all components – and the unmistakeable, brand-authentic driving dynamics that this enables. We are also taking this unique selling point to a whole new level, with a perfect combination of hardware and software.


The NEUE KLASSE is more than just another BMW-brand car. It is a whole new generation of products. We will be releasing six models onto the roads within 24 months – from SAVs to sedans. What all the models have in common is the all-electric heart that powers them.


MINI will also be all-electric in the future. Between now and 2030, we will be completely realigning MINI and making the brand all-electric. We presented two key members of the new MINI family at the IAA MOBILITY: the MINI Cooper* 3-Door and the MINI Countryman*.


The next fully-electric MINI is ready to go: In April 2024, the MINI Aceman will make its world premiere in the premium-compact car segment.


The new MINI family is produced by our Chinese joint-venture partner, Spotlight, in China and in our plants in Leipzig and Oxford.


Our second British brand is also on the threshold of pure electromobility. By the early 2030s, Rolls-Royce will also be exclusively all-electric. Preparations for the sales launch of the first electric Rolls-Royce are currently in full swing.


The Spectre*, which is scheduled for release by the end of the year, is set to redefine modern luxury.


There has also been a change at the top at Rolls-Royce. Torsten Müller-Ötvös – who has led Rolls-Royce since 2010 and driven the transformation and rejuvenation of this unique marque – is retiring.


He will be handing over to Chris Brownridge, from 1st of December. Chris currently heads the UK market – bringing experience, of course, but, above all, a feel for the exclusive demands of the brand and its customers.


Let’s move on to BMW Motorrad. We recently celebrated the brand's centenary at the end of September with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at our plant in Berlin-Spandau.


The brand has performed exceptionally well in recent years. Its centenary celebrations were the culmination of the career of BMW Motorrad's long-standing leader: Markus Schramm – who is also retiring.


Under his leadership, BMW Motorrad steadily expanded its product range, opened new markets for the brand and saw numerous record-breaking years.


Markus Flasch took over from him on the 1st of November. Markus brings experience as head of BMW M GmbH and head of the product line for BMW mid-size and luxury class and Rolls-Royce.


While we are constantly expanding and refining our product range, our current focus is on further digitalisation of the customer interface. Direct customer access plays a key role in this.


Our new direct sales model for MINI is about to be launched in Europe. The rollout with MINI in China was already a success.


The European rollout will begin on 1st of January, with Italy, Poland and Sweden. Other European countries will follow in stages. The BMW launch will get underway in 2026.


The direct sales model will benefit everyone involved:


-       Our customers are guaranteed full price transparency and can move seamlessly between online and offline consulting options during the purchasing process.


-       At the same time, it offers our retailers an attractive business model – as shown by their positive response. All our European retailers have signed contracts to this effect.


-       In return, the BMW Group gains direct access to customers – which we will use to curate an entirely new customer experience.

The best example of this is our new “Proactive Care” service. It uses data analytics and AI to evaluate data from the vehicle and detect potential problems before they even occur.


If the cause can be fixed using software, this is done remotely. In all other cases, our customers receive a notification – for example, a tip for how to handle the issue themselves or, if necessary, a note asking them to contact a BMW dealer.

If the customer agrees, an appointment can easily be set up using the automated system.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


In 2023, we are once again demonstrating the success of the BMW Group’s strategic approach. With our products, range of drive technologies and production sites worldwide, our position is highly diversified.


A recent study also confirms this: US magazine TIME and global database Statista named the world’s top 750 companies: The BMW Group ranked in the top ten – and was the highest-rated automotive manufacturer worldwide.


The mood is also very positive inside the company – as this year’s Employee Survey confirmed. We asked our just under 150,000 employees to tell us what they think.


Their responses showed that: The BMW Group is a highly attractive employer. The workforce backs the company's goals. And: Our employees worldwide are proud to work for the BMW Group.


That is the best foundation for continuing on our successful course in the future.


Thank you.

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