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Speeches of Dr. H. Diess and Dr. I. Robertson, BMW Group Press Conference, Beijing Auto China, April 23, 2012
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Dr. Herbert Diess
Ni men hao and welcome to the BMW Group! I am very happy and excited to be here in China. China is becoming more and more important to BMW Group. Today, we bring a world premiere to Beijing!
Ladies and Gentlemen, the new BMW i8 Concept Spyder! This open-top version is the logical next step of what we started with the BMW i8 Concept. The BMW i8 Concept Spyder is a pure two-seater, therefore shorter than the i8, giving the car an even sportier look and more agility.
It is a mid engine sports car. With its electric driven front axle and its petrol driven rear axle it has 4 by 4 capabilities. From a technical standpoint, it is closely related to the coupé version. The Spyder has the same vehicle architecture with two separate modules:
- The Drive Module, made mostly of aluminium, with the powertrain, chassis and safety structure; and
- The Life module, built of carbon-fibre. This forms an extremely lightweight passenger cell.
This new vehicle architecture allows us to compensate for the weight of the hybrid drive train. Like all BMW i models, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder is “Born electric” - which means, designed within our range of electric and plug-in hybrid cars. This enables the Spyder to achieve the performance of a sports car with the fuel economy of a small car:
- The Spyder accelerates from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in just five seconds - nearly the same figure as our current BMW M3.
- And spends only three litres of fuel per 100 kilometres. This is nearly half of the fuel consumption of a BMW 118i.
The plug-in hybrid drive train of the BMW i8 Concept Spyder has the same configuration as the coupé:
- an electric motor powers the front axle, and
- a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine powers the rear axle.
This system delivers a combined output of up to 354 horsepower — which is a little more than a BMW 1 series M Coupé displaces. The i8 Spyder delivers a maximum torque of 550 Newton meters. This is 30 Newton meters more than the last generation M6.
Unique performance deserves a unique name. I am happy to announce that we decided to use the name eDrive for all of our electric and plug-in hybrid cars. You can have a look at the eDrive badge yourself. It is on all of the BMW i Concept Vehicles shown here on the stand, including the i8 Spyder.
BMW i is our approach to the future of driving:
- The BMW i3 is our zero-emission electric vehicle for cities.
- The coupé version of the BMW i8 is the essence of the modern four-seater sports car.
- The BMW i8 Concept Spyder shows that a wide range of different model variants is possible under the BMW i sub-brand.
They are all true BMWs. They are all Born electric. And they all guarantee sheer driving pleasure.
Beside this exciting product we have another special announcement. The Chinese automobile market is one of the most important for us:
- We are running a joint venture plant in Shenyang.
- More than 300 engineers are already working for our joint venture there.
- Now we take the next step.
In the next few days we will be opening a design studio in Shanghai. This new studio will contribute design expertise and innovative ideas to the BMW Group brands, and will also offer strategic design advice to external clients in China.
At the same location we will open our new Connected Drive Lab. The Lab is developing Connected Drive functions for infotainment, convenience, and safety especially for our Chinese customers. Here is just one example: We are introducing the Option “Apps” in the Chinese market. With Apps you can browse SinaWeibo in your BMW or MINI.
Having Designworks and ConnectedDrive Lab under one roof creates the perfect environment for innovation. It will be a true convergence of design and technology. This is just another example to show you how important our Chinese customers are to the BMW Group.
The i8 Spyder is not the only world premiere we have for you today. Coming up, my colleague, Ian Robertson, will tell you more about our next world premiere. But now, it is time to say good-bye to the i8 Spyder. So enjoy one more look at this beautiful car.
Dr. Ian Robertson
Ni men hao ladies and gentlemen!
I'm so happy to be back in Beijing. And I'm thrilled to present to you, for its world premiere, the new BMW 3 Series Sedan in the long wheelbase version!
At the BMW Group, we are driven to delight all of our customers. And, of course, we do this by understanding their needs and desires in every market we serve. The BMW 3 Series long wheelbase is a perfect example. It shows our focus on the Chinese customer, as well as our commitment to the Chinese market.
The 3 Series Li offers the perfect marriage of:
- sporty performance,
- elegant design, and
- cutting-edge technology.
Customers here in China can choose from one of three available models, the:
- BMW 320Li,
- BMW 328Li, and the
- BMW 335Li.
All three of these cars come with our latest TwinPower Turbo Technology, ensuring maximum power. And when it comes to sporty performance, the six-cylinder 335Li is ready to run with over 300 horsepower.
Tailored to the wishes of our customers, this car's performance has been expertly balanced with its elegant design. The luxurious interior makes use of high quality materials put together with precision craftsmanship.
And with an extra 11 centimetres added to its wheelbase, the BMW 3 Series Li offers the most comfortable rear seats in its segment. Its focus on aesthetics continues beyond the interior.
The exterior design language is striking: sporty and self-confident with a real presence. For those customers who desire an extra touch of individualization, this car will also be offered in the Sport, Luxury, and Modern Lines.
Both the BMW 3 Series Sedan in the long wheelbase version and the new BMW 3 Series Sedan will be available in China before the end of the year. Also coming soon are three very important vehicles for China. Celebrating their Asian premieres here in Beijing:
- The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe,
- The new BMW X6, and
- The BMW M6 Coupe.
We expect these models to be very successful in China with their incredible combination of stunning performance and design. Continuing to focus on our customers' needs and desires has led to exceptional growth for the BMW Group in China. In fact, this is our best start to the year ever.
In the first quarter, we sold over 80,000 BMW Group vehicles here in China – a 37% increase over the same period last year. We are confident our strong growth will continue as new models like the BMW 3 Series long wheelbase become available.
China's sales performance plays a significant role in the BMW Group's balanced, worldwide success. 2012 also marks the best start ever for the BMW Group globally.
We sold over 425,000 vehicles to customers right around the world in the first quarter. And we intend to continue this growth as we aim to once again claim the title of number one premium car company in the world.
Now, everyone here knows the BMW Group is always looking ahead. This means planning for tomorrow's success, today. We're optimistic about the future growth for the BMW Group in China and we're continuing to increase our commitment here.
When it comes to growth, the BMW Group's approach has always been: production follows market. In line with this, we're excited to be putting the finishing touches on our new Tiexi Plant. Through a one billion Euro investment between BMW and our partner Brilliance, the Tiexi Plant will significantly increase production in Shenyang.
Our commitment to this country extends beyond manufacturing as well. It includes support for social programmes, like the BMW Warm Heart Fund. This Fund is committed to everything from cultural promotion to educational support here in China.
We're also sponsoring top professional sporting events. There will be an announcement at 5:00 tonight – right here on the BMW stage – about our ongoing commitment to world-class sports in China.
This new sponsorship will bring the best athletes from all over the world to China for a top-level competition. We're also assisting Chinese athletes as they travel half-way around the world in hopes of achieving their Olympic dreams.
The London 2012 Olympic Games begin in less than 100 days. As the official mobility partner for London 2012, we are thrilled to be supporting the Games and taking part in the Olympic spirit.
For the BMW Group, sponsoring the Olympic Games is a natural fit because we share many of the same qualities:
- competitive, and a dedication to
- fair play.
These shared qualities are also why the BMW Group is a proud sponsor of the Chinese Olympic Committee. As 12,000 spectators experienced last month at our announcement in Guangzhou, we're also sponsoring the Chinese Fencing and Sailing teams at the London Games.
Dialogue with Chinese Olympians: Guo Jingjing and Liu Guoliang
Thank you both so much for joining us today. I wish you and your teams luck at the London Games!
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I invite you all on stage to take a look at these fantastic new BMWs. Thank you.