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Statements BMW Group Press Conference Los Angeles Auto Show
Wed Nov 28 18:00:00 CET 2018 Speech
Statements Bernhard Kuhnt, President and CEO BMW of North America LLC, Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Brand BMW, Aftersales BMW Group and Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development at BMW Group Press Conference Los Angeles Auto Show
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Bernhard Kuhnt, President and CEO BMW of North America LLC
Good morning, welcome to BMW! Thank you all for joining us this early today. Hopefully you enjoyed that opening video – a beautiful ride across this great and simply beautiful country. From cowboys to high school football, mountains to deserts… an all-American adventure featuring our all-new BMW X5. Capable, powerful and confident. No need to take any detours.
That’s why we traced a straight line from our factory in Spartanburg to the show here in L.A. Overcoming many obstacles and loving every minute of it. Because BMWs are built for people who love driving as much as we do.
This is the fourth generation of our X5. All have been made right here in the U.S. at Plant Spartanburg. It is also the tenth X model built at the plant since it opened in 1994. In total, we have produced more than 4.4 million vehicles. And 70 percent of what we build in Spartanburg is exported all over the world. Making BMW the highest value exporter of any American-made vehicles.
Of course, our commitment to the U.S. goes far beyond building and selling cars here. We are proud to support American jobs. Nationwide, we employ more than 70,000 people together with our suppliers and dealers.
We are driving innovation in this country. From our Designworks studio located just a few miles north of here to our R&D facilities in Mountain View and our tech office in Chicago. BWW Group teams across the U.S. are developing new designs and technologies for the company worldwide. In fact, the BMW Connected app is built in-house at our Chicago office. This app puts your BMW in your pocket so you can manage your car right from your smartphone.
And, just next week we’re introducing another great feature to make life easier: BMW drivers will be able to pay parking meters right from their car in over 300 U.S. cities. This adds to the growing list of connected features we already have.
The U.S. plays a critical role in the BMW Group network. Which brings us to why we are all here today.
I hope you remember last year at this very same spot, it all looked different. An empty stand. We then filled it with various new cars, concepts and promises focused on luxury, performance and electrification. So much has happened since then. We’ve experienced – and thanks to all our customers – 12 months of growth for BMW in the U.S.
We have rolled out new models like the X3, X4, and the stunning M5. In fact, we at BMW are in the middle of the largest product offensive in our company’s long history. With the youngest product portfolio we’ve ever seen. Today, we are delivering on the promises we made last year and bringing a few more.
Now’s let talk a bit more about this X5. When we introduced the X5 almost 20 years ago, it launched not only our X models, but also the entire Sport Activity segment. Here in the US, the BMW X5 has been one of our best-sellers every year since 2001. As we call the X5 internally: The boss is back.
Of course, our X vehicles aren’t just important to the U.S. They have a huge impact on a global scale.
Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Brand BMW, Aftersales BMW Group
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The first-ever BMW X7.
This is a vehicle many of you have been waiting to see for a long time and we’re very proud to present it here in its home market – the US. It’s a further important step in our expansion in the upper segment – as well as growing our BMW X family. As the pinnacle of the X family – it offers a new level of luxury. It’s big, it’s bold and has incredible on-road presence.
Not only is the BMW X7 an exclusive and luxurious vehicle, we truly believe it also offers the very best driving capabilities in its class. What else would you expect from a BMW? Inside, it has an unbelievable amount of space – the three rows and seven seats are standard. The panorama roof with its Skylounge enhances the feeling of well-being and sophistication.
All in all, a truly impressive vehicle. And built exclusively right
here in the USA. Next week we will begin series production at our
Spartanburg plant in South Carolina. Launching in March, we expect
many of these great vehicles to go straight to customers right here in
the US. But of course, we also want to export many of them from here
to the rest of the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The luxury segment is our “home turf” – and models like the X7 are testimony to that. Let’s stay with luxury, and move to a number even higher than “7”: The 8.
With the 8 Series, we did something we’ve never done before: We built it for the racetrack and then put it on the road. For me, the BMW 8 Series Coupe is the perfect Sports Coupe – it really demonstrates BMW’s passion for the “ultimate driving machine”. We’ve learned from the i8 that however stunning our sports coupes are – many of our customers also want to enjoy an “open-air” experience. So I’m delighted that we have another World Premiere for you: The BMW 8 Series Convertible!
I’m very pleased that we now can offer customers the 8 Series Convertible just a few months after the launch of the Coupe. It combines ultra-sporty driving with design elegance and of course that thrilling “open-air” feeling. The elegant soft-top roof opens and closes in just 15 seconds. Customers can look forward to taking it for a spin as of March next year.
As you see, the 8 Series family is growing – next year we’ll be adding the Gran Coupe to these two, and there’s great news for M fans: all of them will be offered as M models! All of this underlines that we are moving ahead with our expansion in the luxury class, where of course, beautiful design plays a key role.
Both the X7 and the 8 Series showcase our new design language – as does our next highlight. Thank you!
Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development
This car is stunning. The BMW Z4 showcases BMW’s new design language from all perspectives: from the dynamic looking front – to the striking flanks – to the clean tail end.
It feels at home cruising on Sunset Boulevard as well as at Laguna Seca. It is a true, lean sports car. And it’s the only one in its class to offer a straight six engine.
The aerodynamic and perfectly balanced all-new BMW Z4 Roadster packs up to 382 horsepower [BMW Z4 M40i US model specific]. The Adaptive M Sport Chassis and Steering, and M Active Limited Slip Differential keeps you on track.
I can tell you, I really loved testing it at the Nürburgring – a pure, open-air, raw, driving experience – “sheer driving pleasure” in its truest form. This is what BMW is all about. Like our next car.
Here it is: The new BMW M340i! The ultimate sports sedan.
The 3 Series established and has led the segment of sport sedans – and will continue to do so now in its seventh generation. Over the past 40 years, we have delivered more than 15 million 3 Series cars – almost 3 million in America alone. This makes it the most successful model of the BMW brand and the world’s best-selling premium vehicle.
It represents the BMW brand like no other car and is truly the heart and soul of BMW. All our cars contain the sporty and dynamic genes of the 3. This extraordinary car is the true pioneer of its segment.
And to all the BMW fans I promise you – the new 3 series, and especially the M340i, will be the ultimate driving machine again.
To achieve this, we have combined our top technologies:
- Best-in-class aerodynamics with a drag coefficient of 0.23;
- A significant weight reduction of 121 pounds compared to its predecessor;
- And most importantly, new powertrains with limited slip differential, less consumption and better driving performance.
To sum it up, maximum driving pleasure with maximum efficiency.
Like no other brand, BMW stands for forward-looking technology paired with clear, emotional design. And this model also represents our new design: pure lines and sculpted surfaces. The interior has been completely revised: contemporary and trendsetting, but with BMW’s trademark driver orientation.
One innovation is our brand-new Intelligent Personal Assistant. It brings our digital world into the car as your personal companion. We also offer a wide choice of advanced driver assistance systems that take the new 3 further along the road to automated driving than any of its rivals.
Talking about cutting-edge technologies and world class innovation brings me to the hero of today. And now ladies and gentlemen:
Stay tuned for the world premiere of the BMW Vision iNEXT.
Ladies and gentlemen, here it is!
Our vision of future mobility: the BMW Vision iNEXT!
This vision car is something you have never seen from BMW before. It is our trailblazer for a variety of future technologies:
- The BMW Vision iNEXT accelerates emotions – fully autonomous in ease mode and emission-free with our next generation electro-mobility technology.
- It simplifies driving and redefines the way we perceive our surroundings – with an interior of the future.
- It enhances experiences – through artificial intelligence.
- And it improves networking – through increased connectivity.
The traditional automobile has definitively been turned into a smart car.
And – to top it all off – the BMW iNEXT will be a true BMW when it comes to driving dynamics. You will feel in boost mode the power of the ultimate driving machine. To underline: We talk about best in class capabilities regarding acceleration, power to weight ratio and low center of gravity.
But for us, iNEXT is far more than just a car: It integrates all of our strategic areas of innovation – in other words, it embodies our vision of future mobility. Focusing on technologies that fulfill our customers’ desires, we are taking mobility to a new level. This way, iNEXT also defines our mindset.
We can see that our initial investments and activities are already paying off today:
In 2017, we delivered 100,000 electrified vehicles to customers – this year, it will be 140,000. Already by the end of next year, we will have sold half a million electrified vehicles. Numbers that show the success of our strategy.
Now we are one of the leading providers of electrified vehicles – worldwide.
And our range is growing rapidly: By 2025, we will be offering at least 25 electrified models, 12 will be all-electric. And – we are developing already the fifth generation of BMW electric drivetrains. So for us, electro-mobility is already the new normal.
The next challenge we gave ourselves: to offer safe autonomous driving by 2021. Our ambition is clear: We want to be leading in this field, too.
We have been researching autonomous driving solutions for over ten years.
And we have learned the challenges to overcome in autonomous driving are enormous. We are planning to take our technology, which enables safe autonomous driving to series maturity by 2021. The availability of the offering will depend on external conditions. There are still crucial legal and regulatory hurdles to clear before cars will be able to drive autonomously, and safely, in all cities. But we at the BMW Group will have the technologies ready to go!
Let’s talk about the interior. Driver orientation is still important to us – we invented it. But digitalization and autonomous driving open up an opportunity to totally rethink the way we use the interior of a car – so that’s exactly what we did with the BMW Vision iNEXT. Our ambition was to create a place which enhances people’s quality of life – a new “favorite space”. Using it will be intuitive, comfortable and smart. Ultimately, the BMW Vision iNEXT will add a new dimension to sheer driving pleasure.
To summarize: Equipped with automated and autonomous driving technologies, comprehensive connectivity features and an interior of the future, the powerful, fully electric BMW Vision iNEXT will serve as an accelerator, demonstrating our company’s strength in innovation. It will ensure that the BMW Group has all the technologies at its disposal to be successful in the market when competing with both old and new players, today and tomorrow.