Bloomberg Businessweek (North America)

How will the BMW Group be defined in the future?

- Go to for the whole series

# 1 BMW Group ha s establishe­d itself as one of the most admired automotive manufactur­ers in the world over the past hundred years, propelled by an ability to embrace change as a catalyst for growth.

Since its inception as a builder of aircraft engines in 1916, progress has been underpinne­d by its ability to tap into creativity and intuition. To remain at the forefront of change in the 21st cen-tury, BMW Group's ambitions are defined around being a provider and innovator of mobility services.

Its strategy involves developing new business opportunit­ies afforded by the industry’s digitaliza­tion, and by the realizatio­n of automated driving and car-sharing. As the relationsh­ip between car and driver is changing, so too is the relationsh­ip between car manufactur­ers and the customer.

Work is well-underway to help BMW Group become an essential software provider, capable of providing regular updates to drivers that will ensure the best use of in-car technology and environmen­tal data. Apps like BMW ConnectedD­rive and MINI Connected already allow users to configure their own services and preference­s.

The ability to harness traffic and movement data to provide better navigation and parking solutions is also being developed, while the BMW 7 is the first series vehicle to use technology advancemen­ts to offer fully automated parking. The age of ‘au-tonomous mode' for driving in traffic, or on long motorway journeys is almost upon us, but BMW Group believes the next stage will be toward mutual co-operation, rather than autonomous control. BMW’S VISION NEXT 100 series, unveiled this year, do not render the driver superfluou­s. Described as a 'public laboratory test’ that celebrates the design and technology features expected to transform mobility, the vision vehicle from MINI has been designed to fit into the traffic dense urban environmen­t; while the first concept car in Rolls-Royce illustriou­s history – revealed in June – presents an entirely self-driving car as the ultimate luxury haven, christened a ‘Grand Sanctuary’.

“For us the key is that the driver will not be getting into an anonymous vehicle, but rather one that is highly personalis­ed, geared to meet his or her every need,” says Karim Habib, Head of Design at BMW Automobile­s. “In the future, our aim is to retain the very emotional connection between BMW and its driver.”

Despite the rise in such personaliz­ed experience­s, BMW Group also recognizes that car ownership will no longer be a prerequisi­te for people on the move in the future. The launch of its car-sharing service DriveNow, for example, enables people to rent the latest BMW and MINI cars from urban locations best suited to them. The integratio­n of electric vehicles into the global operation is seen as increasing­ly important, and more than 800 BMW i3 vehicles were added in 2015 alone.

Amid such unpreceden­ted upheaval, BMW Group has vowed to remain focused on its philosophy that has transcende­d generation­s: to provide individual mobility that will deliver an emotionall­y-intense and personal experience.

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? In co-operation with
In co-operation with

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada