BMW Group plans over 30 billion Euros on future-oriented technologies up to 2025
The BMW Group is embracing the transformation of the automotive industry with great confidence and investing heavily in research and development with a view to shaping the mobility of the future for the benefit of its customers.
In the context of the spread of coronavirus, the Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Oliver Zipse, pointed out in Munich on Wednesday: “Solidarity and responsible action are called for. In our society it is the duty of the strong to protect the weak. The BMW Group therefore fully supports the measures aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus.” The BMW Group is responding to the foreseeable development in demand on the global automobile markets by adjusting production volumes at an early stage and will make full use of the broad range of instruments available to it to maximise flexibility.
Manfred Schoch, General Works Council Chairman, emphasised the tools agreed jointly between management and the general works council: “In times of crisis, as we are experiencing right now, the General Works Council seeks to provide a clear sense of direction for associates. Our top priority is to protect their health, and safeguard their jobs and incomes. The General Works Council has agreed three important tools to make this possible: flexible BMW working time accounts, the option of working from home, and the latest company regulation on short-time work. This stipulates that the net income of a pay-scale employee at BMW must amount to at least 93% of their usual sum. I am convinced that these three tools will allow us to navigate our staff safely through the corona crisis.”
Zipse went on to say, “New technologies are key to the future of mobility. Up to 2025, we intend to invest more than 30 billion euros in research and development to underscore our position as an innovation leader. This also expresses our confidence for the future business development,”
The BMW Group set about achieving the new CO2 targets at an early stage, an important aspect of which was the decision to systematically electrify the model range. With its Performance > NEXT programme launched in 2017, further moves were made to achieve greater efficiency and a stronger operating performance. Moreover, over the past eight years, some 46,000 employees have received training in the field of electric mobility. In view of the growing importance of software know-how, the BMW Group founded the Critical Techworks IT joint venture in 2018 in order to secure the relevant expertise and skills. The BMW Group itself is one of the largest IT employers in Germany with 5,300 employees having been trained in the field of data analytics. Access to the raw materials needed to produce electric mobility has also been strategically secured. Since the beginning of the current year, the BMW Group has been procuring the required cobalt and lithium directly and passing those resources on to the suppliers involved in manufacturing battery cells.
By the end of 2021, the company intends to have more than one million vehicles with all-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrains on the roads. At that stage, the BMW Group will offer five all-electric series production vehicles. Alongside the BMW i3, demand for which increased for the sixth year in succession, production of the all-electric MINI Cooper SE* was commenced at the Oxford plant (UK) towards the end of 2019. The BMW iX3 will go into production this year at the plant in Shenyang, China, followed in 2021 by the BMW iNEXT in Dingolfing, Germany, and the BMW i4 at the Munich plant – all of which will be equipped with fifth-generation electric drivetrain technology.
The next generation of the BMW 7 Series will mark a new milestone. The BMW brand’s flagship vehicle also offers customers the "Power of Choice" and is set be available with four different types of drivetrain: as a highly efficient diesel- or petrol-driven car, as an electrified plug-in hybrid and, for the first time, as an all-electric BEV model, which will also be equipped with a fifth-generation electric drivetrain.
By 2023, the BMW Group will already have 25 electrified models on the roads – more than half of them all-electric. The key to achieving this objective is having intelligent vehicle architectures that, with the aid of a highly flexible production system, enable a model to be powered fully electrically, as a plug-in hybrid or with a combustion engine. With these prerequisites in place, the company is in an ideal position to meet demand in each relevant market segment and offer its customers a genuine power of choice between the various drive types.