In a speech during a showcase of BMW’s future product plans – there’s an BMW electric i8 Spyder coming in 2018 and improved batteries (in terms of range and output) for both it and the i3 – Dr Ian Robertson, board member for sales and marketing, explained how the company’s move into autonomous driving and the digitalisation of how we connect with our car will see the German marque focus on digital technology as much as on its next generation of internal combustion engines.
This switch won’t see BMW abandon the art of building cars completely, rather the development of its future models will be led by the requirements of electric mobility, autonomous driving and internet-based connectivity and digital services, which will be controlled and managed by BMW.
Robertson also revealed his goal of selling 100,000 i and iPerformance models in 2017 (equalling the numbers it has sold in the first three years since the i sub-brand’s launch). Sales in this sector are growing and this target is achievable. We have the product and the technology transfer from i to iPerformance models and this is accelerating all the time.
‘I believe we will have a more comprehensive set of plug-in hybrid and EV vehicles than any of our competitors.’
So is this the end of BMW as we know it? The Munich diehards will probably say it is, but by laying its stall out and presenting its strategy, BMW has demonstrated its focus for looking at the next 100 years rather than gazing fondly at its first 100. And away from the EVs and plug-ins, what can BMW M fans expect in the near future? Something with a 5 in its name, and trust us, it won’t disappoint.