AUDI, BMW & Daimler Agree to Buy Nokia’s HERE Digital Mapping Business

With suitors reportedly ranging from from Apple to Uber Nokia’s mapping business HERE finally a new owners. Several of them. Given the importance of… The post AUDI, BMW & Daimler Agree… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit ...

With suitors reportedly ranging from from Apple to Uber Nokia’s mapping business HERE finally a new owners. Several of them. Given the importance of… The post AUDI, BMW & Daimler Agree… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

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BMW USA Sales Up 2.1% in July 2015

Unlike it sister company MINI, BMW USA sales are up 2.1% in July 2015 compare to the same month last year. This performance appears… The post BMW USA Sales Up 2.1% in July 2015 appeared first on… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit m...

Unlike it sister company MINI, BMW USA sales are up 2.1% in July 2015 compare to the same month last year. This performance appears… The post BMW USA Sales Up 2.1% in July 2015 appeared first on… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

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MINI’s New Connected App And What it Means for BMW Connected

A month ago MINI released it’s new brand strategy focused on a less is more philosophy and a higher degree of sophistication. While the… The post MINI’s New Connected App And What it… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit m...

A month ago MINI released it’s new brand strategy focused on a less is more philosophy and a higher degree of sophistication. While the… The post MINI’s New Connected App And What it… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

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BMW Group at the 2015 Frankfurt International Motor Show

BMW Group will be exhibiting from 15 – 27 September in Frankfurt with a one-of-a-kind stand architecture that takes modern experiential marketing to a whole new level. Under the BMW Group umbrella, the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands will showcase...

BMW Group will be exhibiting from 15 – 27 September in Frankfurt with a one-of-a-kind stand architecture that takes modern experiential marketing to a whole new level. Under the BMW Group umbrella, the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands will showcase their strong, separate identities in impressive style. With a much longer circuit (now 400 m) than in 2013, the stand now offers active-driving demonstrations of BMW and MINI-brand vehicles for the first time and is the most distinctive architectural feature of the 2015 stand. In this way, the innovation, dynamic performance and diversity of the BMW Group comes to life for the visitor in a direct, impressive manner. With more than 12,000 m2 over two levels, this year’s stand is the BMW Group’s largest- ever. All innovations, new models and the entire product portfolio will be on show for the media and all other visitors.

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BMW and MINI technology and product highlights will be presented to visitors in brief shows 20 times per day on stages integrated into the circuit. The BMW stage is an imposing 50 metres wide.   Intelligent use of digitalisation: For the first time, BMW is allowing visitors a glimpse behind the scenes with access to additional content on innovations and vehicles using the BMW IAA App.   In addition to an audio guide to the display, the app also offers augmented reality features, which enable the new BMW 7 Series and other exhibits to be experienced in a new dimension. Steven Althaus, Head of Brand Management BMW and Marketing Services BMW Group: “Authentic, distinctive brands, outstanding new vehicles and exciting innovations will be showcased in a ground-breaking new way to create a unique visitor experience at IAA 2015.”   The highlight for the BMW brand at the IAA this year will be the new BMW 7 Series. Its vision, innovations and features provide the starting point for both architecture and staging. The BMW stand is designed in the style of a flagship store, with the corresponding architecture and staging to create a brand-experience forum for visitors.   The new BMW 7 Series stands for modern luxury, interpreted at the IAA in the form of contemporary architecture, attention to detail and state-of-the-art technologies – with a positive spill-over for all the brand’s other models . In addition to the active-driving concept, the heart of the BMW presentation is a rotunda used for staging highlights: It provides visitors with changing perspectives of the new BMW 7 Series, leading to a spacious plaza on the upper floor.   The plaza with the “BMW 7 Series Gallery” offers insights into the product substance of the BMW 7 Series and the meaning of modern luxury: aesthetic appeal, attention to detail, excellent craftsmanship – as well as pushing technological boundaries in a connected world.   This is illustrated through vehicle details and examples of the finest manufacturing artistry from other areas, such as the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory.   Three rooms provide the opportunity to explore the focus topics of the new BMW brand flagship in more detail. The three displays centre on a new BMW 7 Series with M Sports Package, a new BMW 7 Series with the Design Pure Excellence package and the BMW eDrive variant: the BMW 740Le.   The vehicles are accompanied by top-quality, intuitive exhibits that help visitors explore topics in more depth. For example, the interactive multimedia wall allows new gesture control technology to be experienced easily to impressive effect outside the car.   Visitors are encouraged to walk around and take their time to discover and experience the new BMW 7 Series in a highly personal way. Circular openings in the architecture provide exciting glimpses and perspectives of the whole stand. This creates generous spaces and at the same time provides thematic links between the luxury segment on the upper floor and the premium segment on the ground floor.   The focus of the BMW i sub-brand is on innovative charging concepts and service offerings, alongside the current BMW i3 and BMW i8 cars.   BMW Connected Living is presented as the next area of innovation. At this year’s IAA, for the first time, BMW i will present intelligent applications that go far beyond pure mobility solutions and extend into other areas of the user’s life. In this way, BMW i once again proves its power of innovation and underlines what it stands for: pioneering, sustainable individual mobility.   The spacious BMW i display continues from the ground floor through the open architecture to the upper floor and the BMW i8 presentation. Here, advanced technologies, such as carbon core and laser lighting, tie in with the modern interpretation of luxury. BMW e Drive – The performance of a BMW TwinPower Turbo engine combined with the efficiency of an electric engine: Technology transfer from the BMW i sub-brand to the core brand continues with the premieres of the BMW eDrive models of the BMW 2 Series, BMW 3 Series, BMW X5 and BMW 7 Series.   Visitors experience these new models in an area that combines information on the underlying technology with strong emotional appeal.   The BMW M sub-brand is represented by no fewer than five models, including one world premiere: the new BMW M3 Sedan. Architecture, media and lighting create the perfect atmosphere to showcase these high-performance sports cars.   Red mirrored walls and pulsating light installations bring the space and products to dynamic life – taking the fascination of BMW M to a whole new level.   Together, creativity and craftsmanship are what create works of art. At the Frankfurt show, the high standard and outstanding quality of materials and workmanship of BMW Individual, BMW M’s second business area, can be experienced through handcrafted exhibits.   A wide range of samples and customisation examples are displayed in a total of four vehicles – with the highlight a BMW Individual design study in a BMW 750 Li – so visitors can learn more about BMW Individual and BMW Manufaktur options.     BMW will also unveil the new BMW X1 for the first time at IAA 2015. The second generation of this highly-successful model, which has been sold more than 730,000 times worldwide, will be displayed with typical BMW X chassis design, an even more spacious interior and advanced functionality.   The stand uses an eye-catching installation to showcase the limitless possibilities of the robust Sports Activity Vehicle: A 50 m2 rock structure towers above both levels of the stand and positions the new BMW X1 as the perfect all-rounder – at home in the urban world and the great outdoors.   The BMW 3 Series, BMW’s most successful model of all time, will celebrate its anniversary at IAA 2015. The car that is still BMW’s top-selling model series went into production 40 years ago, heralding a new era in automotive history. The stand uses different media to portray key scenes from the legendary sports sedan’s development over six generations: starting with the first BMW 3 Series with six-cylinder petrol engine that created the mid-size sports sedan segment, up to the latest model, the new BMW 3 Series Sedan.   BMW Motorrad demonstrates its authority with a separate identity within the BMW presence.   Four series models will be presented this year, the BMW F 800, the BMW S 1000 RR, the BMW S 1000 XR and the BMW R nineT, as well as BMW’s initial idea for a scrambler: the BMW Concept Path 22. In this bike’s minimalistic approach, every form and every surface serves a function.   Alongside the brands, the BMW Group Junior Campus once again creates a space where younger visitors can have fun with the topics of mobility at IAA 2015.   In the outdoor area next to Hall 11 North, youngsters aged 11 to 14 years can learn about sustainability, mobility, technology and design in practical workshops. Under the motto “Mission Mobility: Develop. Build. Test.” teams work with trained educators to design a go-kart, which they then test on a special course. The workshops are free for children and young people. Registration is required at bmwjuniorcampus@erlebniskontor.de. Tickets are valid for the duration of the trade show.   MINI Creative Hub. As part of the BMW Group presence, this year’s MINI stand highlights the Group’s innovative strength and builds on MINI’s tradition of constant reinvention. This is the first time MINI will appear entirely in its new corporate design.   The brand’s smart and authentic identity is reflected in the architecture, communications and film material. The new brand philosophy represents the progressive lifestyle of the creative class.   The main focus of attention is on the world premiere of the new MINI Clubman. With a new six-door version of this striking and highly-successful MINI model, the brand is venturing into the next-highest vehicle class for the first time and raising the bar for design, material and product substance.   The nine-metre-high window at the front of the stand provides a view of the world of the new MINI Clubman. Based on the idea “The Clubman Dialogues”, visitors are invited to discover the creative, urbane world of the new MINI Clubman. The main highlight exhibit offers users the opportunity to explore the world of the new MINI Clubman and create a personal editorial.   MINI John Cooper Works transports the visitor to a wide-open, urban-industrial world. Two members of the legendary John Cooper Works family will be shown against the backdrop of a large aircraft hangar. Freedom, heritage and exclusivity are translated into a walk-in experience.   The stand presents the MINI Countryman as a car that is equally at home in the city as in the country.   MINI Connected is a common thread throughout, as an expression of MINI’s digital identity. Driver assistance systems, in-car infotainment, virtual reality – a wide range of innovative multimedia exhibits allow the almost limitless possibilities of ground-breaking technologies to be experienced in an interactive manner. The MINI Connected Lounge with its relaxed loft atmosphere on the upper level offers a spectacular view of the stage and track, while MINI 360° provides a glimpse of the future.     MINI Yours stands for nothing less than tailor-made exclusivity. This area invites guests to discover the first-class design and materials in the creative atmosphere of a studio. A large-scale display cabinet presents the diversity and exquisite craftsmanship of MINI Yours.   MINI Accessories opens up a world of different possibilities – with accessories in all shapes and colours that can be combined in countless different way. Visitors have the chance to create their own MINI look with the MINI accessories configurator. The focus of the MINI Lifestyle shop this year will be on the new MINI Gentleman’s Capsule Collection, inspired by the new MINI Clubman, with accessories such as hats, glasses, shoes, a fragrance and an exclusive shaving set.     Guests of Rolls-Royce: The stand concept for Rolls-Royce Motorcars’ presence at IAA 2015 recreates a modern villa – cool and contemporary. Its inviting architecture makes the brand appear more open and accessible than at previous shows.   The world premiere of the new Rolls-Royce Dawn is the undisputed highlight for the brand this year. The impressively elegant exterior design of this four-seater luxury Drophead combines the iconic presence of a Rolls-Royce with a cool and contemporary Rolls-Royce vision. The Dawn is an extremely appealing vehicle, quite unlike any other Rolls-Royce to date. Two different configurations will be presented at the stand. A special selection of vehicles will be open to all visitors in the Collector’s Garage: the new Wraith Inspired by Music, a Phantom Limelight and a Ghost Series II. In the Sir Henry Royce Lounge, customers and prospects can find inspiration for their own personal design wishes and discuss them directly with members of the Rolls-Royce team in a relaxed atmosphere.   Bespoke is Rolls-Royce . One of the success factors for “Bespoke is Rolls-Royce” is the close cooperation between designers and customers, whose wishes are seamlessly integrated to create a car as unique as a fingerprint. In the bespoke studio, guests have the chance to explore the detailed design process of a number of iconic features. The article BMW Group at the 2015 Frankfurt International Motor Show appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW M3 vs Mercedes-AMG C63 AMG S – New Comparison

Reviews of the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG S continue to pour in. Car Magazine took the two athletes for a head-to-head comparison to find out which one delivers the most thrills in the segment. The competitor to the F80 BMW M3 comes with a 4.0 ...

Reviews of the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG S continue to pour in. Car Magazine took the two athletes for a head-to-head comparison to find out which one delivers the most thrills in the segment. The competitor to the F80 BMW M3 comes with a 4.0 liter V8 bi-turbocharged engine that delivers 503 hp and 700Nm (516 lb-ft) in the C63 S AMG variant. This is the same engine found on the Mercedes-AMG GT sports coupe. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed AMG Speedshift automatic transmission. From 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph), it only takes 4.1 seconds for the C63 S AMG and 4.2 seconds for the base model. Both cars are limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).

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The F80 BMW M3 features the S55 3.0 liter inline-six TwinPower engine producing 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. The power is sent to the rear-wheels via a six-speed or an optional 7-speed M DCT transmission. For comparison, with the seven-speed DCT, the M3 and M4 need 4.1 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h, switching to manual speed, the two cars need 4.3 seconds Top speed is governed at 155 mph for both the BMW and the Mercedes. The C63 isn’t a newcomer to the battle, as it tried to take down the king in its last generation, with little success. The previous C63 was good and very fun, but it didn’t’ have the precision and driveability that the M3 had. This new model, however, is a proper driving machine and the competition is more fierce than ever. Let’s have a look.   The article BMW M3 vs Mercedes-AMG C63 AMG S – New Comparison appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW sold 12,562 i3 and i8 vehicles in first half of 2015

BMW Group announced today the Q2 results of 2015. According to the sales sheet, BMW has sold 12,562 i3 and i8 models from January 1st to June 30th, 2015. Last year, over the same period of time, BMW sold 5,405 units, but the i3 wasn’t available...

BMW Group announced today the Q2 results of 2015. According to the sales sheet, BMW has sold 12,562 i3 and i8 models from January 1st to June 30th, 2015. Last year, over the same period of time, BMW sold 5,405 units, but the i3 wasn’t available worldwide. The “i” sales have not been broken down between the i3 electric vehicle and i8 plug-in hybrid sportscar. Over 30,000 copies of the BMW i3 and BMW i8 have been sold since their market launch in late 2013. Even though the two innovative vehicles with carbon fiber passenger cell are still not available in all planned markets planned, the sales have been nothing short of positive. The fully planned market launch will be completed in August.

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In July, BMW sold 953 i3 models in the U.S. for a total of 5,391 units sold this year. Production of the i3 and i8 will continue to increase and the overall sales will beat the numbers reported in 2014. The article BMW sold 12,562 i3 and i8 vehicles in first half of 2015 appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW reports second quarter 2015 results

The BMW Group continued to perform well throughout the second quarter 2015. Group revenues and sales volume figures reached new heights for the period from April to June, with the Motorcycles segment raising its profit before tax to a new record leve...

The BMW Group continued to perform well throughout the second quarter 2015. Group revenues and sales volume figures reached new heights for the period from April to June, with the Motorcycles segment raising its profit before tax to a new record level. Group profit before financial result (EBIT) for the six-month period exceeded € 5 billion for the first time. In order to maintain its strategy of profitable growth, the BMW Group remains committed to achieving an evenly balanced distribution of global sales in the world’s three major sales regions – Europe, Asia and the Americas – with the aim of preventing excessive dependence on individual markets. At the same time, the Chinese market is normalising, thereby becoming increasingly competitive.

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Second-quarter group revenues rose by 20.2% to € 23,935 million (2014: € 19,905 million). With a tailwind of favourable currency factors, this growth was even more pronounced than the underlying sales volume increase achieved by the BMW Group. Higher personnel costs, increased expenditure on new product start-ups and a change in the model mix (generally involving a higher proportion of compact vehicles) were the main reasons for a minor dip in the profit before financial result (EBIT) below the previous year’s outstanding level. EBIT amounted to € 2,525 million (2014: € 2,603 million; -3.0%), while the profit before tax (EBT) came in at € 2,582 million, slightly below the € 2,654 million reported one year earlier (-2.7%). In the second quarter of 2014, the BMW Group achieved its best-ever pre-tax profit to date. At € 1,749 million, net profit for the three-month period also came extremely close to the previous year’s figure (2014: € 1,767 million; -1.0%). Worldwide sales of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles between April and June increased by 7.5% to 573,079 units (2014: 533,187), thus setting a new record for the second quarter.   Six-month EBIT exceeds € 5 billion for first time   Group revenues for the six-month period climbed by 17.6% to € 44,852 million (2014: € 38,140 million), with currency factors partially fuelling the increase, in contrast to the previous year. Overall, profit before financial result (EBIT) rose by 7.5% for the six-month period to € 5,046 million (2014: € 4,693 million), thus exceeding the € 5-billion mark for this period for the first time. Despite the lower result from equity-accounted investment, partly reflecting the ongoing normalisation of the Chinese market, profit before tax (EBT), at € 4,851 million, nevertheless surpassed the previous year’s record figure (2014: € 4,813 million; +0.8%), This outcome was achieved despite the fact that fair value losses on financial derivatives held down this key performance indicator. Net profit for the six-month period amounting to € 3,265 million was also slightly up on the previous year’s record figure (€ 3,225 million; +1.2%). The total number of cars sold by the BMW Group during the first half of the year rose by 7.8% to 1,099,748 units (2014: 1,020,211 units).   “We remain firmly on track, achieving our best figures to date in terms of sales volume, revenues and earnings,” commented Harald Krüger, the Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG on Tuesday in Munich. “We remain committed to achieving an evenly balanced distribution of worldwide sales and maintaining the flexibility to react appropriately to developments on individual markets.”   CFO Friedrich Eichiner commented on the situation in China as follows: “For some time now, we have been drawing attention to the normalisation of the Chinese automobile market. In the medium and long term, however, we remain utterly convinced of its potential for growth, given the comparatively low rate of vehicle ownership, the country’s well-developed infrastructure and the strong affinity of the fast-growing middle class for brands.”   Automotive segment: EBIT margin within target range   Second-quarter revenues of the Automotive segment rose by 17.0% to € 21,650 million (2014: € 18,504 million). EBIT declined to € 1,819 million (2014: € 2,161 million; -15.8%), reflecting the challenging business conditions prevailing in individual markets, driven in particular by ever-fiercer competition. The earnings performance was also influenced by changes in the model mix, with compact vehicles accounting for a higher proportion than one year earlier. Segment result before tax amounted to € 1,844 million (2014: € 2,250 million; -18.0%). The EBIT margin came in at 8.4% (2014: 11.7%) and hence within the target range of 8 to 10%. The pre-tax return on sales was 8.5% (2014: 12.2%).   Compared with the previous year, Automotive segment revenues for the six-month period were 15.6% higher at € 40,543 million (2014: € 35,063 million), reflecting the sales volume performance and favourable currency factors. EBIT was slightly lower at € 3,613 million (2014: € 3,741 million; -3.4%). The EBIT margin finished at 8.9% (2014: 10.7%) and hence within the target range of 8 to 10%. Profit before tax for the six-month period amounted to € 3,478 million (2014: € 3,893 million; -10.7%). The pre-tax return on sales was 8.6% (2014: 11.1%).   The BMW brand recorded a new sales volume high in the second quarter, with 480,465 units (2014: 458,088 units; +4.9%) delivered to customers. Sales volume for the six-month period grew by 5.2% to 932,041 units (2014: 886,347 units). Momentum was provided by numerous models, including the BMW X5 and X6 as well as the 2 and 4 Series.   A total of 64,285 units (2014: 11,067 units) of the BMW 2 Series were sold during the six-month period, driven by sales of the new Active Tourer and the 2 Series Convertible. Sales of the BMW 3 Series declined to 219,369 units (2014: 236,289 units; -7.2%), partly due to the fact that the Convertible and Coupé models are now reported as part of the BMW 4 Series. By the same token, these models helped boost worldwide sales of the BMW 4 Series to 79,351 units (2014: 47,031 units; +68.7%).   Demand for the various models of the BMW X family remains strong. The BMW X5 saw sales volume rise by 25.9% to 85,983 units (2014: 68,283 units) during the first six months of the year. Sales volume figures for the BMW X6 were equally impressive, rising by 22.7% to 22,125 units (2014: 18,033 units). Keys to the new BMW X4 were handed over to 28,146 customers. The BMW i also continued to make good progress, with sales more than doubling to 12,562 units (2014: 5,405 units).   MINI recorded a 23.8% increase in sales volume in the second quarter, with sales jumping to 91,626 units (2014: 74,028 units). The six-month period also saw double-digit growth, with sales up by 25.8% to a new high of 165,938 units (2014: 131,896 units). The most pronounced increases were recorded for the MINI 3 and 5 door models, whose sales more than doubled to 107,542 units (2014: 47,056 units). A further surge should be generated by the new MINI Clubman, which is due to appear in showrooms towards the end of October.   Rolls-Royce Motor Cars posted its second-best six-month sales volume figure in the company’s history, with 1,769 vehicles delivered to customers during the first half of 2015 (-10.1%). Worldwide sales in the second quarter stood at 988 units (2014: 1,071 units; -7.8%).   In line with its strategy of achieving a balanced distribution of sales worldwide, the BMW Group recorded sales volume growth in all of its major sales regions in the period from January to June.   The first half of 2015 saw an extremely good performance in Europe, with sales up by 9.5% to 488,490 units (2014: 446,188 units). The number of vehicles sold in Germany during this period increased by 2.6% to 137,830 units (2014: 134,308 units). Great Britain – the BMW Group’s fourth largest market – saw a 15.2% increase to 110,822 units (2014: 96,180 units) during the six-month period, while the number of vehicles sold in France rose by 22.6% to 38,670 units (2014: 31,551 units). An increase of 8.5% was recorded in Italy, with sales volume rising to 35,980 units (2014: 33,157 units).   Sales of BMW and MINI vehicles in Asia grew by 4.4% to 337,107 units (2014: 322,943 units) for the six-month period, including a 2.3% increase in sales on the Chinese mainland to 230,788 units (2014: 225,490 units). Double-digit growth rates were recorded in Japan, with six-month sales climbing by 10.6% to 33,960 units (2014: 30,692 units).   A good six-month performance was also recorded for the Americas region, with sales of BMW Group vehicles rising to 242,379 units (2014: 221,280 units), an increase of 9.5% compared with the corresponding period one year earlier. In the USA, sales volume increased by 9.6% to 199,418 units (2014: 182,008 units).   Motorcycles segment sets new records   The Motorcycles segment registered its best quarter to date. Segment revenues for the the period from April to June grew by 17.8% to € 622 million (2014: € 528 million) on the back of strong sales volumes and a high-value model mix. EBIT improved to € 112 million (2014: € 55 million; +103.6%), similar to profit before tax, which also increased to € 112 million (2014: € 54 million; +107.4%). Sales volume climbed by 11.3% to 47,048 units (2014: 42,259 units). These earnings and sales volume figures all marked new records for a second quarter. The upward trend in business has been boosted by the new BMW R 1200 R, R 1200 RS, S 1000 RR, S 1000 XR and F 800 R models. BMW Motorrad also produced its best-ever first half-year performance in more than 90 years of operations. Segment revenue for the six-month period rose by 18.9% to € 1,189 million (2014: € 1,000 million). EBIT improved to € 227 million (2014: € 119 million; +90.8%). Profit before tax showed a similar picture, with a jump of 93.2% to € 226 million (2014: € 117 million). Sales volume was 10.5% higher at 78,418 units (2014: 70,978 units).   Financial Services segment continues to perform well   The Financial Services segment also continued to perform well in the second quarter, recording new best figures for the period. Segment revenues were 19.4% higher than the previous year at € 6,154 million (2014: € 5,155 million). Profit before tax increased by 9.7% to € 496 million (2014: € 452 million) thanks to growth in new customer business and a stable risk position. Exchange rate factors also had a positive impact.   Six-month revenues grew by 21.6% to € 12,212 million (2014: € 10,045 million), while profit before tax came in at € 1,055 million (2014: € 905 million; +16.6%).   A total of 801,526 new contracts (2014: 728,914 contracts: +10.0%) were signed in the period from January to June in conjunction with financing and leasing business. The portfolio of lease and financing contracts in place with retail customers at 30 June rose by 6.6% to a total of 4,146,505 contracts (2014: 3,888,137 contracts).   Workforce enlarged   The size of the workforce increased by 6.2% at 30 June 2015 compared with one year earlier. Overall, the BMW Group had a worldwide workforce of 119,489 employees (2014: 112,500 employees). The BMW Group continues to recruit engineers and skilled experts in order to keep pace with rising demand for BMW Group vehicles, forge ahead with innovations and develop new technologies.   BMW Group reaffirms targets for the full year   Thanks to its attractive range of models, the BMW Group can look ahead with confidence at the current financial year and reaffirms its targets for the full year. “In 2015 we intend to achieve solid growth and new record figures for sales volume and profit before tax,” stated Eichiner. The BMW Group also firmly intends to remain the world’s leading premium manufacturer of vehicles in 2015.   However, the scale of the increase during the forecast period is likely to be held down by fierce competition on automobile markets, rising personnel costs, continued high levels of upfront expenditure to safeguard business viability going forward and upcoming challenges relating to the normalisation of the Chinese market. A number of risks will also have to be faced, including the precarious state of the Russian market and macroeconomic uncertainties in Europe. The political and economic environment is also expected to remain volatile.   Further tailwind is expected in the current year from the market launch of a total of 15 new models and model revisions and also from the forecast positive development of automobile markets around the world.   Automotive segment revenues are set to grow significantly for the full year on the back of increased sales volume and favourable currency factors. We reaffirm our forecast of an EBIT margin within a target range of 8 to 10% for the Automotive segment.   The BMW Group expects the Motorcycles segment to continue its seasonally influenced upward trend during the current year, with additional impetus coming from new models. Sales of BMW motorcycles over the year as a whole are forecast to grow solidly.   The Financial Services segment should also continue to perform well throughout 2015. Despite rising equity capital requirements worldwide, the BMW Group forecasts a return on equity (RoE) for 2015 in line with the previous year’s level (2014: 19.4%), thus remaining ahead of the target of at least 18%.   The BMW Group’s forecasts for the financial year 2015 are based on the assumption that political and economic conditions remain stable.   * * * The BMW Group – an overview 2nd quarter 2015 2nd quarter 2014* Change in % Sales volume Automotive units 573,079 533,187 7.5 Thereof: BMW units 480,465 458,088 4.9 MINI units 91,626 74,028 23.8 Rolls-Royce units 988 1,071 -7.7 Motorcycles units 47,048 42,259 11.3 Workforce1 119,489 112,500 6.2 Operating cash flow Automotive segment € million   3,008 1,530 96.6 Revenues € million 23,935 19,905 20.2 Thereof: Automotive € million 21,650 18,504 17.0 Motorcycles € million 622 528 17.8 Financial Services € million 6,154 5,155 19.4 Other Entities € million 1 1 – Eliminations € million -4,492 -4,283 -4.9 Profit before financial result (EBIT) € million 2,525 2,603 -3.0 Thereof: Automotive € million 1,819 2,161 -15.8 Motorcycles € million 112 55 – Financial Services € million 503 459 9.6 Other Entities € million 94 16 – Eliminations € million -3 -88 – Profit before tax (EBT) € million 2,582 2,654 -2.7 Thereof: Automotive € million 1,844 2,250 -18.0 Motorcycles € million 112 54 – Financial Services € million 496 452 9.7 Other Entities € million 144 25 – Eliminations € million -14 -127 89.0 Income taxes € million -833 -887 6.1 Net profit € million 1,749 1,767 -1.0 Earnings per share2 € 2.66/2.67 2.68/2.69 -0.7/-0.7 *Prior year figures partially adjusted in accordance with IAS 8 1 figures exclude dormant employment contracts, employees in the work and non-work phases of pre-retirement part-time arrangements and low wage earners 2 earnings per share of common stock/preferred stock     The BMW Group – an overview January to June 2015 January to June 2014* Change in % Sales volume Automotive units 1,099,748 1,020,211 7.8 Thereof: BMW units 932,041 886,347 5.2 MINI units 165,938 131,896 25.8 Rolls-Royce units 1,769 1,968 -10.1 Motorcycles units 78,418 70,978 10.5 Workforce1 119,489 112,500 6.2 Operating cash flow Automotive segment € million 4,838 3,472 39.3 Revenues € million 44,852 38,140 17.6 Thereof: Automotive € million 40,543 35,063 15.6 Motorcycles € million 1,189 1,000 18.9 Financial Services € million 12,212 10,045 21.6 Other Entities € million 3 3 – Eliminations € million -9,095 -7,971 -14.1 Profit before financial result (EBIT) € million 5,046 4,693 7.5 Thereof: Automotive € million 3,613 3,741 -3.4 Motorcycles € million 227 119 90.8 Financial Services € million 1,058 924 14.5 Other Entities € million 134 26 – Eliminations € million 14 -117 – Profit before tax (EBT) € million 4,851 4,813 0.8 Thereof: Automotive € million 3,478 3,893 -10.7 Motorcycles € million 226 117 93.2 Financial Services € million 1,055 905 16.6 Other Entities € million 121 82 47.6 Eliminations € million -29 -184 84.2 Income taxes € million -1,586 -1,588 0.1 Net profit € million 3,265 3,225 1.2 Earnings per share2 € 4.96/4.97 4.90/4.91 1.2/1.2 *Prior year figures partially adjusted in accordance with IAS 8 1 figures exclude dormant employment contracts, employees in the work and non-work phases of pre-retirement part-time arrangements and low wage earners 2 earnings per share of common stock/preferred stock The article BMW reports second quarter 2015 results appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Let’s take a look at what lies ahead for the BMW brand

BMW has recently released its new G11 7 Series, F30 3 Series LCI and shown us the new front-wheel drive based X1. But this is just the start of a major revamp of BMW’s lineup. In the coming year or two or three, BMW’s lineup will have drastically...

BMW has recently released its new G11 7 Series, F30 3 Series LCI and shown us the new front-wheel drive based X1. But this is just the start of a major revamp of BMW’s lineup. In the coming year or two or three, BMW’s lineup will have drastically changed and have been significantly updated. It must. While BMW has been the number one selling luxury brand in the US for a couple of years now, it’s still losing ground, on higher end luxury models, to cars like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. And it lacks a true compact vehicle to compete with the Audi A3 (though the 2 Series is quite compact, it’s not really cross-shopped with the A3 and CLA). The 3 Series is really the car keeping BMW king of the sales hill, while cars like the 5, 6 and 7 Series are all slumping in sales. So if BMW wants to remain at the top of the hill, it’s going to have to heavily update its current models and add some new ones. So let’s take a look at what lies ahead for the Bavarian brand. 1 Series

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The upcoming 1 Series, which may or may not be front-wheel drive, will be a compact and sporty sedan with possible four-door coupe-like styling. If it is indeed based on BMW’s new UKL front-wheel drive architecture, it will be a direct competitor to the Audi A3 and Mercedes CLA. While all of us here are hoping that BMW sticks with rear-wheel drive for the 1 Series, it does make quite a lot of sense to move to the UKL platform, shared with the Mini Cooper, for both cost and competitive reasons. This will likely come as a 2017 model, so hopefully we’ll see what it’s all about next year. 3 Series

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While the 3 Series already got its LCI refresh, it still has some new things yet to come. The 330e plug-in hybrid is still on its way and should help BMW in the green department, offering an affordable way into BMW’s eDrive line of vehicles. BMW’s eDrive is gathering quite a bit of attention, due to the success of the i3 and i8 models, so putting eDrive in its most popular vehicle will give customers an entry-level path into the technology. There’s also an LCI version of the 3 Series GT coming in 2016, so that should help BMW in China, where the GT sells most. It’s not the most popular car over here in the ‘States, or across the pond, but it is something that neither Mercedes or Audi have an alternative to, so it should help. 4 Series

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Due its LCI treatment in 2017, the 4 Series should build on an already strong lineup. It’s already one of the most popular cars in its class, stealing ground from the beloved Audi A5, so updating it should help quite a bit. Though Audi is likely to release a new A5 sometime soon as well, so the LCI needs to be good. Plus the 4 Series Gran Coupe and M4 should be getting the LCI treatment at the same time, which will help tremendously. The 4 Series GC is also something Audi and Mercedes-Benz don’t have an answer to, and these four-door coupe body styles are becoming increasingly popular, so a refreshed version should help BMW gain some ground over its competitors. 5 Series

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With a new model due out next year, which also happens to be the 100th year anniversary of BMW, the new 5 Series will be a very important car for BMW. With its C segment luxury car class becoming incredibly competitive lately, the 5 Series is as important as ever. It will be built on BMW’s new CLAR platform, which underpins the new 7 Series, and will feature BMW’s Carbon Core technology, making it very light and very stiff. Using this new architecture, the 5 Series should answer all of the criticisms it currently receives about being too big and heavy and losing some of the 5 Series magic.  A new Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6 are due out soon as well, so the new 5er needs to be very good. 6 Series

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The 6 Series, in all body styles, was already refreshed this year and isn’t due for a change until 2019, so the 6er is going to have to sit tight for awhile. It’s not a bad car and isn’t really showing its age just yet, so it should be okay. However, sales are dipping for the 6er, so hopefully BMW can just hang on for a little while longer until the new model comes out. Z4

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Who knows when we’re finally going to hear about the Z4’s replacement. We know that Toyota might be involved in developing a new sports car that could be the next Z4, but that’s about all we know. The Z4 is really starting to age, with sales barely at decent numbers. The Z4 is due for replacement quite badly, let’s just hope this Toyota things starts to flesh out sooner than later. The joint venture has potential to do some real good, as I keep envisioning some sort of BMWish Toyota GT-86. Hopefully BMW gets this right, as the new Audi TT is becoming very, very popular. X2

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It’s been reported that BMW will indeed make an X2 coupe-like crossover to compete with the Range Rover Evoque. The X2 will be based on the UKL platform, much like the new X1 and will have X6-like coupe styling. Not due out for quite some time, with a concept reportedly going to debut at the 2016 Geneva Auto Show. X3

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The current X3 is showing its age well, as its still one of the best in its class, if not the best, and is still selling strong. However, a new model is due out in 2017 and it needs to be good, as Audi is going to be releasing a new Q5 and Mercedes-Benz just recently launched the GLC Class, which is better than expected. So BMW needs a strong showing from its new X3, which will sit on BMW’s CLAR platform and stay rear-wheel drive based. X5

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The only real news for the X5 is the upcoming X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid that’s on its way. Though this is an important car for BMW as the X5 is one of its most popular models and an eDrive version gives BMW customers another popular entry into the world of plug-in hybrids. X7

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The seven-seater luxury SUV X7 won’t be due out until 2019 and will be BMW’s largest SUV. Competing with the Mercedes-Benz GL Class, the X7 will be based on BMW’s CLAR platform and be built at the South Carolina plant. M2

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BMW’s new “baby-M” will launch next year to offer the consumers an 1M-like experience at an economical price. The new M2 will join the M3 and M4 brothers in the turbocharged family of M cars. So BMW will be very busy over the next couple of years, developing new models to keep itself fresh. Hopefully these new models, and heavily refreshed models, will allow BMW to keep its head above the rest of the luxury competition and stay the number one luxury brand in the United States. The article Let’s take a look at what lies ahead for the BMW brand appeared first on BMW BLOG

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First 2017 BMW 5 Series Touring (G31) production body prototypes spotted

We previously shared with you spy photos of the upcoming 5 Series touring models in mule form, which were based on the current F11 touring body. Today, the first full production body prototypes on the new body have been spotted out testing. Details ...

We previously shared with you spy photos of the upcoming 5 Series touring models in mule form, which were based on the current F11 touring body. Today, the first full production body prototypes on the new body have been spotted out testing. Details such as the window lines and lights are all new. This particular prototype is a plug-in hybrid model and reflects BMW’s plans to offer a hybrid version of each of its core models. Like the next generation G30 5 Series Sedan, the touring model will also be built upon the CLAR platform which combines high-strength steel, aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) construction. The G31 5 Series Touring will launch next year. It’s not yet known whether it will or will not be available in North America.

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Statement by Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG

Ladies and Gentlemen! Today I would like to focus on five main topics: 1.) The development of markets in our major regions; 2.) Our balanced global sales and balanced global production; 3.) The new models at BMW and MINI; 4.) Our key financials for t...

Ladies and Gentlemen! Today I would like to focus on five main topics: 1.) The development of markets in our major regions; 2.) Our balanced global sales and balanced global production; 3.) The new models at BMW and MINI; 4.) Our key financials for the first half of the year; 5.) A first outlook on our strategy process.

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Before we begin, allow me to express some initial thoughts. There are still numerous challenges for our business development. Repeatedly, the Chinese experienced turbulent days on the mainland stock markets. The situation in BRIKT markets such as Russia and Brazil also remains tense. Furthermore, there are numerous economic and political uncertainties that present a risk to the global economy and also affect the automotive industry. Also, our industry must reduce carbon emissions further in line with regulatory requirements, which means a further large financial investment. Be assured, at the BMW Group, our actions will always be guided by a focus on the long-term. And it is always our goal to set the company on the right course for the future. That’s why we are constantly adapting. How do we plan to secure our future success? What do our customers need and desire? With which product innovations and services can we differentiate ourselves from the competition? All of these questions are being reviewed in our current strategy process. Let’s move on to the first main topic. How did the automobile markets and our company sales develop in the major world regions in the first half of 2015? First: Europe. The trend in new registrations is generally positive. Markets such as Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland even experienced strong growth in the first six months. At approximately 44 percent of all vehicles sold, Europe still remains our largest sales region. With 488,000 vehicles delivered, the BMW Group grew 9.5 percent in Europe in the first half of the year. Second: The Americas. In the Americas, our sales also climbed by 9.5 percent. In the U.S., we delivered over 242,300 cars and BMW Group sales grew 9.6%, which was twice the rate of the total U.S. car market. The generally positive mood among consumers in the United States is reflected in the automotive market. At the same time, competition is becoming even more intense. Many OEMs are currently transferring volume to the US, with a corresponding impact on prices. Third: Asia and China. In Asia, we delivered around 337,000 vehicles, an increase of 4.4 percent year-on-year. In China, however, the development towards normalization of growth has accelerated. As the development is picking up pace, it also affects the exceptionally high growth rates in vehicle sales of the past few years. We always emphasized that this development could be expected and we anticipated this situation in our planning. In the first six months of 2015, we sold over 230,700 cars in China, up 2.3 percent from the previous year’s six-month figure. China will remain an important market for us with great potential. We are stepping up the number of locally produced BMW models in order to tailor our offering even better to the demands of Chinese customers. Fourth: BRIKT countries. In some emerging countries there is still a strong downward trend in new car sales. This is the case with Brazil and Russia. However, BMW Group’s sales figures in Brazil have risen for the past three years. In Russia they have declined. All this shows that the development in the global automotive markets remains uneven. Clearly, this means there continue to be opportunities, but there are also challenges. And now we come to the second main topic. We continue to follow a strategy of balanced global sales. This allows us to offset temporary market fluctuations. For this – more than ever – we need a globally balanced and locally strong production network. Our global production network currently consists of 30 production sites in 14 countries – to ensure that our production will continue to be distributed evenly among the major world regions: Europe with sites in Germany, Great Britain and Austria as well as contract production in Austria and the Netherlands. Asia with our plants in Shenyang and Tiexi in China as well as our plant in India. And the Americas with our U.S. site in Spartanburg and our new plant in Brazil. With the expansion of our Spartanburg site and our new plant in Mexico, we are strengthening and expanding our production base in North America. This capacity increase is the prerequisite of future growth as well as a way to improve our natural hedging. Spartanburg is receiving an investment of one billion U.S. dollars between 2014 and 2016. By the end of 2016, we will be able to produce over 450,000 vehicles per year at the site. At that point, Spartanburg will be the largest plant in our global production network. The expansion is also a response to the continuing trend towards SUVs. At present, the X lineup accounts for almost one in three BMWs sold. With new models such as the X7 we are going to expand our offering “made in Spartanburg”. Our new plant in Mexico is the perfect addition to the U.S. facility. It is scheduled to start production in 2019 with a planned capacity of 150,000 units annually. In San Luis Potosí, we are going to invest one billion U.S. dollars over the next few years as well. In doing so, we are stepping up our presence in the NAFTA region, and Mexico with its numerous bilateral and regional free trade agreements is a location with a particularly promising future. According to forecasts, the global automotive market is expected to grow in the coming years – from about 80 million new registrations in 2014 to more than 90 to almost 100 million units in 2020. We want to participate in this future growth and our highly flexible global production network provides the foundation for this. Now to our third main topic. Our strong and attractive premium brands are what makes our cars so appealing to customers all around the world. Today, the positioning of the BMW brand is broader and more diversified than ever before. The portfolio ranges from BMW i to the BMW core brand and BMW M. Our customers demand both sustainable and high-performance models. In the first six months of 2015, we sold 12,500 electrically powered BMW i3 and i8 cars; in other words, sales more than doubled compared to the prior year period. In the first half of the year, we also delivered over 30,500 BMW M and M Performance models to customers. In total, we delivered over 1.099 million BMW Group vehicles to customers in the first half of 2015. Never before has the BMW Group sold so many cars in the first six months of a year. The BMW and MINI brands achieved new all-time highs. Rolls-Royce posted the second best first six-month sales to date. BMW remains the number one in the premium segment. BMW Motorrad achieved the best first half of a year on record, with more than 78,400 units sold. For our core brand BMW, 2015 is under the banner of the new BMW 7 Series. The positive feedback of the global media attests to the groundbreaking character of the sixth generation of our 7 Series as well as to the innovative strength of the BMW Group. The response from the media underscores the supreme balance of perfect driving experience, connectivity and comfort. This perfect balance is what we consider contemporary luxury. Besides the new BMW 7 Series, our customers have a wide choice of attractive new models. The all-new BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer went on sale in June. It is the first BMW in the premium compact class with up to seven seats. The BMW 3 Series has been the heart of the BMW brand for 40 years now. The model update of the BMW 3 Series – consisting of the Sedan, Touring and M3 – came out in late July. Fall will see the market launch of the new BMW X1 – with a head-up display and additional driver assistance systems. This second generation of the X1 is based on our front-wheel drive architecture. Another launch in fall will be the highly efficient BMW X5 xDrive40e. As a first, this Sports Activity Vehicle combines an all-wheel drive with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. It is the first in a forthcoming wide range of plug-in hybrids in BMW’s model series. The MINI brand currently has a young portfolio. Customers love the MINI 3-door and 5-door variants. Sales doubled in the first six months of 2015, compared with the previous year. Only a few weeks ago, we presented the new MINI Clubman to the media. With its strong, unique character, it is one of the models that will define MINI in the future. Overall, BMW and MINI are launching 15 new models and model revisions this year – almost as many as in 2014, our record launch year. The high demand for our brands is and will remain the cornerstone of our success. And now to the fourth main point: Our key financials for the first six months of the current business year are as follows: For the first time, we posted earnings before interest and tax of over 5 billion euros in the first six months of the year. The pre-tax Group result reached more than 4.8 billion euros, slightly above the level of the prior year period. The Group net profit in the period under report stood at 3.2 billion euros. At 8.9 percent, the EBIT margin in the Automotive segment was within the anticipated profitability range. Therefore we are on track to achieve our targets for the full year. More specifically: A solid increase in Group sales. A solid increase in pre-tax Group result. An EBIT margin in the Automotive segment in the target range of 8 to 10 percent. Our forecast is based on the assumption that overall market and political conditions in our business environment will not deteriorate. Dr. Eichiner will talk more about our forecast in a moment. The decisive question that guides our actions is: What kind of company do we want to be in the future and how do we set the right course? In fall 2007, we adopted our Strategy Number ONE which guides us up to 2020. Since then, many trends have intensified or accelerated dramatically. Above all, digitalization and the associated technical possibilities, are set to change the automobile and its fundamental role in our society. The new BMW 7 Series with its cutting-edge innovations is the perfect example of this. Digitalization will also change the whole process of industrialization in our sector. The car could be viewed as the largest mobile data storage and will be an essential element of the “Internet of Things”. Following the technological change towards sustainable mobility, this is the next radical change for our industry. We regard new technological trends above all as new opportunities – for the car, our industry and customers. Based on this, we are currently conducting a comprehensive update of our strategy. At this stage it is still too early to go into further detail. For us, “speed” is important, but it is more important to look at possible trends and carefully analyze them both from a qualitative and quantitative point of view. The goal is to align our strategy with future challenges up to the year 2025 and beyond. With ConnectedDrive, Future Retail, DriveNow and digital services, we offer customers a wide range of services and connectivity. For a long time now, we have been far more than just a vehicle manufacturer. The acquisition of Nokia’s mapping and location services business, HERE, by the three German premium car companies is a further strategic step. The acquisition is intended to secure the long term availability of HERE’s products and services as an open, independent and value creating platform for cloud-based maps and other mobility services. This platform is and will be accessible to all customers from the automotive industry and other sectors. HERE will play a key role in the digital revolution of mobility, combining high definition maps and data from vehicles to make travel safer and easier for everyone. HERE is laying the foundations for the next generation of mobility and location based services. For the automotive industry this is the basis for new assistance systems and, ultimately, fully autonomous driving. As you can see: We are taking strategic decisions with a long-term perspective. We are aligning our business model to the complex challenges of today and tomorrow. We also continue to invest in the company – in our products and brands, new services and our production sites worldwide. We will continue to adapt the BMW Group to meet future challenges. And our company will further strengthen its position as a provider of individual mobility in the premium segment. In this area, we also intend to be the leader. Thank you for your attention! The article Statement by Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG appeared first on BMW BLOG

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