BMW Group Press Conference at Auto Shanghai 2013, speeches of board members Dr. Herbert Diess and Dr. Ian Robertson and Karsten Engel, CEO of China
Mr. Karsten Engel:
Good morning! 2012 was a great year for the BMW Group in China: we sold more BMWs and MINIs here than ever before. Our sales and service network continued to expand as well. Today we have more than 370 authorized BMW dealerships here and I am excited to announce that we will also be growing the presence of BMW Motorrad in China.
BMW’s strong performance goes hand in hand with our growing commitment to this market. A decade ago, we established our production presence in China. Since then, we have invested 1.5 billion Euros in our production facilities with our joint venture partner, Brilliance Automotive and our close cooperation with BBA
continues. Just last week, together we announced ZINORO, a new car brand designed for the Chinese market. Underpinning BMW’s activities in China is not only our strategy development through the BBA joint venture, but also our exclusive partnership with Brilliance Automotive.
Returning to the BMW brand, we recently opened our new BMW Brand Experience Center Shanghai. It showcases the past, present, and future of BMW. Along with our growing business success, we believe our commitment to corporate social responsibility should increase as well. This is why we support social programs through the BMW Warm Heart Fund platform. This Fund is committed to a variety of activities from cultural promotion to educational support here in China.
To stay on the right track towards achieving ongoing growth in China, the BMW Group remains focused on creating revolutionary, aesthetic, and sustainable vehicles. To tell you more about our approach, please welcome the Head of Development at BMW AG, Dr. Herbert Diess.
Dr. Herbert Diess
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen! You’re looking at the future of individual mobility. These are still concept vehicles, but we are bringing series production versions to the road later this year.
With China’s large number of urban areas and the driving habits of customers here, this country is a great place for electro-mobility. The forthcoming BMW i3 and BMW i8 are revolutionary vehicles, purpose-built around an electric power train using Life / Drive architecture.
Life / Drive is an entirely new vehicle concept, making the i3 and i8 truly unique. The Life module is a new way of creating the car’s body. It is made out of carbon fiber — a first for series production in the auto industry.
The Drive module is made using lightweight aluminum and it houses the batteries. The low center of gravity is ideal for performance and handling. With our Life / Drive concept and powerful electric drivetrains, BMW i models deliver a new dimension of Sheer Driving Pleasure – especially for urban areas.
Beyond the revolutionary vehicles themselves, the BMW Group is approaching sustainable mobility from a holistic perspective. This means striving to make the BMW i value chain as sustainable as possible, including:
- A Hydro-electric powered facility making carbon fiber for the cars;
- A wind energy powered production line; and
- Assistance with home charging options for our customers using the BMW i
The BMW Group is rewriting the book on sustainable mobility and BMW i is the first chapter. The BMW Group remains focused on the future. We are always working on new products for more customers. At the same time, we aim to offer our customers more ways to experience Sheer Driving Pleasure today. This next vehicle sets out to do just that. Here for its Chinese premiere: the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo!
Right away, it is clear: The Gran Turismo combines the 3 Series Sedan’s dynamics with the functionality of the 3 Series Touring. From the exterior you can see its Coupe-like roofline and a frameless greenhouse. Its generous dimensions give passengers a luxurious sense of space and plenty of legroom.
As well, the seating positions are elevated, allowing for a better view and easier entry and exit from the vehicle. The new 3 Series Gran Turismo is also very practical with 520 liters of cargo space and a wide-opening trunk lid. It looks fantastic and it is highly functional — so the next question is: How does it perform?
There is no doubt the 3 Series GT is made to be driven. With BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology, the engines available are powerful, cutting-edge, and efficient.
This includes the BMW 335i GT with 306 horsepower: Performance you can experience when the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo comes to market in mid June. Innovative concepts like the new GT put BMW in the lead. In a moment, my colleague, Ian Robertson, will tell you more about our global success. But first — to make sure we stay out in front — is an innovative new concept: Our next world premiere.
Dr. Ian Robertson
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I’m delighted to be back in Shanghai — especially with the BMW Group’s ongoing, strong sales in China. Last year’s performance brought momentum into 2013. First quarter sales in Mainland China increased 8% year over year with 86,000 vehicles sold from January up to the end of March.
Our performance in China, of course, plays a role in the BMW Group’s balanced
global success. We delivered over 448,000 vehicles to customers worldwide in the year up to the end of March. This is our best ever first quarter in sales. This strong performance further confirms that our balanced global strategy is the right one.
Underpinning our worldwide success is the BMW Group’s engineering and design-based focus and we bring this focus into every vehicle through the rare combination of creativity and foresight.
Time and again, we not only envisage new concepts, but also develop new segments with truly innovative vehicles. The most recent example is right here celebrating its world premiere in Shanghai, the BMW Concept X4.
Just like its big brother — the BMW X6 — the Concept X4 represents the first
Sports Activity Coupe in its class. With its low profile and dramatic roofline, you can see it has the DNA of a BMW Coupe — but the wide stance and muscular build leave no doubt it’s a BMW X vehicle.
The unique character of the Concept X4 also offers fresh interpretations of BMW’s iconic design language. You can see the Corona headlights open up to visually connect the lights and kidney grill, creating a wider front presence. As your eyes glide along the side contours, you’ll be drawn to the highly dynamic Hofmeister kink at the rear.
The new Concept X4 shows yet again that BMW is always looking ahead, offering our customers the most emotional, innovative, and desirable vehicles available. This pioneering spirit is also captured in the entire X Family of vehicles, which continue to set the benchmark.
Even as it takes BMW’s design language a step forward, it’s obvious the BMW
Concept X4 is right at home with its siblings. After all, the BMW X Family of vehicles were the first and they remain in the lead when it comes to innovation, sportiness, and design.
Back in 1999, we were celebrating the launch of a brand new concept for premium vehicles: the BMW X5. The BMW Group made the bold decision to create a new premium segment — the Sports Activity Vehicle — and hasn’t looked back since.
A few years later, the BMW X3 was a trailblazer as the first vehicle in its class. The ongoing global success of the X3 and the X5 convinced us the world was ready for a powerful and dynamically aesthetic vehicle like no other.
The result, in 2008, was the world’s first Sports Activity Coupe, the BMW X6.
Just a year later, the BMW X model line-up continued growing from strength to
strength with the BMW X1. The proverb, “fortune favors the bold”, fits the BMW X Family perfectly. To date, over 2.7 million X models have been sold around the globe. And today, one in four new BMWs sold worldwide is an X model. With the BMW X4 available for delivery in 2014, I’m confident this number will grow.