BMW GROUP PRESS CONFERENCE AT THE 42ND TOKYO MOTOR SHOW







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: December 1, 2011
Categories: BMW, MINI Corporate News

Dr. Ian Robertson (HonDSc), Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing, Dr. Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development, BMW Group press conference at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show, Tokyo, November 30, 2011

Dr. Ian Robertson (HonDSc)

Konnichiwa, herzlich willkommen… welcome! It's great to be here in Japan — a country that has earned the world's respect for bringing us tomorrow's technologies, today. For the BMW Group - a company focused on bringing future innovations to life - this is impressive.

Our pursuit to create vehicles with the perfect balance of innovation, design, and dynamic driving has led to another sales record to date. Up to the end of October, the BMW Group sold nearly 1.37 million vehicles worldwide. And I fully expect we'll achieve our target of selling a record of more than 1.6 million vehicles in 2011.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of BMW in Japan. And we have been celebrating with solid sales growth. In the year up to the end of October, sales have increased by 8%. Our consistent performance here puts us in a good position to hold onto the title: number one premium import car brand in Japan.

The BMW Group's relationship with Japan extends, of course, to our hundreds of associates. As well, over a number of years, we've built close relationships with our supplier network in Japan. This collaboration is important to the BMW Group, given the amount of innovation coming from suppliers here. And underlying this is our collective focus on ever more sustainable mobility.

In fact, the BMW Group has been recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index as the most sustainable car company in the world. 2011 marks 7 years in a row that we’ve earned this title. What really sets us apart is that we offer our customers sustainable mobility and sheer driving pleasure.

We offer a more powerful fleet of cars with fewer CO2 emissions than any other premium car company. As well, the BMW Group’s global commitment to sustainability extends across our entire company, from:

  • Our US plant where methane gas from a nearby landfill is used for around half its energy needs; to
  • Engaging in over 200 cultural and social projects worldwide for over 40 years; to
  • Achieving ongoing, steady growth.

Our commitment to sustainability is also clear in this vehicle. It's fitting that the world premiere for our next ActiveHybrid is right here in Tokyo. After all, Japan is the land that has made hybrid cars so well known.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, here it is - the world premiere of the BMW ActiveHybrid 5!

We expect many of these to be sold right here in Japan. And we know Japanese customers have particularly high expectations when it comes to hybrid technology. So they’ll be happy to know that the ActiveHybrid 5 is one of the world's most powerful and most efficient full-hybrid model in its segment.

The combination of 340 horsepower and CO2 emissions of 149 grams per kilometre is unparalleled. And some more great news: you won't have to wait long to experience this hybrid for yourself. The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 will launch in the spring of 2012.

To tell you more about what makes this car so unique, please welcome my colleague, Klaus Draeger.

Dr. Klaus Draeger

As a full-hybrid, the new 5 Series Hybrid fits our brand values perfectly:

  • It delivers the sportiest driving performance in its competitive market; and
  • It achieves a substantial reduction in fuel consumption compared with a BMW 535i.

This car sprints from zero to 100 kilometres an hour in 5.9 seconds. But it has an average fuel consumption of only 6.4 litres per hundred kilometres. The ActiveHybrid 5 has a six-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. And this petrol engine is combined with an electric motor. This enables fully-electric driving at speeds of up to 60 kilometres per hour. Even more, it also boosts acceleration.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are living in times of change. The automotive industry itself is also changing - moving towards an age of emission-free driving. We are playing an active part in shaping this change. And our aim is to remain number one during this next phase of mobility.

Because of this, we are taking two approaches at the same time: evolution and revolution. For us this means:

  • Continuing to optimise combustion engines.
  • And pursuing sustainable mobility.

What do I mean by evolution? We have been using our Efficient Dynamics technology package for years. It has helped us to lower the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of our entire fleet.

And what about revolution? Today is the Asian premiere of our BMW i3 and BMW i8 concept cars. Both cars are loaded with technologies that showcase a new kind of individual mobility. Ladies and Gentlemen: the BMW i Concept Cars!

The BMW i3 is fully electric-powered. With a range of about 150 kilometres, it is perfect for driving around big cities like Tokyo and Yokohama. There are two things in particular I would like to note about this car:

  • Its innovative vehicle architecture, and
  • Its electric drive system.

First of all, the vehicle architecture: The BMW i3 Concept is based on a revolutionary, new vehicle architecture - we call Life-Drive. This is what makes the car so light and agile, as well as safe and spacious.

Think of the LifeDrive concept like this: The body is divided into two separate modules. The "Drive" module consists of a chassis built of aluminium. It houses the powertrain, including a lithium-ion battery.

It also holds the power electronics and a compact but powerful electric motor.

On top of the "Drive" module sits the "Life" module. The passenger cell, or “Life” module, is built out of carbon fibre. This material is not only extremely light, but also very sturdy and rigid. Our BMW i3 Concept will be the world's first major series vehicle with a body built largely of weight-saving carbon fibre. It represents a true revolution in automotive engineering.

The electric drive train and power electronics in the BMW i3 were developed entirely in-house by BMW. After all, building engines has always been a part of our core strength: The i3 accelerates from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in less than eight seconds.

As well, the battery of the BMW i3 can be fully recharged in six hours from a standard outlet. If a fast charger is used, an 80% charge can be achieved in just one hour. The production of this car will start at the end of 2013.

Now let's move on to the BMW i8 Concept. In this vehicle, the LifeDrive architecture has been configured to give it the character of a sports car. The BMW i8's two drive systems are integrated into the front and rear axle modules. Everything comes together in the "life" module, which – just like the i3 - is built of carbon fibre.

The i8 combines an electric motor at the front axle with a high-performance 3-cylinder petrol engine at the rear axle. The BMW i8 offers:

  • fully-electric driving,
  • a combination of electric power and combustion engine, or
  • Driving with combustion engine only.

This delivers the performance of a sports car with the fuel consumption of a small car. This means:

  • Acceleration from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in less than five seconds; and
  • Fuel consumption of only 2.7 litres per 100 kilometres, which is equivalent to only 66 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

It also brings a set of brand new technologies, including laser headlights — a first for the auto industry. The i8 uses lasers to create headlights much brighter than LEDs, but use only half the power.

The BMW i8 is a new generation of sports car - pure, emotional and sustainable. I am sure that our Japanese customers will be impressed. And speaking of customers: It is time for me to hand back to our head of Sales and Marketing, Ian Robertson.

Dr. Ian Robertson (HonDSc)

Customers' needs were very much a part of creating BMW i. It's predicted that 60% of the world will be living in cities just 20 years from now. At the same time, we strongly believe there will always be a need for individual mobility - and especially sustainable mobility.

Because of this, we've taken a new approach to BMW i. The cars were purpose designed around an electric powertrain: Born Electric. And the supply chain was planned with sustainability in mind:

  • We have a hydro-electric powered carbon fibre plant in the US; and
  • Wind turbines that will supply energy for i3 and i8 production in Germany.

As part of developing the upcoming i3 and i8, we've been conducting field trials around the world. You may have even seen a few all-electric MINI Es on the road recently. The field trial began in Tokyo in the first few months of 2011 and has been recently expanded to Osaka.

The initial findings are clear: MINI E users in Japan have genuinely embraced the technology. They´re excited about the idea of having both premium and sustainable mobility.

The i3 and i8 will offer a totally new vehicle concept in the near future. But we're also bringing sustainable, premium mobility to Japan today.

We'll offer customers more full-hybrid models. As well, the Japanese premiere of the X5 BluePerformance marks the start of our new focus on bringing diesel engines to this market. There's no doubt: we're bringing the most advanced fuel saving technology to Japan.

The BMW Group is shaping tomorrow's mobility, today.