Geneva Motor Show: BMW Group Press Conference

Auto Shows | March 4th, 2009 by 2

Here is the full transcript of the BMW Group Press Conference that took place yesterday in Geneva. The speakers were Dr. Norbert Reithofer – Chairman …

Here is the full transcript of the BMW Group Press Conference that took place yesterday in Geneva. The speakers were Dr. Norbert Reithofer – Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Dr. Klaus Draeger – Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG Development, Ian Robertson – Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing.

Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG

Ladies and Gentlemen—

Bonjour and welcome to the BMW stand! BMW has created history in Geneva. Exactly two years ago, we presented Efficient Dynamics here for the first time. And back then, I promised you that we would combine a maximum of “sheer driving pleasure” with a minimum of fuel consumption.

And that’s exactly why we can already offer our customers Premium Selection used cars with these advanced fuel-saving technologies.

Today I can say:
First: The BMW Group builds the most efficient premium cars worldwide. On average, our customers save one liter of fuel per 100 kilometers compared to our competitors.

Second: The BMW Group has reduced its fleet’s carbon emissions more than any other manufacturer. Our EU fleet consumption decreased by over 25 percent between 1995 and 2008. We walked the talk and fulfilled the ACEA voluntary commitment. And now we are making our contribution to meeting the EU’s emission performance targets for 2012 and 2015.
Third: The BMW Group’s EU fleet emits an average of 156 grams of CO2 per kilometer. This is significantly below the fleet emissions of other premium manufacturers.
Fourth: Each new BMW and MINI model will be equipped with EfficientDynamics. We will keep adding new chapters to the story.

What you see right now is not simply a shower of license plates. These plates represent our achievements. Each one stands for a BMW or MINI model that either complies with the EU5 emission requirements, or already meets the EU6 standard, or emits a maximum of 140 grams of CO2.

In other words: Practically our entire model portfolio already falls into one of these categories.

For example, with the BMW 1 Series, customers can choose between 19 models that are EU5 compliant. Among them is the “World Green Car of the Year”—the BMW 118d. And today, we are presenting an even “greener” BMW. Premium means sustainable. This is the BMW brand’s new entry-level diesel model—the 116d!

At present, the BMW 116d is the car with the lowest fuel consumption and the lowest emissions in the BMW portfolio. It has an average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 4.4 liters and 118 grams of CO2. This model was launched a few days ago.

Apart from efficiency, design remains a critical factor in buying decisions. Our customers expect us to be excellent in both areas. I am delighted to present to you the European premiere of the new BMW Z4.

BMW is renowned for being a trendsetter in Design. The new Z4 is a perfect example of this.
And I promise you: in the coming years we will present even more new exciting designs for you.
The new Z4 is the first BMW roadster with a two-piece retractable hardtop. With the push of a button, the top opens or closes in only 20 seconds. Spring is on its way—and along with it the convertible season. My recommendation would be: Let BMW ConnectedDrive find the appropriate route for your convertible tour.

Just like our strategy of Efficient Dynamics, cars such as the new Z4 and the BMW 116d show: We at BMW are consistently redefining mobility for our customers. My colleague Klaus Draeger will now present our latest innovative BMW vehicle concept. This is the world premiere of the BMW Concept 5 Series Gran Turismo!

Dr. Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development

Ladies and Gentlemen—

BMW has frequently founded new segments and successfully positioned itself in niche markets. We always put the customers and their demands first. This is why we want to show our customers again and again that we can offer them even better and more sophisticated solutions.

With the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, BMW is once again creating a completely new segment in the automotive market. Today we are celebrating the world debut of a concept car which is the near-series implementation of the Progressive Activity Sedan.

This new vehicle concept will complement the existing BMW 5 Series model line. It combines the characteristics of a prestigious sedan, the functionality and space of an SAV and elements of a traditional Gran Turismo.

This extremely versatile vehicle is the only one of its kind on the market right now. This is premium at its most innovative.

So what are the highlights?

Let’s take a look at the interior first: This car is not only luxurious, but also highly versatile. It offers absolutely comfortable seating and a slightly elevated seating position. The rear seats can be rearranged as you please. Passengers in the back enjoy the legroom of a BMW 7 Series and the headroom of a large SAV. With the series vehicle, we will offer individual rear seats or a rear seat bench for three people. Just like a sedan, the Gran Turismo’s trunk is separate and has a two-piece trunk lid. When you fold down the rear seats, its volume expands to 1,650 liters.

When you look at the exterior, two things are most striking: its coupe-like silhouette with the four frameless door-windows and the large panorama roof.

Briefly, I would like to mention three crucial elements: the spatial comfort with a slightly elevated seating position, the surprising functionality and the outstanding design. One thing is for sure: The 5 Series Gran Turismo is a true BMW. Of course the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is equipped with our EfficientDynamics measures.

Which target group do we wish to attract with this vehicle? In a nutshell: People who appreciate great travel comfort. People who look for a modern car that adapts to their everyday needs and not vice versa.

This is a near-series concept car. The series model with a choice of four or five seats will be available in Europe in November.

We consider innovations the key to a successful future. This applies to both our innovative vehicle concepts, such as the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, as well as our new drive concepts developed in the framework of Efficient Dynamics.

This includes the electric drive train. We also offer convincing solutions in this field—as Dr. Reithofer and Ian Robertson are about to demonstrate.

Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG

Driving pleasure without emissions—this is not a vision any more. Here is the first MINI with a fully electric drive train! 500 customers in L.A. and New York will be testing the MINI E in everyday urban life. And soon the MINI E will also appear on the roads of big cities in Europe.

So the BMW Group has the largest electric car fleet right now!

And we also have a competitive advantage in terms of technology—concerning the lithium-ion battery, the reach and the performance of the 204-horsepower MINI E.

Ian, how far can the MINI E go before it needs a pit stop?

Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing

Up to 250 kilometers. This means, you could travel from this place to Basel, Lucerne or to Turin or go for a trip around Lake Geneva.