AutoNews: Why BMW is ‘no longer just a car company’

News | March 24th, 2011 by 4
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Paul McVeigh of Automotive News Europe writes an interesting article on BMW’s transformation from just a car company to an enterprise that offer different services.

In an interview for AutoNews, Ian Roberton, BMW sales and marketing chief, said the company “is no longer just an auto company.” Robertson further explored the subject by adding that BMW aims to become a “mobility solution provider” as well and the new car-sharing program is just the beginning.

Earlier this week, BMW launched the DriveNow car-sharing services which aims to sign around 1 million customers by 2020.  BMW wants to capitalize on the Y-generation that lives in large cities and have less desire to own a car. DriveNow gives people access to cars on-demand, similar to the Zipcar program offered in the U.S., or the Mercedes’ Car2Go.

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If a sell can’t take place, BMW is looking to introduce a new revenue stream with the DriveNow program. A study by Frost & Sullivan says that by 2025, 60 percent of the global population will be urban, therefore traffic congestions and pollution will decrease the number of cars sold.

Just a month ago, BMW unveiled their new sub-brand “i”, as well as their BMW i Ventures Fund aimed at mobile developers. As AutoNews mentions as well, BMW plans to become a “mobility solutions provider.”

In-car connectivity is also a hot topic within BMW and for the first time at an auto show, there more ConnectedDrive engineers than designers. The Vision ConnectedDrive showcased the capabilities within a car rather than focusing on thee exterior design.

In order to evolve, BMW has to expand its reach into different areas, therefore expect more unique initiatives to come out of the Munich Headquarter.