The Spun Bearing: Tesla and BMW Talking, BMW Cost Cutting, and TV Car Stars

Interesting | June 23rd, 2014 by 0
Tesla Model S vs BMW M5 750x500

Tesla and BMW Talking

And the question is, talking about what; with the most likely answer being charging infrastructure. Tesla has given a great deal of thought to the charging infrastructure issues, particularly in the US.
BMW has done some odds and ends with recharging infrastructure but it makes sense that manufacturers rationalize the charging experience. The issues would be what charge rate variations can exist within the recharging points to satisfy the requirements of different vehicles.
It would be interesting to see if BMW can take advantage of the Tesla Supercharger infrastructure. If you visit Tesla’s Supercharger web page ( you can see how they go about attempting to mitigate the ‘rate of refuelling’ knock on electric vehicles.
bmw i3 vs tesla s 750x750

BMW Cost Cutting

I read the article in BMWBLOG regarding BMW’s announced attempt to cut over $5 billion in costs out over the next several years with trepidation. Cost cutting is often the last resort of a company in serious financial trouble – and BMW is nowhere near being in financial trouble.
They do however want to increase their return to a target rate that they are falling just short of currently. To do that they’ve enlisted the help of McKinsey & Company. This signals that the cost cutting won’t be based on a target kicked downstairs, but rather will involve a systematic review of all procedures and processes. Having been through a McKinsey & Company cost cutting exercise in a former life, I can say that they will leave no stone unturned.
Looking at the numbers though, here’s what I see. They intend to cut the $5 billion over five years (effectively 2015 through 2020). Currently BMW manufactures 2,000,000 vehicles a year. Over the life of the cost cutting process they hope to basically drive $500 in cost out of every vehicle they make – not necessarily by de-contenting (a bad way to cut) but through examining every opportunity to save on the processes that can be optimized or eliminated.
This will be a difficult and sometimes trying process, I wish them luck as they embark on this journey. (The implication, of course, is they’ll need some luck.)

TV Car Stars
Halle Berry driving a BMW i3 03 750x560

The mention of the i3 and i8 taking on supporting roles in Steven Spielberg’s TV series, “Extant”, brought a smile to my face. First smile was at the hint of a robot/human ‘humanich’, ‘Oh noes!!1! The singularity is upon us!11!!’, and then I remembered some other ‘special’ cars that starred in TV shows (and laughed). Of course, the German heartthrob David Hasselhoff’s KITT – a re-imaged futuristic Pontiac Firebird, came immediately to mind.

But an even odder one was remembered, it was a Chevrolet Lumina APV in some short lived early ’90s TV series set in the future. It must have been some dreary dystopian dream to feature a ‘dustbuster’ as the face of the future.