The Paris Motor Show just kicked off today, with most of the world’s automotive journalists attending it, even if a number of manufacturers decided to skip this year’s venue. Among them you’ll find BMW that decided it was wiser to keep most of its management in Munich instead, to discuss the future of the brand in today’s climate. The only high-ranking official present in Paris for media interviews is Ian Robertson, the head of sales and marketing of the Bavarian brand.
Speaking to mass-media on the sidelines of the show, Robertson made a couple of statements about the possible prospects for BMW and why the German line-up is so light this year. According to Car Advice, the official said that the company he’s representing is quickly changing in order to keep up with the advancements on technology but also to make sure there’s a tomorrow for our future generations.
“We are one of the world’s, if not the most successful automotive company and we are rapidly becoming a technology company,” said Robertson, clearly hinting at future autonomous and electric vehicles that are considered by many the future of the automotive industry. And the signs are there. From skipping the biggest fall auto show in Europe to signing new deals with tech companies, BMW is clearly looking to bring out more and more technology either imbued within its cars or as auxiliary systems.
“At the end of the day we are a company that is a 100 years old, but as we’ve said with our vision vehicles we are looking forward at this point in time, [but] the DNA of BMW was always innovation and technology, it’s defined in different ways as tech or technology today and that’s what we are, that’s what we’ve always been, that’s what our brand stands for and that’s what or customers expect, so you can expect us to keep pushing those boundaries, so the fact that we now have thousands of software engineers… that’s part the development,” he added.
Part of this development includes working with age-old rivals like Audi and Mercedes-Benz to create a better map of the world’s roads that can then be used for autonomous vehicles. After acquiring the former Nokia HERE mapping system, the three German companies are currently hard at work to bring out their respective production autonomous vehicles. BMW already announced that their first experiment in this regard will come by 2021.