BMW is an old company, having just recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary. While it’s not the oldest car company, with brands like Mercedes-Benz and Ford being a bit older, it’s among the oldest. Despite that, it’s a company that still thinks like a young one. It’s still keeping an eye toward the future, while also adhering to its traditions. So despite its age, BMW still very much considers itself youthful enough for the electric future.
According to Hildegard Wortmann, now the senior vice president of BMW Group’s Asia-Pacific region, “We came from a long legacy – the BMW brand is over 100 years old. Now we are transforming into a hi-tech company, and the transformation is really exciting. BMW i, launched in 2012, reflected a strong visionary view on what needed to be done, what needed to be explored. It shows what the premium brand should be – it is not just a product, but also about the leadership and strategy,”
A lot of enthusiasts might roll their eyes at that statement. While it’s true that BMW did seem like a leader in electric mobility when the i Division first launched, its efforts have fallen short ever since. In fact, BMW is now far behind even one of its main German rivals in Audi. It’s clear that BMW needs a bit of an electric overhaul. Wortmann seems to recognize this and hints that BMW does as well.
“Importantly, it needs to have the strong capability to reflect on yourself, your business, your product portfolios and adapters. It takes a lot of conscious decisions and courage, because sometimes you have to let go. And a heavy financial investment, several billion euros every year spent in research and development into future technologies,” she said, speaking about the brand’s ability to adapt.
That’s encouraging to hear, as BMW needs to rethink its i Division and strategy, it seems. While BMW is busy showing use autonomous crossovers destined for 2021 releases, rival brands are launching fully electric and very exciting cars that are available right now. For instance, the Tesla Model 3, Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron are all available for purchase right now. All three are fully electric cars with over 200 miles of range. BMW has not a single full-EV that can sniff 200 miles of range.
However, while it seems bleak, Wortmann seems to be hinting at the fact that BMW recognizes the situation its in and is going to make some changes. And for a 100 year old company, it’s surprisingly adaptable and ready to change. It still has some spark.[Source: Nation Multimedia]