DriveNow now becomes wholly owned subsidiary of BMW Group

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Munich. With the acquisition of Sixt SE’s stake in DriveNow, the BMW Group continues its systematic development as a customer-centric mobility company. Today’s signing is subject to approval by antitrust authorities. With this move, the world’s leading provider of premium mobility is offering customers efficient, sustainable mobility solutions from a single source. The rapidly growing field of mobility services is one of the cornerstones of the BMW Group’s corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, as evidenced by the BMW Group expanding its offering in the areas of on-demand mobility (DriveNow and ReachNow), parking (ParkNow) and charging (ChargeNow) in a sustainable way. The acquisition of the Sixt shares is therefore the next logical step in this strategy, following the acquisition of Parkmobile LLC in early January of this year, a move which made the BMW Group the world’s leading provider of digital parking solutions.

“We have achieved extraordinary success with DriveNow over the past seven years – thanks to the efforts of the DriveNow employees and the excellent cooperation with our joint venture partner, Sixt. Sixt will remain a strong partner for us in the future,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad, Customer Engagement and Digital Business Innovation BMW Group. “Our aim is to win 100 million customers for our premium mobility services by 2025. With DriveNow as a wholly-owned subsidiary, we have all options for continued strategic development of our services in our hands. Our experience with mobility services supports our development of future autonomous, electrified and connected fleets,” Schwarzenbauer continued.

Independently of the acquisition of the Sixt stake in DriveNow, the BMW Group and Sixt will continue their successful long-standing partnership through delivery of BMW and MINI vehicles for the Sixt fleet.

“The joint development of DriveNow impressively demonstrates the innovative strength of Sixt and the BMW Group. We would like to thank the DriveNow employees and the BMW Group for this success and look forward to continuing our strategic partnership with the BMW Group through our contracts for delivery of BMW and MINI brand vehicles”, said Alexander Sixt, member of the Managing Board of Sixt SE, responsible for Group Strategy.

DriveNow was founded in 2011 as a premium car-sharing joint venture between the BMW Group and Sixt SE. The service is already used by more than one million customers in 13 European cities. The fleet comprises more than 6,000 BMW and MINI brand premium vehicles across Europe. The electric BMW i3 is also available to users at all DriveNow locations.

“In 2017 our customers drove over eight million kilometres with the DriveNow electric fleet – that is equivalent to driving round the globe more than 200 times on electric power. DriveNow not only reduces traffic and improves the parking situation in urban areas, but it is also supporting the breakthrough of electromobility,” said DriveNow Managing Director Sebastian Hofelich. “We look forward to working with our franchise and city partners to continue actively shaping urban mobility in a sustainable manner,” he added.

The BMW Group seeks to improve quality of life in urban areas through its mobility offering. The company works with various partners and decision-makers in cities to help shape the sustainable mobility of the future.

  The BMW Group 

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2017, the BMW Group sold over 2,463,500 passenger vehicles and more than 164,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2016 was approximately € 9.67 billion on revenues amounting to € 94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.

Source BMW Press Release

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BMW Group, in partnership with EVCARD, launches ReachNow car-sharing service in China

The BMW Group, in partnership with EVCARD, a Shanghai-based electric car-sharing company under Global Car-Sharing & Rental Co. Ltd., launches its car-sharing service in Chengdu under the co-brand “ReachNow Powered By EVCARD”.

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 (December 1 2017, Chengdu) — The BMW Group, in partnership with EVCARD, a Shanghai-based electric car-sharing company under Global Car-Sharing & Rental Co. Ltd., launches its car-sharing service in Chengdu under the co-brand “ReachNow Powered By EVCARD”. The mobility service based in the capital city of Southwest China’s Sichuan province will offer station-based premium electric car-sharing. The debut of ReachNow in Asia marks the BMW Group’s first mobility service offering in the Chinese market, aiming to provide new and innovative individual mobility solutions to Chinese customers at the price of 2 RMB per minute with 100 units of pure electric BMW i3 to be in operation.

Dr. Bernhard Blättel, Vice President Mobility and Energy Services at BMW Group, says: “The launch of ReachNow in China contributes to the BMW Group’s vision of future mobility. As China and Chinese customers are playing a crucial role in the transformation of mobility, together with our local partners, we aim to bring our worldwide experience in mobility services to this market. We strive to meet the ever-increasing Chinese customer demands for convenient and sustainable mobility with our premium cars and services. ReachNow Powered By EVCARD is a perfect combination of electro mobility and car-sharing that will also contribute to the sustainable and low-carbon lifestyle in urban areas of China. The official launch of the program in Chengdu represents a new milestone within the BMW Group’s Mobility Services Strategy.”

ReachNow Powered By EVCARD will offer customers in Chengdu a high-end, intelligent and flexible on-demand mobility experience. The combination of EVCARD’s APP with BMW Group’s advanced car-sharing technology will offer users to effortlessly complete the whole process of car-usage without a key, including car reservation, pick up, drop off, start and stop the engine, payment etc. A customer service hotline will be available 24 hours to support users in case of any questions.

By 2018, 25 stations will be available in Chengdu, which will be located around high-end areas such as premium residential and commercial areas, office buildings hosting large companies, government compounds and five-star hotels. Users will need to pick up and drop off the cars within the stations. The fleet of fully electric BMW i3, as the world’s most successful electric vehicle in the premium compact segment since its market launch four years ago, will not only ensure green mobility but also driving pleasure to all ReachNow customers.

As a global leader in innovative mobility, BMW has gained rich experience in the operation of mobility service in Europe as well as in the US. In 2011, the BMW Group launched its first car-sharing service in Europe in partnership with the car rental company SIXT under the brand of DriveNow. The service is now active in 13 European cities with more than one million registered users and over 6,500 BMW and MINI vehicles in operation. Based on this successful model, the BMW Group launched in April 2016 an enhanced car-sharing service in the United States under the ReachNow brand, providing users with various individual mobility services such as car sharing, driver service, long term car rental including delivery of car, etc.

EVCARD is one of the largest electric car-sharing service providers in China. Combining its local perspective and expertise in electric car-sharing with BMW’s global experience, the BMW Group will be able to better fulfill Chinese customer’s diverse and individual mobility needs.

The BMW Group

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2016, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.367 million cars and 145,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax was approximately €9.67 billion on revenues amounting to €94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.

Via BMW Press Release

BMW Group sales achieve best-ever start to the year

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Munich. Following on from a sixth consecutive record-breaking year, sales at the BMW Group achieved their best-ever start to the year with January figures showing increased deliveries in all world regions. With its three premium brands, BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group delivered a total of 163,288 vehicles worldwide, an increase of 6.8% compared with January last year.

“We’ve started the year well, building on the success of 2016,” said Dr Ian Robertson, Member of the BMW AG Board of Management with responsibility for Sales and Marketing BMW. “We’re confident that the new models we’re bringing to market this year, especially the new generation BMW 5 Series which is about to arrive in dealerships, will ensure further momentum as the year goes on. We continue to focus on profitability and sustainable levels of growth distributed around the world,” he added.

Continue reading “BMW Group sales achieve best-ever start to the year”

ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS ISSUES CLARIFICATION FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENTS BY ROLLS-ROYCE PLC

  • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a completely separate company from Rolls-Royce plc
  • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BMW Group
  • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has no involvement whatsoever in issues relating to alleged bribery and subsequent legal settlements reached by Rolls-Royce plc
  • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars just announced second highest sales in the marque’s 113-year history

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is issuing this statement in order to clarify confusion and misreporting that has arisen in certain media around the world, following recent statements issued by Rolls‑Royce plc.

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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a completely separate company from Rolls-Royce plc which manufactures power systems for aircraft, ships and land applications. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BMW Group (Munich), based at Goodwood near Chichester in West Sussex, United Kingdom. It commenced business on 1 January 2003 at its new global production facility.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars manufactures and sells the world’s pinnacle super-luxury automobiles, including the Phantom, Ghost, Wraith and Dawn range of models.

As an entirely separate company, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has no involvement whatsoever in issues relating to alleged bribery and subsequent legal settlements reached by Rolls-Royce plc with authorities in various jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom, the United States and Brazil.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has recently announced its second highest ever annual sales result in the marque’s 113-year history, up 6% on its 2015 results. A total of 4,011 cars were delivered to customers in more than 50 countries, affirming the Brand’s strength and resilience in a year of challenging market conditions for luxury goods worldwide.

Source: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars PressClub

BMW at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas

BMW is shaping the future of mobility and the way we experience it through ongoing development projects and technically revolutionary innovations in automated driving, intelligent connectivity and interior design. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017, taking place in Las Vegas on 5 – 8 January 2017, the German premium car maker will present a wide range of new products and services which are set to headline this radical change in the very near future. It will also be revealing a vision of an interior whose architecture and user interface are extensively adapted for fully automated driving on board a vehicle that is seamlessly integrated into the driver’s digital life. The innovations BMW is presenting at the CES show in design, technology and functionality emphasise the company’s leading role over many years – through its ConnectedDrive programme – in the field of connected driving.

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Klaus Frohlich(Board Member BMW AG) with BMW i Inside Future Concept at CES 2017, Las Vegas

BMW’s pioneering advances in the areas of automated driving, intelligent connectivity and control and display systems are closely interconnected. The company offers highly innovative systems and technologies in all these areas. Examples include the driver assistance systems available for the brand’s current model range, the BMW Connected digital mobility companion and intuitive and flexible control and display systems such as the Head-Up Display, BMW iDrive, voice control and BMW gesture control. Such technologies provide an ideal platform for innovations aimed at delivering a futuristic mobility experience defined by hallmark BMW characteristics.

Steady progress towards automated driving is reducing driver stress and offering drivers a new degree of freedom in how they use their time in the car. At the same time, intelligent connectivity between vehicles, drivers and the outside world is creating new scope for efficient, creative and stimulating use of this freed-up time. At the CES 2017 show, BMW will be showcasing the potential of connected mobility with demonstration drives in a prototype based on the new BMW 5 Series Sedan. This will provide an opportunity to experience innovative digital services underpinned by BMW Connected and the flexible Open Mobility Cloud platform. BMW will also present the BMW Connected Window – its vision for an innovative digital touchpoint highlighting the breadth of possible applications for BMW Connected services not only in the car but also in the home. Looking into the future of interior design, the focus will be on innovative display and control technology. The BMW i Inside Future sculpture at the CES show will showcase BMW HoloActive Touch, which marks a new dimension in how drivers select and control vehicle, navigation, infotainment and communication functions.

The future of personalised driving.

Demonstration drives in the BMW 5 Series Sedan-based prototype will shine the spotlight on a personalised, connected driving experience in a highly automated vehicle. A variety of technical modifications to support automated driving, based on the research & development projects of autonomous driving, have been incorporated into the new BMW 5 Series for the purposes of the demonstrations. On specific route segments, drivers can hand over both longitudinal control tasks and lateral control to the assistance systems, which frees them up to concentrate on other activities. The sensor and control technology that makes it possible for drivers not only to delegate acceleration and braking to the vehicle but also to take their hands off the steering wheel for long periods at a stretch is based on a further-refined prototype solution based on the driver assistance systems already fitted in today’s production vehicles. This is another reminder of the high quality and potential of the technology already deployed in current BMW models.

From vision (CES 2016) to product (2017): the BMW Connected personal digital mobility companion.

With ConnectedDrive, BMW was an early pioneer in enabling extensive in-car access to online infotainment and communication functions. In spring 2016, BMW went on to provide a digital platform – in the shape of BMW Connected – which customers can access not only in their BMW but also on a wide range of devices outside the vehicle. This allows mobility planning to be seamlessly integrated into users’ digital lifestyles, supporting them both on the road and in other areas of their daily lives. The concept of BMW Connected and the Open Mobility Cloud was first presented at CES 2016. The market launch in the USA took place soon after, in March 2016. BMW Connected has been available in Europe since August 2016, and China followed suit in the fourth quarter of 2016.

A further system presented by BMW at last year’s CES and likewise brought to market in record-quick time is the research application Remote 3D View. By combining the Surround View driver assistance system with BMW Connected connectivity features, this system allows a three-dimensional view of the vehicle and its surroundings to be transmitted via a mobile data connection to the driver’s smartphone. The service, which allows drivers to keep their eye on their parked vehicle at any time, regardless of their location, will make its production model debut in February 2017 on board the new BMW 5 Series Sedan.

Intelligent connectivity.

BMW Connected turns the vehicle and mobile devices into touchpoints for the Open Mobility Cloud. At CES 2017, BMW will be showcasing digital services that will allow drivers of future automated vehicles to optimise the way they plan their daily lives. One such feature will enable drivers to access wide-ranging information about places or buildings they see along their route. The information can be selected using BMW Augmented Gesture Control – a new form of gesture control – by pointing at a particular building, for example. The connected driving experience will also be enhanced by intelligent voice control. BMW Connected demos will feature a visionary concept of an in-car voice-controlled personal digital assistant that customers are familiar with in other areas of their daily life. The system being presented at CES 2017 is the in-car application of Microsoft’s Cortana. This means that the voice-controlled capabilities already offered by Microsoft Cortana on a home PC could or smartphone in future also be available on board a BMW. For example, BMW Connected can provide a reminder en-route of an upcoming appointment for which no location has yet been fixed. And Cortana can be used to make a suitable restaurant recommendation and reserve a table.

Another service possible with future versions of BMW Connected is delivery of tens of thousands of goods while the customer is on the road. Amazon Prime Now, which is integrated into all the user’s devices (both in and outside the vehicle) via the Open Mobility Cloud, enables goods to be ordered through the app while drivers are on the way to their next destination. The En-Route Delivery service will be presented at CES 2017 in conjunction with Amazon Prime Now.

A further example of this collaboration with Amazon Prime Now is BMW Passenger Mode. Based on the selected route, BMW Connected can tell when the vehicle will switch to automated driving and the driver could have time, say, to use Amazon Prime Video. In Passenger Mode, the vehicle can then adapt to the passengers’ needs in different situations. For instance, when rear-seat passengers start playing a video, the interior lighting is immediately dimmed and the sunblinds closed.

Innovative control and display technologies.

The BMW i Inside Future sculpture at CES 2017 focuses on the opportunities and challenges presented by fully automated driving. What will we be able to do in an interior of the future? What kind of experience will a car journey offer? BMW i Inside Future shows there will be no conflict between personalisation and sharing in the car of the future. It also showcases BMW HoloActive Touch, BMW’s latest take on the future of in-car control and display technology.

BMW HoloActive Touch is the latest chapter in a story that began with BMW iDrive. That system, which was revolutionary when first introduced and was subsequently imitated throughout the automotive industry, was both a substitute for and a complement to conventional switches and buttons.

With the Air Touch system, featured at CES 2016 in the BMW i Vision Future Interaction concept car, BMW presented a panoramic display that can be operated just like a touchscreen – except that there is no actual contact involved. Now this system has been taken a stage further with BMW HoloActive Touch. BMW HoloActive Touch fuses the advantages of the BMW Head-Up Display, BMW gesture control and intuitive touchscreen functionality with revolutionary technology to create a completely new kind of user interface for the vehicle interior of the future. This innovative interface between the driver and vehicle consists of a free-floating virtual display which is projected in the area above the centre console. The system is operated directly by finger movements, while an ultrasound source provides tactile confirmation of the driver’s commands. That said, in neither case is there ever any actual contact between the driver and the user interface.

BMW Connected Window: a digital touchpoint.

The continuously expanding functionality of BMW Connected is based on the idea that the move towards ever-increasing digitalisation, whether on the move or in the home, is set to promote the extensive yet at the same time precisely personalised link-up of every area of our lives. Using the Open Mobility Cloud, BMW Connected will be seamlessly integrated into multiple digital touchpoints. At CES 2017 BMW will be presenting the BMW Connected Window vision to illustrate the possibilities these developments offer for a personalised and intelligent enhancement of digital lifestyles. The BMW Connected Window integrates every type of information relevant for daily mobility planning. Using the Open Mobility Cloud, this virtual window offers digital functions to support personal daily planning and numerous other aspects of individual lifestyles.

The BMW Connected Window extends BMW Connected’s wide-ranging functionality to include digital life at home. It shows the user – at the relevant time and in the relevant area of the home – what actions may be required for personal mobility planning. Since the system is linked up with BMW Connected, exchanging information and contacts, planning the user’s personal mobility agenda and selecting infotainment functions are possible not just in the vehicle and on a smartphone but also on a “big screen” in the user’s own home. The technology is operated using gesture control, i.e. by intuitive touchscreen-style commands – but without actually touching a screen.

Article from BMW Global Press Club