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BMW Planning at Least Two More “i” Models, But What Then?

Other battery models may now go to mainstream BMW brand.

by on Oct.17, 2016

The i8 Spyder concept will likely undergo significant changes before the Roadster debuts in 2018.

BMW will launch two more models for its cutting-edge i brand over the next five years, starting with a 2018 roadster based on the next-generation i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. A version of the iNext concept vehicle will follow three years later.

That falls well short of the broad, electrified product line-up the maker had hinted was in the works only a few years ago, however. There are no signs of the i4 and i5 models that some sources once reported were in the works.

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Is BMW just keeping them under tight wraps? Have they been abandoned? Or has the maker simply shifted strategy, preferring to put more of its battery-based models – including pure electric and plug-in hybrids – into the mainstream BMW brand, rather than into the niche i marque?


First Look: All-New 2017 BMW 5-Series

Bigger yet lighter. Faster yet more efficient.

by on Oct.12, 2016

The larger 2017 BMW 5-Series boasts enough room for five adults and 4 golf bags.

From a visual standpoint, BMW has gone the evolutionary route with the new 2017 5-Series, according to both leaked and official images. That’s likely no surprise considering the strong success of the outgoing model.

That said, design chief Adrian van Hooydonk and his team have given the new 5-er some distinctive details so it doesn’t continue to look like just the middle child sandwiched between the ever-popular 3-Series and brand-defining 7-Series.

Your Auto Insider!

From the spec sheet and background information the Bavarian marque has provided, it looks there’s going to be a lot to like. The 2017 BMW 5-Series promises to be slightly larger yet notably lighter, with improved performance and handling. And for technology fans, there’ll be an array of new features, including iDrive 6.0 and more driver assistance systems.


BMW CEO Targets Changes Reshaping Company, Industry

Alternative power, connectivity, autonomous driving and vehicle sharing will pose four key challenges.

by on Oct.12, 2016

BMW CEO Harald Krueger laid out some of the maker's plans for the future, and showed off the Vision Next 100 motorcycle.

When you’re celebrating your centennial you have good reason to throw a nearly year-long birthday party. But as BMW wraps up the multicity extravaganza that began at its corporate headquarters last March, the focus is on the future, rather than the past.

And that’s likely to bring some dramatic changes for both BMW and the auto industry as a whole, said CEO Harald Krueger, during a media roundtable in Los Angeles. New technology, new regulations and new competitors will change the way cars are designed, manufactured, sold and operated, said the executive as he outlined some of BMW’s near and longer-term strategies.

Global Auto News!

“A new era of mobility is about to begin,” Krueger said Thursday, as he introduced the BMW Vision Next 100 motorcycle, one of four concept vehicles the carmaker has introduced this year each meant to highlight elements of BMW’s plans. (more…)

BMW Rides into the Future with Vision Next 100 Motorcycle

Concept bike features gyro stabilizer, flexible frame and augmented reality.

by on Oct.11, 2016

The Vision Next 100 motorcycle makes an auspicious debut at BMW's 100th anniversary party.

All that’s missing was the neon. The motorcycle that rode into BMW’s news conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday might have well driven off the set of the next Tron sequel.

But the Vision Next 100 is more than just science fiction, at least to BMW which sees the exotic show bike as a glimpse of what tomorrow’s high-tech motorcycle will look like. Cleaner, safer, connected, the Vision Next 100 suggests that many of the changes reshaping the automobile will also transform tomorrow’s two-wheelers.

Into the Future!

“Our world is rapidly changing, and individual mobility must evolve to meet the needs of a complex society,” said Harald Krueger, CEO of Bayerische Motoren Werke, during a news conference wrapping up a nearly year-long celebration of the automaker’s 100th anniversary.


GM Reportedly Wants to Buy Lyft

Ride service tells automaker to take a hike.

by on Aug.15, 2016

GM CEO Dan Ammann (c), recently took a seat on the Lyft board of directors.

Ride-sharing service Lyft has rejected a takeover bid from General Motors, according to Silicon Valley news site The Information.

The move would have turned the country’s biggest automaker into an even bigger player in the fast-growing field of alternative mobility. GM already holds a 9% stake in Lyft and also owns San Francisco based competitor Sidecar. It has also dipped its toes into the world of car-sharing, as well.

Come Along for the Ride!

Neither GM nor Lyft will comment on the report by The Information and a second Silicon Valley news service. But sources reportedly include a “person briefed on the situation,” and comes a year after Lyft went looking for a possible buyer.


BMW Rides Strong European, Asian Sales to Q2 Profits

German company's U.S. sales are down double digits.

by on Aug.03, 2016

BMW's $1 billion plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, may help reverse the tide of slumping sales in the Americas, which are down 8% in the first six months of 2016.

The BMW Group posted record net income, sales and revenue for the second quarter, while maintaining its impressive margins. The results continued a trend that began with a strong first quarter.

As it recorded its best ever quarterly sales volume and net profit figures between April and June, the company wrapped up negotiations with Intel and Mobileye that reflect the company’s effort “to play a leading role in developing safe and reliable automated driving,” BMW said in a statement that accompanied the second-quarter financial statement.

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“We sold more vehicles in the second quarter than ever before and achieved record earnings. We are growing profitably while simultaneously implementing our strategy step by step,” said Harald Krüger, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. (more…)

Forget Leather and Wood; Automakers Struggling to Redefine Luxury

Focus shifts to the “total customer experience.”

by on Jul.21, 2016

Lincoln will increase its suite of customers services with the launch of the new Continental.

Leather, wood, a big engine and lots of chrome. Those have been the traditional signatures of a luxury car. But what happens when you can add those same features to an entry-level sedan? That’s a question high-line brands have been struggling to deal with as they face increasing competition from more mainstream manufacturers.

That new reality is forcing luxury marques to shift focus a bit. You’ll still find massaging leather seats on a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, open-pore wood on a BMW 7-Series, and a choice of high-performance engines for your next Audi. But you’re likely also to find a variety of new features and services designed, among other things, to simplify and speed up the car buying and service processes.

What a Luxury!

“Because so many things that used to be considered luxury are now available across the line, the only way to differentiate yourself as a luxury manufacturer is to make the total ownership experience painless and seamless,” said Joe Phillippi, senior analyst with AutoTrends Consulting.


BMW Delaying Launch of 2017 U.S. Diesels

Latest maker hit by fallout from VW diesel emissions cheating scandal.

by on Jul.19, 2016

BMW will delay the launch of its variously diesel models in the U.S. due to added testing.

Even as Volkswagen continues to face new problems related to its cheating on diesel emissions testing, other automakers are facing collateral damage.

The latest to be hit is BMW, the automaker confirming that it will delay the launch of its 2017 diesel models because U.S. regulators want to be sure they comply with federal emissions standards.

Breaking News!

While the maker said there has been “no indication” that its oil burners don’t meet federal rules, the testing process has been delayed, according to various media sources, which will mean that models such as the 2017 BMW 328d sedan and xDrive35d won’t reach showrooms at the same time as the rest of the ’17 line-up.


BMW Confirms Plan to Launch Autonomous Car by 2021

Automaker teams up with tech firms Intel, Mobileye.

by on Jul.01, 2016

The BMW i Vision Future concept offers a hint of what the maker's autonomous car might look like.

BMW is the latest automaker to confirm plans to go to market with an autonomous vehicle, the Bavarian maker teaming up with tech partners Intel and Mobileye to “bring fully automated driving technology to the street” by 2021, the maker’s CEO announced Friday.

The announcement follows the debut of several futuristic concept vehicles meant to mark BMW’s 100th anniversary. But it also comes a day after U.S. safety regulators launched an investigation into a fatal crash of a Tesla Model S sedan that was operating in its semi-autonomous Autopilot mode. That has raised new concerns about the technology despite hopes that self-driving vehicles will help improve safety and reduce worsening traffic congestion.

A Look at the Future!

“The combined expertise of Intel, Mobileye and the BMW Group will deliver the next core building block to bring fully automated driving technology to the street,” BMW chairman Harald Krüger said in a statement.

The move might come as a surprise to those who think of BMW in terms of its long-running tag-line, “The ultimate driving machine,” but the maker has been exploring self-driving technology for nearly two decades, and, according to Kruger, it will give BMW customers new options – the ability to ride hands-free or switch to manual driving mode.


BMW Launches “Home Energy Storage Solution”

German maker joins growing list repurposing used EV batteries.

by on Jun.21, 2016

One of the new stationary generators with a BMW i3.

BMW is launching a new stationary storage system that will use the same batteries found in its i3 electric city car.

What BMW is calling an “intelligent storage solution” can be integrated into a broader home or office clean energy system, not only providing power during a blackout but also storing wind or solar energy for use when power demands peak.

Tech Talk!

“The remarkable advantage for BMW customers in using BMW i3 batteries as a plug and play storage application is the ability to tap into an alternative resource for residential and commercial backup power, thus using renewable energy much more efficiently, and enabling additional revenues from the energy market,” Cliff Fietzek, Manager Connected eMobility at BMW of North America, said ahead of the system’s debut at the EVS29, the annual electric vehicle conference held this year in Montreal. (more…)