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BMW Rips Back Covers on Z4 Roadster Concept and M8 Sports Car

Pebble Beach show cars soon to be followed by production models.

by on Aug.17, 2017

BMW taking the wraps off the Z4 Concept that is taking the place of the outgoing Z4 model.

The world’s most exclusive classic car show has also become one of the biggest new car events of the year, and BMW is just one of the many manufacturers using the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as a place to preview some exciting new concepts and production vehicles.

While we’ve previously gotten a sneak peek at the M8 sports car concept, it’s the first time the Bavarian maker has done more than offer a teaser image of the Z4 Roadster Concept that it now confirms will eventually morph into a replacement for the Z4 model just going out of production.

Industry News!

The two-door show car offers a first glimpse at what appears to be a much more dramatic, sharply creased design direction for BMW. It also lets us finally get a look at the results from an ongoing joint venture with Toyota that will soon yield the rebirth of the Japanese maker’s Supra model. (more…)

FCA, BMW, Intel and Mobileye Team Up to Develop Autonomous Vehicles

Tomorrow’s driverless cars bringing together some strange bedfellows.

by on Aug.16, 2017

Fiat Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne said the partnership with Waymo that produced the autonomous Chrysler Pacifica wouldn't be monogamous.

When Fiat Chrysler Automobiles linked up with Google spinoff Waymo last year, CEO Sergio Marchionne hinted it wasn’t going to be a monogamous relationship – and he wasn’t kidding. FCA today announced it will also pair up with erstwhile rival BMW, as well as tech firms Intel and Mobileye to work together on the development of autonomous vehicles.

The announcement is the latest in a series of high-tech tie-ups linking traditionally competing carmakers, as well as a mix of tech giants and ambitious start-ups. Just last week, for example, Intel entered a new alliance with Toyota, dubbed the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium, which is aimed at driving more data into and out of tomorrow’s smart and autonomous vehicles.

Technology News!

“In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers,” said FCA Chief Marchionne. “Joining this cooperation will enable FCA to directly benefit from the synergies and economies of scale that are possible when companies come together with a common vision and objective.” (more…)

BMW Teases Z4 Concept Ahead of Pebble Beach Unveiling

Bavarian marque teases one of two new reveals for Concours.

by on Aug.15, 2017

The new BMW Z4 Concept teases a roadster developed as part of a partnership with Toyota.

There were more than a few tears shed when BMW announced that its long-in-the-tooth Z4 Roadster was going away. And what might follow was clouded in some confusion considering all the upcoming changes to the maker’s line-up.

But was got a hint that an all-new version of the Z4 was in the works last month and now, the Bavarian maker says it will give us more details later this week during the unveiling of the new BMW Z4 Concept at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance over the weekend.

Future Product!

A new teaser image gives us a good look at both the front end and side of the roadster show car, the concept expected to hew closely to what the production model will look like when revealed in the near future. Among the details we’re hoping to confirm is speculation that the new model will share the same platform as the next-generation Toyota Supra.


BMW Chief Krüger Defends Use of Diesels

Maker offering incentives to buyers.

by on Aug.04, 2017

BMW CEO Harald Krüger believes that state-of-the-art diesels will play an important role in future mobility.

Despite a series of scandals that have tarnished the image of diesel engines, cost manufacturers billions in fines penalties and recalls and now threaten to drag them in a wider legal morass, BMW’s top executive is insisting diesel engines can have a significant role in the industry’s future.

State-of-the art diesels will definitely play an important role in future mobility, said BMW CEO Harald Krüger.

News Now!

“Modern efficient diesel engines ensure lower CO2 emissions. On average, BMW Group diesel vehicles emit 40% less NOX than the German average, as reported by the Germany Federal Environment agency in April 2017. This is also true for both our Euro 5 and Euro 6 vehicles,” he said. (more…)

German Authorities Investigating Collusion Among Automakers

Daimler, BMW and VW part of current probe.

by on Jul.26, 2017

German authorities are investigating Mercedes-Benz parent company, Daimler AG, over collusion charges.

A new scandal involving allegations of collusion by German automakers continues to deepen and to threaten the cooperation among companies scrambling to meet new competitive pressures.

It will affect not only from carmakers in Asia and North America but also tech companies looking for a larger piece of auto industry’s revenue.

Global Auto News!

Anti-trust regulators from the European Union and Germany are probing allegations that German automakers colluded in effort to evade regulations and anti-cartel regulations and edicts. (more…)

BMW Goes Outside Auto Industry for Marketing Boss

New leader replaces Ian Robertson next year.

by on Jul.24, 2017

BMW is adding Pieter Nota to its Board of Management to oversee its marketing and sales functions on Jan. 1.

Facing any number of challenges, BMW has elected to turnover responsibility for the company’s image to an executive from outside the automobile industry.

Pieter Nota will join the Board of Management of BMW AG as the head the division responsible for sales and brand BMW as well as aftersales for the BMW Group on Jan. 1, 2018. Nota’s background is in marketing across a variety of non-automotive industries.

Global Auto News!

The changeover comes at a time when BMW is facing slowing sales in the U.S., aggressive competition in China, crimped sales of electric vehicles and a global shift away from passenger cars where it has always been strong to sport utility vehicles and crossover. (more…)

BMW Hopes to Stay Connected With Consumers in a New Digital Era

Automaker unveils new technology, services, to enhance revenues, boost loyalty.

by on Jul.13, 2017

BMW's iDrive helped to start the use of digital technologies in cars more than a decade ago.

Where buyers once measured the value of a vehicle in terms of its horsepower, many motorists today are more interested in the high-tech features that a car offers. And that shift is likely to continue, especially in an era when car-sharing and autonomous technologies transform the way people travel and buy cars, said Dieter May, the head of digital products and services for BMW AG.

The automaker was one of the first to begin introducing digital technologies into the cabin with the debut of its iDrive system on the 2001 BMW 7 Series sedan. Initially seen as a way to minimize the number of buttons and knobs in the cabin, the iDrive has now become just one of the ways to access and control various vehicle functions and services.

Tech News!

On Thursday, BMW officially announced plans to upgrade its suite of features, renaming its service BMW Connected +. These include such things as the ability to stream audio from services like Spotify to in-car security systems that can call for help after a crash. The Bavarian automaker is also getting ready to offer over-the-air, or OTA, updates, that will let it download software updates for in-vehicle technologies that, until now, required a motorist to go to a dealer to have installed. (more…)

Britain No Shoe-in to Build New Mini EV

BMW mulling three sites in Europe, including England.

by on Jul.03, 2017

The impact of Brexit on the U.K. auto industry is getting its first test as BMW mulls where to build the Mini EV.

When Brexit passed, one of the concerns was how soon will it impact Britain’s auto industry … they’re about to find out.

BMW is in the process of selecting the plant to produce the new Mini EV. About 70% of all Mini’s are produced at the company’s plant in Oxford, England — about 360,000 vehicles annually — the fact that the plant wasn’t the default option has some concerned.

Stay in the Know!

For the record, BMW is measuring up three sites for the new vehicle, according to Reuters: the aforementioned Oxford plant, a plant in the Netherlands and its plants in Leipzig and Regensburg, Germany. (more…)

BMW Expected to Reveal All-Electric 3-Series at Frankfurt Motor Show

Bavarian automaker trimming engine options, other costs to fund intensive R&D efforts.

by on Jun.29, 2017

BMW already has a plug-in hybrid version of the 3-Series, the 330e.

It’s been one of the Bavarian maker’s worst-kept secrets. The real question about the all-electric BMW 3-Series has been when and where it will roll out the battery version of its most popular model line.

The answer appears to be September, at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, at least if Germany’s Handelsblatt is on target. The well-respected publication also is reporting that the Electric-3 will boast a range of 400 km, or 250 miles for the metrically challenged. That would seem to position it as a direct competitor to the upcoming Tesla Model 3, especially if BMW can somehow bring the price tag down into the $35,000 to $40,000 range before any government incentives.

Product News!

Like its German rivals, BMW has launched an aggressive effort to electrify, while also spending heavily on other new technologies such as autonomous driving. To offset those R&D costs, the carmaker’s CFO Nicolas Peter said BMW will have to cut costs elsewhere, among other things, by improving manufacturing efficiency and by reducing traditional internal combustion engine options.


BMW Investing Another $600M in South Carolina Plant

Despite Trump tweets, Germans are top auto exporters from U.S.

by on Jun.26, 2017

A BMW employee in Spartanburg, SC works on the maker's new 2018 X3 utility vehicle.

BMW plans to invest another $600 million to update and expand its Spartanburg, South Carolina, assembly plant, the automaker announced Monday, while adding that the move will also create another 1,000 jobs.

The move comes barely a year after the Bavarian carmaker completed a previous, $1 billion investment in the nearly quarter century-old factory that is now the single-largest source of automotive exports from the United States to markets abroad.

Product News!

The announcement comes barely a month after BMW and other German manufacturers were attacked by President Donald Trump who, in a tweet, called them “Very Bad,” while seeming not to recognize the significant number of products German companies produce in the United States. (more…)