BMW Chief Harald Krueger noted the company's commitment to EVs and AVs at this year's annual meeting.

The BMW Group intends to increase upfront spending on research and development on electric and autonomous vehicles to an all-time high in 2018, while at the same time remaining steadily on course for a ninth record-breaking sales year in a row with profitable, sustainable growth.

“Our industry is currently experiencing a phase of unprecedented technological change. At the same time, however, it needs to cope with the challenge of present-day volatilities,” said Harald Krueger, chairman of BMW’s Board of Management of BMW AG in Munich during the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

“At the BMW Group, we think in terms of opportunities and follow a clear strategy. Because the future of mobility is created today. We are stepping up the pace in 2018 and targeting our ninth successive record year.”

Krueger said BMW, one of Germany’s top automakers offered the public a taste of these developments with the unveiling of the BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupé at the Geneva Motor Show.

(BMW showing off second-gen X4 M40i M Performance at NYIAS. Click Here for the story.)

BMW's Krueger noted the company's ninth consecutive year of record sales during the automaker's annual meeting.

In 2018, the BMW Group continues to bring on new vehicles with the launch of the BMW X2 in March, the ramping up of the BMW X3 at three production sites and the new generation of the BMW X4.

“We are bringing out completely new models and introducing a new design language for the whole product range. This is our recipe to ensure that the BMW brand regains pole position in the premium segment by 2020,” Krueger said.

(For an inside look at what those future BMW electric vehicles will look like, Click Here.)

Continuing progress in the field of electric mobility is a key reason behind the BMW Group’s plan to allocate an increasing amount to research and development in the current year, Krueger said. After spending 6.1 billion euros in 2017, upfront expenditure for tomorrow’s mobility will increase significantly in the financial year 2018.

Investment will rise by a further year-on-year, primarily for the ongoing new model initiative as well as continued work on e-mobility and autonomous driving. In absolute terms, the amount could reach the 7-billion-euro mark.

(Click Here for more details about the new BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe.)

The major scale of investment reflects the BMW Group’s determination to play a leading role in transforming the mobility sector with its future-oriented ACES program, which stands for Automated, Connected, Electrified and Services.

Despite the cost of the activities, the BMW Group expects profits in line with the record level reported for 2017.

“We will need to remain steadfast in 2018 in order to achieve our target of reporting another year of record pre-tax earnings,” said Nicolas Peters, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Finance.

(To see more about the new BMW X2, Click Here.)

“But we are an ambitious company, constantly striving to improve the efficiency of our business processes,” he said. “We are reducing the complexity of our range of products and services, rigorously bringing it into line with the requirements of our customers. This provides us with the necessary resources for future investments. As ever, our strategy is driven by the desire to achieve long-term sustainable profitability.”

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