BMW Press Conference

The following is a transcript from today ‘s press conference at the Geneva Motor Show. There was nothing new said but it ‘s a great recap of where BMW is. We ‘ll have both a video of the presentation and a podcast of the entire event up later today.

Official Release:

Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG

Welcome to the BMW Group!

Efficient Dynamics: two words, one concept. This symbol here stands for our Efficient Dynamics technology package. The basic idea is that every BMW model and every MINI model must be both dynamic and efficient. This is where it all began – right here in Geneva. We first presented our vision of increasingly sustainable mobility here exactly three years ago.

BMW Press Conference

Today we are able to report on our success so far:

– There are already more than 1.6 million vehicles equipped with Efficient Dynamics on the roads today. Others build special fuel-efficient models. We have a highly efficient fleet. So, in fact, all of our cars are fuel-efficient special models.
– The BMW Group’s average fleet consumption in Europe is only 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres. That corresponds to a CO2 rating of 150 grams per kilometre.
– No other premium manufacturer can beat that performance. Our figures are lower, in fact, than those of many manufacturers of mainly small cars – even though our cars are sportier and equipped with much more powerful engines.

That is precisely why BMW was chosen as the automotive partner of the next Summer Olympic Games in London in 2012. We are also supporting Munich’s bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. The idea of a sustainable games and BMW go well together. According to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index the BMW Group is the world’s most sustainable automobile manufacturer. You can learn how we build our models in a way that is environmentally-sound right here alongside the cars on our stand.

Thanks to Efficient Dynamics we have achieved enhanced performance with lower fuel consumption. We will continue to follow this route. We are expanding our product range – across all vehicle classes. Our goal is a sustainable fleet – from the small car segment to the luxury classes.

On the one hand this means: Continuing to grow in the upper luxury segment with innovative vehicles like the new BMW 7 Series and the BMW X6. Customers in Europe will also be able to buy both models with a hybrid drive from April on.

It also means that: We will be extending the BMW and MINI brands into the small car segment with new models and variants. Our focus is on the customer: And there is demand for premium vehicles in the small car segment – as we have proven with our huge success with MINI. We will be offering attractive new products in this segment. For these new vehicles we could envisage developing a common architecture for both front and four-wheel drive.

I can assure you that we at the BMW Group will continue to set the standard and inspire customers with our innovations. That is what we call premium.

We are cautiously optimistic about 2010. Of course, we will continue to feel the effects of the global economic crisis. But we still aim to increase retail and sell more than 1.3 million cars.

We have a strong line-up of new products.

2010 will primarily be defined by the BMW 3 Series and the new 5 Series. We have updated both the BMW 3 Series Coupé and the 3 Series Convertible. Both of which we are presenting for the first time here at our stand.
And we have another world premiere for you here today: the new BMW 5 Series Sedan.

This is the sixth generation of the BMW 5 Series. More than 5.5 million 5 Series have rolled off the assembly lines since it was introduced in 1972. I believe the new BMW 5 Series Sedan is the best, most attractive car we have ever built. My college, Klaus Draeger, will now present the world’s most efficient top-range luxury sedan. Thank you.

Dr. Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development

I just had to drive this BMW 520d on stage for you to see. It really shows how Efficient Dynamics has been implemented to perfection in the new BMW 5 Series. Fuel consumption: 5 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres. CO2 emissions: 132 grams per kilometre.

In this particular vehicle class, figures like these are a major technical achievement.

The BMW 520d will be available in showrooms from the middle of the year. One of your colleagues asked me: How far can Efficient Dynamics really go? With combustion engines we are reaching step by step the optimum state. That is why we are also refining our ActiveHybrid technology under the umbrella of Efficient Dynamics.
Today we have brought along the first BMW 5 Series with hybrid drive: the BMW Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid.
The drive technology used in this car has been finely tuned to suit the character of the new BMW 5 Series Sedan. It embodies driving pleasure, efficiency and innovation. It incorporates an inline six-cylinder petrol engine with turbo technology and a powerful 40-kilowatt electric motor. This ensures extremely responsive and dynamic acceleration – and allows for fully-electric, zero-emission driving in city traffic.

We have developed additional energy-saving solutions for this concept car: I am talking specifically about proactive energy management. This car actively anticipates how it can save and use energy efficiently. The data stored in the navigation system about the selected route are also incorporated. Imagine driving along the Autobahn: Even before you reach the highway, various systems in the car are already being adjusted. For example,

– Cooling capacity is reduced – because the temporary increase in coolant temperature will be offset by faster highway driving.
– The battery will also be fully charged before you reach the outskirts of the city. This means the combustion engine can be quickly turned off – so the car enters the city on electric power, driving quietly and with no environmental impact.

That is a true BMW engineering achievement. It shows once again that: Innovation is part of the BMW Group’s DNA. The same applies to e-mobility. We will hear more about that from Norbert Reithofer.

Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG

You have already met this spiffy little car, the MINI E. We have a trial fleet of 600 MINI E on the roads. Our test customers tell me they would really love to keep their MINI E. That puts us in a strong position to continue what we are doing – not just with MINI, but also with BMW.

This is the first BMW with electric drive: the BMW Concept ActiveE.

This concept car is a fully-electric four-seater. We will be releasing a second trial fleet of electric vehicles based on this concept to selected customers over the next year. This will provide us with further insights into how e-mobility can be used in everyday situations.

All of this lays the groundwork for our fully-electric Megacity Vehicle. The Megacity Vehicle will be built in Leipzig and will be launched on the market within the next few years. Then we will have fulfilled a goal of Efficient Dynamics: Emission-free driving.

The BMW brand stands for joy. We at the BMW Group have the joy of shaping the mobility of today – and tomorrow.

Now please come and join me on stage and see for yourselves.

Thank you!