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BMW Group

BMW are a German OEM that sells cars and motorcycles under the following brands: BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce. This page contains research on BMW's activities and strategy.

Automotive Research -- Where to find their official news and financial results...

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BMW GROUP BENCHMARKING DATA

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BMW Automotive Indicative Headcount by Site -- 2016

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BMW IN THE NEWS

This information can also be found on the weekly news review.

December

  • Mini will launch a range of home fit personalisation options, manufactured using rapid prototyping techniques. The components are specified online; manufactured by BMW in Germany and then shipped to the customer. (Autocar)
  • Partnered with Solid Power to develop solid state batteries for a future electric vehicle platform. (Solid Power)
  • Expect the cut in US tax rates to increase net income by between €0.95 billion - €1.55 billion. (BMW)
  • Said it will build a new proving ground in the Czech Republic at Sokolov, close to the German border. (BMW)
  • Rolls-Royce’s CEO said that the Phantom will likely have an all-electric version (definitely no hybrid) but at the moment there is no demand from customers for such a model. (Autocar)
  • Denied claims by an environmental group that it had fitted defeat devices on diesel vehicles sold in Germany. The group said that it had tested vehicles on and off static tests and found discrepancies. (Economic Times of India)
  • Presented a strategy update. Although most of the targets, especially around longer term product are already in the public domain, there were some new slides explaining the company’s view on topics such as electrification and autonomy. (BMW)
  • When presenting the company’s strategy update, BMW’s CEO drew attention to the company having trademarked i1 to i9 and iX1 to iX9. He also said that the i3 has conquest rates in excess of 80 percent. (BMW)
  • BMW’s R&D head said that the company was better than all competition in technical competence and value creation around electrical powertrain and that it would always develop e-drives, power electronics and battery systems in-house, but could use make-to-print outsourcing. He illustrated the data challenge from autonomous vehicles saying that currently BMW’s entire storage requirement was 60 PB, but autonomous vehicles will increase this to 500 PB. On autonomous capability he was bullish saying vehicles would “fully master level 5 right from the outset in 2021” and mentioned access to free real-time HD maps as a key enabler that BMW has worked on delivering. (BMW)

November

  • Launched an upgraded powerpack for the i8 whilst unveiling the roadster derivative. Battery capacity increases from 7.1 kWh to 11.7 kWh and the power of the electric motor now has an output of 141hp. (Green Car Reports)
  • Launched car sharing in China under the ReachNow brand (same as US) in partnership with Chinese car sharing operator EVCARD. The starting location is Chengdu and will only use all-electric vehicles. (BMW)
  • Halted production of i3 and issued a recall in the US due to concerns around seat belts. (Green Car Reports)
  • Open to sharing electrification technology on small cars with other manufacturers. (Times of India)
  • Said the price of an autonomous car (based on the iNext concept) could be below $100,000 in 2020. (Times of India)
  • Selling its stake in carbon fibre joint venture SGL Automotive Carbon Fibre to partner SGL (in which BMW is a shareholder). (BMW)
  • Will invest $200 million in a battery cell competence centre, employing 200 people, opening in 2019. (BMW)
  • Published a vision for two-wheeled emission free transport in future cities involving elevated roads reserved for such vehicles. (BMW)
  • Sensing an opportunity in a French regulation that says large companies and towns must provide comprehensive mobility plans; Alphabet, BMW’s wholly-owned leasing company and a select group of partners are offering an out-of-the-box multi-modal package that includes car-sharing, bicycle-sharing and asset financing. (Journal Auto)
  • Pledged that as of 2020, all its global electricity needs will be met from renewable energy, up from 63% today. (BMW)
  • Recalling about 1 million vehicles in the US to correct problems with the wiring. (BBC)

Q3 Earnings

  • Reported financial results for Q3 2017. Automotive revenue of €21.04 billion was down (2.4)% on a year-over-year basis, despite a 1.2% increase in volume to 590,415 vehicles sold. Group PBT of €2.4billion was down (5.9)% YoY. (BMW)
  • Despite Q3 earnings being lower than the prior year, BMW said it was in good shape on a year to date basis and increased its forecast for full year results. (BMW)
  • Announced Q3 2017 sales of 590,403 units, up 1.2% on a year over year basis. Increases in Asia more than offset losses in other markets. (BMW)

October

  • Opened a new stationary storage facility at its Leipzig plant using second-life i3 batteries. The plant has capacity for 700 batteries (it uses some new batteries because so few used vehicle batteries have been available) and is connected to the public grid. The facility is modular and can be expanded in future. BMW said that this demonstrated profitable second-life usage. (BMW)
  • Said that, due to environmental and ethical concerns over the sourcing of cobalt used in high voltage electric vehicle batteries, it was working to publish details of its cobalt supply chain and had engaged an independent party to help raise standards. (BMW)
  • Had offices raided by EU officials investigation an alleged cartel between Daimler, BMW and VW. Daimler claimed publicly that it had whistle-blower status and was therefore expected not to be fined. (Reuters)
  • Mini’s chief designer hinted that the company was looking to expand the range in future beyond the current 5 bodystyles. (Autocar)
  • In talks with Chinese manufacturer Great Wall over a potential joint venture to assemble Mini brand vehicles in the country. (Reuters)
  • Magna has joined the BMW-led self-driving car platform. Magna’s role appears similar to that of Delphi and Continental since it will act as a non-exclusive integrator and offer the technology to other companies. (Magna)
  • Reportedly looking for a site for a new plant in Russia, with Kaliningrad the current frontrunner. (Der Spiegel)
  • A senior executive said that BMW wants one more automaker to join it and FCA in its collaboration. Three OEMs is seen as the right level to share costs without slowing decision making too much. (Automotive News)

September

  • Said that from mid-2018, all BMW and Mini vehicles would feature Amazon Alexa. At the moment, BMW vehicles do have Alexa but capability is limited to information about vehicle diagnostics. (BMW)
  • Reportedly planning to release a wireless charging pad that can be placed in a customer’s garage and will have a 3.2kW rating. Previous examples have suffered from being extremely sensitive to vehicle position over the pad so it remains to be seen whether BMW have conquered this problem. (Futurism)
  • Confirmed the production location of the new 8-series (from 2018) and the autonomous iNext (from 2021) as Dingolfing, Germany. (Economic Times of India)
  • Rumoured to be planning an upgrade for the i3 BEV that will see a 42.5 kWh battery pack offered from late 2018 onwards -- which would give about 250km of real-world range. (BMW Blog)
  • Showed an all-electric 4 door grand touring coupe with a 600km range, promising that it would go into production. (BMW)
  • BMW’s head of purchasing said that company was “extremely concerned that the Brexit talks have been so piecemeal and slow so far”. (Bloomberg)
  • Under a court ruling, BMW’s Leipzig plant will receive less state aid than it had been hoping for, €17 million instead of €45 million. The case had been pending since 2014. BMW can appeal to the ECJ for a final ruling. (Der Speigel)
  • BMW’s CEO said in his pre-IAA show remarks that the company intended to have 12 all-electric vehicles by 2025 (in addition to 13 other “electrified”, thought to mean PHEV, products) and that in future the company would be able to equip every model with any type of drivetrain. At the Frankfurt show, BMW will unveil an all-electric 4 door product that could sit between i3 and i8. (BMW)
  • Unveiled a series of nearly production-ready concepts for its new car family with the X7 large SUV (BMW) and 8-series large coupe joining the 7-series saloon in the line-up. In addition to showing off the cars, BMW mentioned a mobility “add-on” that would allow owners of one of the vehicles to easy rent one of the others. (BMW)

August

  • Issued a press release detailing some of the ways in which new technology has been incorporated into the company’s production process. Although some of the techniques described, such as a feedback loop between blanks and press tools, news that BMW conducts analysis of bolt rundown measurements and installs vibration sensors on machinery won’t be troubling competitor analysis teams at other OEMs. (BMW)
  • Showed the design of the Mini E electric car ahead of the full unveiling at Frankfurt. (BBC)
  • Unveiled the new M5 sports saloon by including it in a new computer game “Need for Speed Payback” rather than a conventional product presentation. (BMW)
  • FCA signed an MoU with the intention of joining the BMW-led consortium developing an autonomous driving platform. As part of the agreement, it is envisaged that FCA will contribute engineering resource, to be located alongside the other partners in Germany. (BMW)
  • Offered UK drivers a £2,000 trade-in bonus on older diesel vehicles, similar to the one in Germany and surely not simply an increase in variable marketing spending. Other countries will get the incentives too. (Autocar)
  • Following the German diesel summit, BMW called for “objective discussions based on facts and scientific evidence”, it also launched a €2k additional trade-in “environmental bonus” for owners of E4 and earlier diesel vehicles. (BMW)
  • BMW’s CEO called on non-German carmakers to contribute a €500 million fund set up by German carmakers and the government as a result of the diesel summit. (Reuters)
  • Saw BMW’s partner in its carbon fibre joint venture, SGL Group, speculate that it might buy the automaker out of its stake in the company. (Reuters)

Q2 Earnings

  • Reported Q2 2017 financial results. Automotive revenue of €49.25 billion was up 7.4% on a year-over-year basis. Automotive EBIT of €2.24 billion was up 2.8%. (BMW)
  • Announced June sales figures. The 232,620 vehicles sold by the group represented a 2.1% year-over-year increase. (More…)

July

  • Confirmed that it would produce the electric version of the Mini in Oxford. The powertrain will come from plants in Germany. BMW said that it received no assurances from the UK Government about the impact of Brexit before making the decision. (BMW)
  • Was allegedly part of a cartel of German car makers under investigation by the EU for possible collusion on technical regulations and component sourcing for items such as retractable roofs and emission control systems. The other participants were Daimler and VW Group (Audi, Porsche and VW). According to media reports, Daimler and VW may have partial immunity or relief from fines after coming forward as whistle-blowers. BMW appears more exposed. (More…). After the allegations first emerged, BMW rejected wrongdoing and said that the talks between the car companies had been to support infrastructure rather than to act anti-competitively. (..)
  • BMW took part in a $38 million funding round for online used car sales company Shift. (More…)
  • Took part in the $159 million series C financing of autonomous vehicle technology company Nauto, alongside GM and Toyota. BMW was already an investor. (More…)
  • Saw media speculation that BMW would prefer to build the electric Mini in its Oxford, UK plant but are seeking government assurances around tariff levels and relief treatment before committing. (More…)
  • Announced that the head of sales (Ian Robertson) would be retiring with Pieter Nota taking on his responsibilities. (More…)
  • BMW i Ventures has made an investment in Caroobi, an online platform that uses independent repair garages to offer servicing in a variety of locations across Germany, Switzerland and Austria with haggle-free pricing. (More…)
  • Announced that it will become an official manufacturer in the Formula E racing series (open wheel, electric power only), partnered with the Andretti team. (More…)
  • Reached agreement on pensions for UK staff, ending a series of strikes. Staff agreed (with 81.5% in favour) to the closure of the company’s defined benefits scheme for existing contributors (new hires are already in a defined contribution scheme). The union has extracted higher transition payments (£22,000 over a series of years) than the company originally offered. The DC scheme has an employer contribution of 16%. (More…)
  • Has set itself a target of saving €1 billion in indirect production costs by 2019. BMW’s current indirect purchasing bill is around €20 billion. (More…)
  • Said that the stoppage a few weeks ago caused by a Bosch supplier had affected delivery of around 8,000 vehicles. (More…)
  • Will use Inrix as a provider of parking space information in 5 series vehicles. (More…)
  • Will supply i3 powertrain components to electric boat propulsion company Torqueedo. (More…)

June

  • BMW’s CEO visited the Spartanburg, US plant for the launch of the new X3. In a speech he stressed BMW’s contribution to the US economy and said that a further $600 million would be invested between now and 2021 to make new SUVs. (..)
  • BMW’s board member for sales said that the company was yet to decide where to build a forthcoming all-electric Mini. The plants in contention are Oxford (UK), NedCar (Netherlands), Leipzig and Regensburg (both in Germany). He said that the decision will be made in September. It is probably no coincidence that these remarks were made whilst BMW is in dispute with UK unions over pension terms. (More…)
  • BMW’s CFO said that one of the ways the company could afford increased R&D spending was by reducing complexity. Amongst potential measures he mentioned reducing the size of the diesel portfolio. (More…)
  • BMW remained silent on rumours that it will show an electric 3 series at the Frankfurt motor show (reportedly sporting a 400 km range). (More…)
  • Agreed with (German region) Bavaria’s government to improve the emissions of Stage 5 diesel cars through the use of new engine management software. This could be a template for agreement at a national level. (More…)
  • Released a report covering the learnings from its ChargeForward V2G charging experiment run with US utility PG&E. The report reveals how BMW split battery capacity between a stationery storage facility and parked vehicles and the extent to which they helped manage grid load (about 80% stationery / 20% vehicle in practice). Part of the learning was the time from experiment inception to final reporting -- 4 years in this case. (More…)
  • Said that current government policy in India does not support take-up of all-electric vehicles as well as it could. (More…)
  • Announced that the 5 series PHEV will be produced by Magna in Austria under a contract manufacture agreement (More…)
  • Continental were announced as a member of the BMW / Mobileye / Intel development partnership as a “system integrator”, a similar role to Delphi’s. Continental’s press release did not mention Delphi at all. (More…). Delphi’s earlier press release had noted that its agreement was non-exclusive. (More…)
  • Will increase the size of its Strasbourg parts depot by almost half. It isn’t clear if this will lead to an increase in employment at the facility which currently has around 150 staff. (More…)
  • UK workers rejected BMW’s latest offer in an ongoing dispute over a new pension structure. The Unite union had suspended strike action whilst the ballot went ahead. (..)
  • Released sales figures for May. 208,447 vehicles were delivered, an increase of 5.1% year-over-year. (More…)
  • Announced that IBM has signed up to BMW’s CarData program. This will allow vehicle data to be assessed with IBM’s Watson AI. (More…)
  • Announced that it was making an investment in Proterra, a US manufacturer of heavy-duty electric vehicles for mass transport. (More…)
  • Announced the ground-breaking for their new plant in Mexico. The plant is scheduled to commence production of 3 Series vehicles in 2019. (More…)

May

  • Issued more details of its driverless vehicle program. The company listed Level 3 and Level 4 “with technical provisos” as being offered in 2021. (..)
  • Announced a new service called CarData that provides a platform for owners to share vehicle data with 3rd For instance, it can be used to supply data for tailored insurance premiums. (More...)
  • Had to reduce production in Munich, Leipzig and Shenyang because of parts supply problems from Bosch. The loss was put at “several thousand” vehicles and BMW said it would seek compensation. Bosch are now intending to purchase the supplier in question. (..)
  • There was renewed talk of a merger between car sharing companies DriveNow (BMW) and Car2Go (Daimler). The latest stories have a merger taking place in Q3 2017 and a new brand being established. Rumours of a tie up have circulated since December 2016. BMW’s partner in DriveNow, Sixt, has been openly opposed to the move but BMW reportedly now believes that it can convince Sixt to cooperate. (..)
  • Issued a press release trumpeting its place as the third most popular employer, and most popular carmaker, for young German IT professionals. (..)
  • Will recall over 45,000 2005 to 2008 year 7-series vehicles in the USA to fix faults with door latches. (..)
  • Announced that Delphi has joined the self-driving alliance BMW created with Intel and Mobileye. Delphi will act as the system integrator and seemed a logical choice given the existing cooperation it has with Mobileye. (..)
  • UK media reported on CEO Harald Kruger’s comments that the Mini plant in Oxford could be negatively affected by Brexit, saying the BMW was planning “in terms of scenarios” and “was flexible” on the source of Minis. (..)
  • Settled a US class action case relating to failure of airbags supplied by Takata. The overall bill was $553 million of which BMW’s share was $131 million. (..)
  • Warned investors that R&D spending will increase to about 6% of sales in 2017 and 2018 due to extra investment in CO2 reduction technologies and electric vehicles. (..)
  • Said that it had record sales in April of 192,494, an increase of 7.4% year-over-year. Sales of electrified vehicles rose 82.7% YoY to over 25,000 units. The Chinese market was the main driver of growth. (..)
  • Announced an agreement with the City of Hamburg to form a strategic partnership concerning urban mobility. As a part of this, the Hamburg fleet of DriveNow vehicles will expand to 550 cars by 2019 (400 pure electric, 150 PHEV) and the city will provide 1,150 charging points. (..)
  • Media reported that BMW was planning to raise production capacity to 3 million units by 2020. (..)
  • Said that it has not made any changes to its plans for production in Mexico. (..)
  • CEO Harald Krüger called sustainability “a marathon” in his introductory comments to the AGM. He also said that sustainable mobility “thrives wherever there is a combination of three factors: customer, legislation and industrialisation”. He also promised small-scale fuel cell vehicle production in 2021. (..)

Q1 Earnings

  • Announced via an ad-hoc release that Q1 2017 profit before tax (€3.005 billion) and revenues were above market expectations. The ad-hoc release was made ahead of scheduled reporting due to German financial reporting rules. Daimler and VW also had financial results in Q1 2017 that were significantly better than expected. (..)
  • Reported Q1 2017 detailed financial results. Unit deliveries were 587,237 units, up 5.3% year-over-year. Group revenue of €23.5 billion was up 12.4% YoY. Group profit before tax of €3.0 billion was up almost 27% YoY, largely due to the gain on sale and revaluation of BMW’s HERE stake and increased profits in China. (..)

April

  • Said that its plant in Dingolfing would produce the BMW iNEXT from 2021 and said that it was working on manufacturing processes that would allow ICE-only, hybrid and full-BEV products to be built on the same facilities. BMW re-iterated that it expects 15% - 25% of its sales to be from electrified vehicles by 2025 (this figure includes hybrid and full BEVs) (..)
  • Saw media reporting on its efforts at culture change. BMW is running a program that attempts to convince employees that electrification and autonomous driving are key trends for the future and will cause substantial changes in the way that the company works (story was from last week but not included in that review). (..)
  • Received coverage for its efforts to improve the user experience of car-sharing and reduce the time it takes to access a vehicle. (..)
  • Said that it has made adequate risk provisions for a fall in residual car values and was “well protected”. (..)
  • The USA (through the United States International Trade Commission -- USITC) said it will investigate whether patents owned by US companies have been infringed by plastic sub-components used by BMW and others. (..)
  • Expects BMW sales in China to increase about 10% this year. (..)
  • Said that in China its ChargeNow subsidiary would have a total of 2,500 chargers in 15 cities by the end of 2017, a 50% rate of growth. (..)

March

  • Said that in finalising any Brexit deal the UK government should “take the concerns of international business” into account including free trade, cross-border employment and consistent regulatory standards.
  • Said that its India plant had localisation levels of more than 50%
  • Released its latest sustainability report
  • Workers in the UK voted to go on strike in a dispute over their pensions -- BMW wants to close the final salary scheme for existing employees. The action involves 3,500 workers.