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With the acquisition of Sixt SE’s stake in DriveNow, the BMW Group continues its systematic development as a customer-centric mobility company. Today’s signing is subject to approval by antitrust authorities. With this move, the world’s leading provider of premium mobility is offering customers efficient, sustainable mobility solutions from a single source. The rapidly growing field of mobility services is one of the cornerstones of the BMW Group’s corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, as evidenced by the BMW Group expanding its offering in the areas of on-demand mobility (DriveNow and ReachNow), parking (ParkNow) and charging (ChargeNow) in a sustainable way. The acquisition of the Sixt shares is therefore the next logical step in this strategy, following the acquisition of Parkmobile LLC in early January of this year, a move which made the BMW Group the world’s leading provider of digital parking solutions.
“We have achieved extraordinary success with DriveNow over the past seven years – thanks to the efforts of the DriveNow employees and the excellent cooperation with our joint venture partner, Sixt. Sixt will remain a strong partner for us in the future,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad, Customer Engagement and Digital Business Innovation BMW Group. “Our aim is to win 100 million customers for our premium mobility services by 2025. With DriveNow as a wholly-owned subsidiary, we have all options for continued strategic development of our services in our hands. Our experience with mobility services supports our development of future autonomous, electrified and connected fleets,” Schwarzenbauer continued.
Independently of the acquisition of the Sixt stake in DriveNow, the BMW Group and Sixt will continue their successful long-standing partnership through delivery of BMW and MINI vehicles for the Sixt fleet.
“The joint development of DriveNow impressively demonstrates the innovative strength of Sixt and the BMW Group. We would like to thank the DriveNow employees and the BMW Group for this success and look forward to continuing our strategic partnership with the BMW Group through our contracts for delivery of BMW and MINI brand vehicles”, said Alexander Sixt, member of the Managing Board of Sixt SE, responsible for Group Strategy.
DriveNow was founded in 2011 as a premium car-sharing joint venture between the BMW Group and Sixt SE. The service is already used by more than one million customers in 13 European cities. The fleet comprises more than 6,000 BMW and MINI brand premium vehicles across Europe. The electric BMW i3 is also available to users at all DriveNow locations.
“In 2017 our customers drove over eight million kilometres with the DriveNow electric fleet – that is equivalent to driving round the globe more than 200 times on electric power. DriveNow not only reduces traffic and improves the parking situation in urban areas, but it is also supporting the breakthrough of electromobility,” said DriveNow Managing Director Sebastian Hofelich. “We look forward to working with our franchise and city partners to continue actively shaping urban mobility in a sustainable manner,” he added.
The BMW Group seeks to improve quality of life in urban areas through its mobility offering. The company works with various partners and decision-makers in cities to help shape the sustainable mobility of the future.
The BMW Group achieved its best-ever annual sales in 2017, the seventh consecutive year it has achieved a new annual record. This success was spread throughout the company with both BMW and MINI brands achieving new all-time high figures. BMW M and BMW i also achieved record sales, as did BMW Motorrad. With this sales result, the BMW Group reconfirms its position as the world’s leading premium automotive company.
Record sales for BMW
The company’s core BMW brand achieved a new all-time sales high, growing sales by 4.2% across the year, to total 2,088,283. BMW X vehicles continued to be significant growth drivers with sales of X vehicles up 9.6% compared to the previous year, despite limited availability of the BMW X3 due to the introduction of the new generation in November. The BMW 5 Series limousine, which underwent a model change during 2017, achieved growth of 55.2% (30,359) in December, with sales of the world’s leading premium business sedan up 6.3% (291,856) in the full year. Other models which contributed to the brand’s growth in 2017 include the BMW 1 Series (201,968 / +14.7%), and the BMW 7 Series (64,311 / +4.5%).
“We are delighted with these new record sales figures, which mean the BMW Group, with its three premium automotive brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, remains the world’s leading premium automotive company,” commented Ian Robertson, until 31 December 2017 BMW AG board member responsible for Sales and Brand BMW. “We have continued to increase sales despite headwinds in some major markets and model-changeovers of several of our most significant vehicles. This demonstrates the high desirability of our brands and products, ranging from the i3 to the M5 and from the BMW 1 Series to the BMW 7 Series. We clearly achieved our target of selling over 100,000 electrified vehicles in a single calendar year and are delighted that, following its model changeover, the BMW 5 Series returned to its position as segment leader in the final months of 2017,” Robertson continued.
Pieter Nota, who on 1 January 2018 succeeded Robertson on the board of BMW AG, added “I am confident BMW sales will continue to grow during 2018, while we also maintain our focus on profitability. Increased availability of BMW X models and our ongoing model offensive, which includes the launches of brand new models this year such as the BMW X2 and the BMW 8 Series, will ensure we bring even more customers to the BMW brand in 2018.”
Target exceeded: over 100,000 electrified vehicles sold in 2017. BMW Group’s leading role in premium electro-mobility confirmed
In December, the BMW Group celebrated delivery of the 100,000th electrified vehicle sold in 2017. In total, 103,080 electrified vehicles were delivered to customers during the year; this increase of 65.6% underscores the company’s leading position in electro-mobility. The BMW Group sold more electrified vehicles in Europe than any other premium manufacturer in 2017 and the company’s position on the world market is also extremely strong. Four years after its launch, sales of the BMW i3 grew in 2017 by 23.3% to total 31,482 worldwide. The plug-in hybrid BMW iPerformance vehicles also continue to grow in popularity, with sales almost doubling to total 63,605. Launched in June 2017, the MINI Countryman plug-in hybrid also made a significant contribution to boosting the BMW Group’s electrified sales, with a total of 5,799 delivered to customers around the world. The BMW Group is expecting strong double-digit growth in electrified vehicle sales in 2018. By the end of 2019, the company aims to have at least half a million electrified BMW Group vehicles on the road.
Powerful growth at BMW M GmbH
BMW’s high-performance BMW M vehicles achieved record sales in 2017. Deliveries of BMW M and BMW M Performance vehicles increased by 19.1% compared to the previous year, with overall sales topping 80,000 for the first time ever. In its first full year on the market, the BMW M2 (fuel consumption combined: 8.5-7.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 199-185 g/km. Fuel consumption and CO2 figures were calculated as per the EU test cycle and may vary depending on the tyre format.) was the strongest growth driver, with total sales of 12,293. The BMW M Performance variants of the new BMW 5 Series also contributed strongly to the increase in sales. With the launch of the new BMW M5 in in the spring, BMW M’s powerful success story looks set to continue in 2018.
All-time-best sales figures for MINI
The MINI brand overall achieved a new sales record in 2017 with 371,881 vehicles delivered to customers around the world, an increase of 3.2% on the previous year. The new MINI Countryman saw a jump in sales of 30.0% (84,441). Another significant contributor to the brand’s sales success was the MINI Convertible, which grew sales 12.0% (33,317). “We are delighted that with our new brand strategy, we have achieved a new sales record. The focus of the MINI portfolio on fewer but more characterful models was completed with the launch of the new MINI Countryman last year,” stated Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the BMW AG Board of Management responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad. “The Countryman contributed significantly to MINI’s growth in 2017 and the first MINI plug-in hybrid also achieved excellent results. I am sure that this success will continue into 2018, with the launch from March of the new MINI 3 and 5 door, as well as the MINI Convertible, supporting the brand’s further growth,” he continued.
The Goodwood-based luxury house delivered 3,362 units (-16.2%) to customers in almost 50 countries during 2017. This result was achieved despite the absence of Phantom from the market due to model-changeover and against a backdrop of unsettled market conditions in the important Middle East market. New Phantom was unveiled in July to unprecedented worldwide acclaim by media and prospective customers alike and has a strong order book. First customer Phantoms are due to be delivered in January 2018.
BMW Motorrad achieved a seventh consecutive record year, with more motorcycles and maxi-scooters delivered to customers than ever before. Sales across the range increased by 13.2% with a total of 164,153 units delivered worldwide – the ever- popular GS models were particularly strong growth drivers. A total of 14 new and updated models in the range, including additions to the R nineT family and the attractively priced G 310 R and G 310 GS also helped drive BMW Motorrad to its most successful sales year ever.
BMW & MINI sales in the markets / regions at a glance
The BMW Group maintains its focus on balanced sales around the world.
Asia was the company’s main growth driver in 2017 with China the most significant contributor. BMW and MINI sales in Mainland China, the company’s largest market, increased by 15.1% (594,388) in 2017. This increase was achieved despite the model changeover of the BMW 5 Series.
Europe maintained sales of BMW and MINI vehicles at the same extremely high level as the previous year, with a total of 1,100,975 (+0.9%) vehicles delivered to customers in the region, despite significant headwinds in the important UK market.
The Americas recorded a slight decrease in deliveries across the whole year (450,020/-2.0%) with the limited availability of BMW X models impacting on sales.
BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche today announced joint venture IONITY that will develop and implement a High-Power Charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles across Europe. Launching approximately 400 HPC stations by 2020, IONITY will make long-distance journeys easier and marks an important step for electric vehicles. Based in Munich, Germany, the joint venture is led by Chief Executive Officer Michael Hajesch and Chief Operating Officer Marcus Groll, with a growing team, set to number 50 by the start of 2018.
“The first pan-European HPC network plays an essential role in establishing a market for electric vehicles. IONITY will deliver our common goal of providing customers with fast charging and digital payment capability, to facilitate long-distance travel,” said Hajesch.
Creation of 20 charging stations starting in 2017
A total of 20 stations will be opened to the public this year, located on major roads in Germany, Norway and Austria, at intervals of 120 km, through partnerships with “Tank & Rast”, “Circle K” and “OMV”. Through 2018, the network will expand to more than 100 stations, each one enabling multiple customers, driving different manufacturer cars, to charge their vehicles simultaneously.
With a capacity of up to 350 kW per charging point, the network will use the European charging standard Combined Charging System to significantly reduce charging times compared to existing systems. The brand-agnostic approach and Europe-wide distribution is expected to help make electrified vehicles more appealing.
Choosing the best locations takes into account potential integration with existing charging technologies and IONITY is negotiating with existing infrastructure initiatives, including those supported by the participating companies as well as political institutions. The investment underlines the commitment that the participating manufacturers are making in electric vehicles and relies on international co-operation across the industry.
The founding partners, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group, have equal shares in the joint venture, while other automotive manufacturers are invited to help expand the network.
BMW Group sales of electrified vehicles in the first three quarters of 2017 have exceeded those achieved in the whole of 2016; in September, electrified sales topped the 10,000 mark for the first time in a single month. With the company’s electrified line-up already totalling nine models, a total of 10,786 (+50.5%) BMW i, BMW iPerformance and MINI Electric vehicles were delivered in September, bringing the year-to-date total to 68,687 (+64.2%).
“We are pleased to see the ongoing, strong sales development of our unrivalled range of electrified vehicles, with independent reports* confirming our leadership in the field of electromobility,” commented Dr Ian Robertson, BMW AG Management Board Member for Sales and Brand BMW. “The BMW Group has the largest share of the electrified market worldwide; this year, we’ve already sold more electrified vehicles than in the whole of last year and we are well on track to deliver our target of 100,000 by year-end. The continued significant sales growth of these vehicles is due in part to the increasing availability of the BMW 5 Series plug-in hybrid, which in some markets accounts for up to a third of BMW 5 Series sedan sales,” he continued.
(BMW 530e: fuel consumption combined: 1.9-2.1 l/100 km; combined electricity consumption: 13.1-14.1 kWh/100 km, CO2 emissions combined: 44-49 g/km. Fuel consumption and CO2 figures were calculated as per the EU test cycle and may vary depending on the tyre format.)
September also saw growth in overall BMW Group sales. Despite the current changeover of the significant BMW X3 model, deliveries in the month totalled 239,764 (+0.8%) worldwide, bringing the year-to-date total to 1,811,234 (+3.7%). Both figures represent best-ever sales for the respective period.
Global BMW brand sales in the first three quarters of 2017 increased by 3.9% with a total of 1,537,497 customer deliveries worldwide. These record figures can be attributed to increased sales across a variety of models in the portfolio. The BMW X family remains a strong growth driver, despite availability of the BMW X3 being significantly affected by the current model changeover. Total BMW X sales were up 12.5% (522,360) in the first nine months of the year. Other models contributing significantly to sales growth this year include the BMW 1 Series (143,018 / +10.8%) and the BMW 7 Series (47,880 / +14.7%). Meanwhile in September, the new BMW 5 Series achieved sales growth of 48.8% (23,737) in markets excluding China, where the 5 Series is currently in model changeover.
The first nine months of the year also saw MINI achieve new record sales: worldwide, a total of 271,394 were delivered to customers, an increase of 2.8%. “MINI continues to achieve sustainable sales growth with the new MINI Countryman proving a particularly strong growth driver,” commented Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW AG Management Board member for MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad. “The popularity of the first ever MINI plug-in hybrid, which has already been delivered to more than 2,700 customers worldwide since it was introduced in June, is particularly exciting,” he continued. Almost one in ten Countryman sold in September was a MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 (fuel consumption in the EU test cycle: 2.3-2.1 litres/100 km, electricity consumption 14 kWh/100 km, CO2 emissions: 52-49 g/km).
The Goodwood-based Rolls-Royce brand delivered 2,343 (-10.7%) cars to customers in the first three quarters of the year. This result takes into account the current absence of Phantom from the market, pending first customer deliveries of New Phantom in January 2018, and challenging market conditions within the global luxury sector in a number of regions around the world. Significant rebalancing of the company’s manufacturing plant in preparation for new models has proceeded throughout this period. New Phantom was unveiled in July in London to worldwide acclaim and already has a strong order book.
BMW Motorrad once again achieved record sales in September, with 14,090 motorbikes and maxi-scooters delivered to customers. This was an increase of 15.3% compared to the previous year. In the first nine months of the year, 127,818 units were delivered to customers – an increase of 10.1% compared to the same period last year.
The BMW Group is systematically expanding the intelligent connectivity capabilities of its vehicles by seamlessly integrating the highly versatile Alexa, Amazon’s voice-controlled personal assistant, into all BMW and MINI models from mid-2018. The innovative inclusion of a cloud-based voice service will enable BMW Group customers to access a variety of services, entertainment features and shopping facilities while on the move by simple voice interaction. Tens of thousands of Alexa skills that can be accessed from Echo devices will now be available for in-car use, too.
BMW Connected skill for Alexa has been available since September 2016. This has allowed BMW Connected users in the USA, Germany and the UK to ask Alexa to check vehicle information such as the state of charge or fuel level, or control their car via Remote Services from the comfort of their home. Alexa also makes it possible to consult appointments or scheduled routes and departure times with the help of the BMW Connected mobility agenda. The availability of Alexa in the car now makes it possible to use functions enjoyed at home while out on the road as well.
“By making this step of integrating Alexa into our models from mid-2018, BMW and MINI will form a more intrinsic part of our customers’ digital lifestyles,” remarked Dieter May, Senior Vice President Digital Services and Business Models at the BMW Group. “Voice control first featured in BMW Group cars many years ago, and we are now enhancing its functionality by adding a digital ecosystem, which will open up all sorts of new possibilities that customers can access quickly, easily and safely from their car.”
Today, 8.5 million BMW Group models worldwide are already connected. The vast number of services and infotainment features that can be controlled by voice commands in BMW models have paved the way for the forthcoming connectivity options and new digital services. A smartphone is not required to benefit from Alexa in the car, as all BMW models and selected MINI vehicles come equipped with a built-in SIM card. The resultant provision of online accessibility anywhere, anytime allows the seamless integration of Alexa.
For example, customers can find out which movies are currently showing at the local cinema, listen to their favourite playlist or find out the weather at their destination by voice command while on the move. And if the driver realises mid-way through a journey that they have forgotten something, they can ask Alexa to place an online order. Alexa can also show relevant content for certain skills (visual feedback) in the BMW Display Screen or MINI Centre Instrument.
“We are excited to work with BMW to bring the Alexa experience to their drivers,” said Ned Curic, Vice President, Alexa Automotive. “Using your voice to enjoy content and interact with Alexa makes a great driving experience even better. We can’t wait for BMW customers to try this out.” Intelligent connectivity between the vehicle and the user’s digital touchpoints is therefore moving into a new dimension at both BMW and MINI. Since the launch of the MINI Countryman – and the new MINI Connected alongside it – the connectivity capabilities of the British premium brand have been constantly enhanced.
From mid-2018 Amazon Alexa will be available in all BMW and MINI vehicles in USA, UK and Germany.