BMW to focus on electric vehicles as part of new strategy

German car-maker rethinks its traditional policy of selling large powerful luxury cars

BMW has said it will focus on electric vehicles and automated driving and develop its software and technology services as part of a new strategy for the 100-year-old car-maker.

The emergence of rivals including ride-sharing company Uber and technology group Alphabet/Google, which has developed its own self-driving car, has prompted BMW to rethink its traditional strategy of selling large powerful luxury cars.

“We are leading BMW group into a new era,” chief executive Harald Krüger said at BMW’s annual results news conference. “To this end we leverage innovative technologies, comprehensive connectivity and zero-emission mobility. All of these need to be industrialised, bearing in mind our business responsibilities, and in a sustainable manner, which in itself is another great challenge.”

BMW Group aims to achieve a pretax margin of at least 10 per cent from 2017 to 2020 by pushing digital connectivity, autonomous cars and developing businesses including motorcycles and financial services.


In headline figures announced last week, BMW said profit before interest and taxes rose 5.2 per cent to €9.59 billion last year. Full-year net income increased 10 per cent to €6.4 billion.

BMW said it would focus on developing the businesses of high-definition digital maps, sensor technology, cloud technology and artificial intelligence.

BMW will also push services including providing wall mounted electric car charging boxes and software programs to help drivers find a parking space with its ParkNow and ChargeNow services.

In addition, it will seek to maintain the high profitability of its cars business by boosting the number of high-margin luxury vehicles like the 7 Series, and broadening the range of M performance branded cars.

At the same time, BMW is looking at streamlining its portfolio of cars to focus on the most profitable models.

– (Bloomberg)