BMW Recognized As Innovative And Sustainable

Based on its recent analysis of the new mobility products and services market, Frost & Sullivan recognized BMW AG as the 2013 Global Company of the Year.

According to Frost & Sullivan, BMW has firmly established its credentials as an innovative and sustainable auto manufacturer, working towards solving intensifying mobility challenges. Per the market research firm, cars like the BMW i3 Concept and BMW i8 Concept and services like AlphaCity, DriveNow and ParkNow represent the future of mobility. These mobility services initiatives have been designed by BMW and its partners to complement each other and mark significant strides towards a future of fully integrated mobility solutions.

“BMW is the one participant in the new mobility products and services market that has not only rightly identified and addressed the changing mobility needs of the global consumer early in its life cycle, but has also set a benchmark for others to follow,” commended Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Shwetha Surender. “The company has displayed effective leadership in customer value with its wide range of innovative and customized solutions, ranging from integrated mobility solutions to flexible usage models.”

Apart from growing the traditional fleet business, BMW’s multi-make fleet division Alphabet has focused its efforts on corporate car sharing and short term rentals. AlphaCity and BMW on Demand are aimed at providing increasing flexibility to both corporate and private customers.

AlphaCity was the first corporate car sharing program to be launched globally. This business model combines car sharing and leasing to improve employee mobility. Alphabet has tied up with the Dutch Railways NS to offer the NS Business Card to corporate clients. This mobility offering integrates access to all means of public transportation under one single contact-less chip card.

BMW’s car sharing programme DriveNow expanded into the North American market in August 2012. DriveNow allows customers to locate and reserve the nearest car using the DriveNow app and unlock the car using a digital key incorporated in the driver’s license. The recently launched ParkNow app allows customers to search and pay for parking spaces using their cell phones. DriveNow in Europe is a joint venture with Sixt the car rental company and DriveNow in North America is wholly owned by BMW.

“One of the most important factors in the success of BMW’s mobility services is the use of information and communication technology to offer fully automated mobility services,” noted Surender. “The combination of online reservations and contact-less chip cards has made car sharing easy, efficient and profitable, while global system for mobile communications (GSM) facilitates efficient billing and rapid identification of vehicle location.”

Recognizing the need to develop smart technology further, BMW has established a venture capital company – BMW i Ventures – with a corpus of $100 million. The initiative aims to promote mobile apps and mobile technology as part of BMWs long term growth strategy within the new mobility products and services market.

“Sustainability is a key aspect of BMW’s vision; it has been the sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the last eight years for sustainable premium automobile manufacturing,” remarked Surender. “BMW’s pioneering BMW i electric vehicle (BEV/PHEV) range – the i3 and the i8 – is in line with its commitment to sustainable mobility solutions.”

Per BMW, the BMW i3 Concept has been designed as a competitively priced, compact megacity vehicle that offers key telematics, entertainment, and connectivity features. The emission-free electric motor has an output of125 kilowatt and gives the car real punch on the road. The i8 has been conceptualized as a hybrid sports car which can run on electric power and uses less than 3 liters of fuel every 100 kilometers.