BMW’s New Focus Includes More Electrified Vehicles

BMW is the world’s largest luxury automaker, and it order to stay that way, the company has a plan that involves more electrified vehicles and faster delivery of autonomous-driving tech.

More SUVs and more variants of existing vehicles are also part of the plan, which was outlined by BMW CEO Harald Krueger in a strategy review. The goal for BMW is to maintain a pre-tax profit of over 10 percent through the year 2020.

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Among the planned electrified vehicles are a roadster/convertible version of the i8 plug-in hybrid, another version of the i3 compact EV that will have better battery capacity and a longer range, and a plug-in hybrid for the Mini brand.

The company is previewing its strategy since it finds itself in a strange spot. Ongoing attempts to offer products in every category has left BMW with few new niches to explore, and Mercedes-Benz/Daimler could overtake BMW as the biggest global luxury brand thanks to a combination of new products and redesigned models.

“We need to manage our current business to perfection, while continuing to grow in a targeted fashion, in order to secure the necessary investment,” Krueger said in the press release.

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BMW last shifted gears in this way in 2007, when it focused on bringing an electric car market while also using more carbon fiber and reducing overall fuel consumption. In addition to the new models mentioned above, BMW is also planning to expand the number of vehicles that will be available under the M performance sub-brand.

BMW is part of a small group that includes Mini and Rolls-Royce, so it will need to shoulder development costs on its own.

Tesla and possibly Apple also loom as competitors, so BMW is doing what it thinks it must do to face a changing market.

“We need to act swiftly in the digital world and be prepared to take risks,” said Krueger.

The press release is available here.