BMW i8
BMW i8 (Photo Credit: BMW)

by Gugu Lourie

German car maker BMW is targeting to sell 100, 000 electric-powered cars this year as its battle with Mercedes-Benz for the number one spot as the leading premium brand automaker.

The Munich-based firm estimated on Tuesday that electric-powered vehicles and plug-in hybrids will account for about 15 to 25% of its sales.

The car maker has already sold 62, 000 electric cars.

It added that the BMW i3 – we had a privilege to review this car last year click here – is one of the top three best-selling pure electric cars worldwide.

“This shows we are in a strong position. And we continue to drive ahead,” BMW AG’s CEO Harald Krueger, said in a statement.

“This means the electrification of all BMW Group brands and model series. Our goal is sustainable mobility. We are absolutely clear on this.”

To date, BMW has sold more than 120,000 electrified cars.

BMW i3 Garage Italia CrossFade (09/2016).
BMW i3 Garage Italia CrossFade (09/2016). (Photo Credit: BMW)

Refresh its Vehicles

From 2020, project i 2.0 will enable BMW to introduce a pure battery-electric model for its model series.

“To achieve this, we are now gearing our architectures towards combustion engines and pure battery-electric drivetrains,” said Krueger.

The automaker is also planning to refresh its vehicles to compete with Daimler that took the number one position as the leading premium brand automaker.

BMW will be rejuvenating its product portfolio significantly in the coming years.

It plans to launch more than 40 new and revised models of its three premium brands on the market during 2017 and 2018.

“The new product offensive began successfully with the launch of the new BMW 5 Series in February, further raising the bar in the business sedan segment,” said Krueger.

By 2020, the BMW Group is targeting significant sales volume growth in this area with the addition of several new models, including the BMW X7, to complement the BMW 7 series.

The automaker added that 2017 marks the beginning of a new era.

“We are transforming ourselves into a technology company for premium mobility and premium services. And we aim to lead the way. Our vision vehicles are a symbol of our focus on the future,” the CEO said.

The company explained that the assistance systems in the BMW 7 Series and the new 5 Series pave the way for highly-automated driving.

The all-new BMW 5 Series now available in South Africa (03/2017)
The all-new BMW 5 Series now available in South Africa (03/2017) (Photo Credit: BMW SA)

Connected Cars & Digitalisation

With Connected Drive, BMW said it leads in digital offerings and has already more than 8.5 million connected cars on the roads.

BMW added that the iNEXT project will develop modular kits for its electrification offensive across all brands and segments.

It said digitalisation will open new possibilities for customers. The car will become a living space which is fully integrated into the customer’s life and learns from its driver.

Later this year, BMW will begin testing highly-automated driving in city centres with a test fleet of 40 computer-operated cars.

“The BMW Group has always reinvented itself. I am confident: In the coming years we will successfully make the transformation to become a tech company for premium mobility and premium services,” said Krueger.

M Sport Limited Edition of the BMW 6 Series (03/2017).
M Sport Limited Edition of the BMW 6 Series (03/2017).

 

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