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Old 04-20-2007, 03:26 AM
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BMW CEO's speech at Shanghai Auto show

Dr. Norbert Reithofer - BMW Group Press Night Auto Shanghai 2007
19.04.2007

Ladies and Gentlemen -
I am delighted to see that so many of you have accepted our invitation to this Press Evening. This is true for our guests from Chinese Mainland as well as our guests from Europe and the US, who have had such a long trip. Thank you very much for coming here this evening.

Motor shows are usually pretty hectic places, and the Auto Shanghai is no exception. There is never enough time to talk in more detail about what we present at the motor show.

This is why we have invited you here tonight. We would like to give you an exclusive preview of the major topics for the BMW Group. Afterwards, we will have more time to discuss these topics with you.

Let me now move onto matters that go beyond our daily business.

Last month, we presented our key data for the business year 2006 at our Annual Balance-Sheet Press Conference. 2006 was the most successful year in our corporate history. We again strengthened our position as the world's leading premium manufacturer in the automotive industry.

However: A company's strength is not only reflected in its economic key data. A company's strength also lies in the future, otherwise it lacks continuity. And it is hard - if not impossible - to see a company's future orientation only from its balance sheet.

It is simply a fact that financial data always focus on the past. They present what a company has achieved. In order to evaluate a company's future potential, we have to ask different questions. Questions that go beyond the data presented in the annual accounts.

Does the product portfolio correspond to the customers' demands?

Has the company made investments that provide the foundation for making best use of upcoming opportunities?

Are employees highly motivated? Is there a company culture that promotes entrepreneurial thinking and acting?

Is the company well-positioned in all relevant markets?

Has the company considered all important trends in its sector - and if so, is it prepared for them?

And last but not least: Does the company act in a responsible and future-oriented way? Is it willing to assume social responsibility as a good corporate citizen?

Ladies and Gentlemen -

As experts yourself, I am sure that you could easily add to this list of questions. But what it comes down to is: Does a company show promise for the future or not? Or in other words: Is it well prepared for the challenges ahead?

For the BMW Group, I can state: "We are well prepared for the future!"

Why am I so sure about this? Let me give you three examples:

Example 1: Our products.

It is a matter of course that tomorrow, when you visit our stand, the spotlight will be on our products. They represent all that defines our three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce - extraordinarily high product substance that distinguishes us from our competitors. We use exclusive materials. We offer first-class workmanship and trendsetting designs. And we offer one-of-a-kind quality. Add to this, our products' unique technology and outstanding driving performance sets us apart in the area with regards to acceleration power as well as fuel consumption.

But there is one more thing. Our products offer something that makes them truly unique: Emotions!

Our intention is not simply to help our customers to get from A to B. We also want our customers to have fun, to actually enjoy the drive and ride from A to B - with a very exceptional and outstanding vehicle.

It is not just about providing people with a means of transportation. It is in fact much more that that: We have products people desire, and even dream of owning.

This is our strength: To fulfil desires and dreams. And most notably: We fulfil these desires in all relevant premium segments of the automotive industry.

With our three brands MINI, BMW and Rolls-Royce, our positioning is excellent. From the small car to the ultra-luxury automobile - there is no gap in our model range.

The BMW Group's brand and product portfolio is structured clearly and logically. It is never static, though. Wherever we see new opportunities for us, we evaluate them carefully and act accordingly if necessary. This is how we establish the prerequisites for our future success.

We frequently refine our range. This is to say: We always launch new products when we see lasting potential for them. Just think about the BMW brand's Sports Activity Vehicles - our X5 and our X3. Or think about the BMW 1 Series and 6 Series we introduced a while ago.

Current examples from our brands MINI and Rolls-Royce include the MINI Clubman that has already been announced or the Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe. Both are new products that help us to refine and expand our model portfolio.

Ladies and Gentlemen -

That the BMW Group is well prepared for the future is also demonstrated by my second example: our international market presence.

The BMW Group is a German manufacturer and excellently represented in Europe. At the same time, we started to gradually strengthen our international presence beyond Europe decades ago.

Just to give you one example: In 1975, we set up a subsidiary in the US and opened a plant there in 1994. This is how we established our presence in the world's largest automotive market. Since then, the importance of this market has grown continuously: Today, the US is our most important individual market, just ahead of our home market Germany.

In 1981, we were the first European manufacturer to establish a subsidiary in Japan - and contrary to some other companies, we stayed there during the Asian crisis. Back then, hardly anyone understood that. Today, we benefit from this decision. At present, Japan is our strongest market in Asia.

Of course, this might change in the coming years. You don't have to look at the impressive skyline of Pudong to understand that Chinese Mainland with its high growth rates is on its way to becoming one of the world's most important automotive markets.

For us, it has been obvious for a couple of years now that Chinese Mainland will play an important role for the BMW Group in the long term. According to our principle "Production follows the market", we have started a sales and production joint-venture at Shenyang. We have thus strengthened our position here in Chinese Mainland and are better prepared for the future growth of this market.

And success proves us right: Over the last five years, the BMW brand alone has risen by more than 750 per cent in Chinese Mainland. No other major premium brand achieves such dynamic growth rates in this market.

Our vehicles are extremely popular in China. The BMW brand in particular benefits from its great image here. And we even have a special product for this market that is not offered anyplace else - the long version of our BMW 5 Series. Why is that? Because our customers in Chinese Mainland demand such a vehicle. And if you intend to be successful in such an important market in the long term, you have to listen to your customers.

In a nutshell: We are convinced that Chinese Mainland will be one of our key markets in the long run. And we are prepared excellently for participating in the future growth potential of this market! The next step towards the future was taken just a few weeks ago - when we opened our subsidiary and a production location in India. In the long term, India is a promising market with great growth potential. Therefore, it is right to set up shop there now.

Our philosophy is: We want to be present wherever we see a long-term potential for our premium products. As the world's most dynamic region, Asia is currently a main focus of our activities. It is our goal to increase our retail volume in the region to 150,000 vehicles by next year. And we are convinced that the entire Asian region will become the fourth mainstay of our global business - complementing Germany, Western Europe and North America. Concerning our international market presence I can confidently say: We are in an excellent position to participate to the full extent in the future growth of the different markets and regions.

Ladies and Gentlemen -

Let's move on to my third example: handling trends and innovations.

You all know about the important role climate protection plays right now. And rightly so - because climate change is a major challenge for all of us - including the automotive industry. And the way we master this challenge will determine the future development of the automotive industry as well as the success or failure of the individual manufacturers. We have a clear answer to this challenge: "BMW EfficientDynamics". With this concept, we resolve the supposed conflict between "efficiency" and "dynamics". We do so by applying an entire range of measures:

First of all, there is the continuous optimization of the powertrain.

Generally, the concept is about intelligent solutions for the entire vehicle energy management.

Light-weight construction contributes to efficiency as does aerodynamics.

Keyword hybrid: In the medium term, this will, of course, also be an element of "BMW EfficientDynamics". We have just entered into a new cooperation with DaimlerChrysler. Together we are going to develop hybrid components in Germany.

In the long term, we consider hydrogen the solution for individual mobility. We have already achieved a lot in this field. The Hydrogen 7 demonstrates a viable solution for the future.

Together these measures make up "BMW EfficientDynamics", which is our solution to the climate challenge facing all of us.

At the same time, "BMW EfficientDynamics" is proof that we deal with vital trends in our industry at a very early stage. The main point here is to distinguish between short-lived fads and real long-term trends. In the first case, there is no need to be part of it. But those who ignore real trends miss out on long-term opportunities within their competitive environment.

Meeting real trends by offering relevant innovations - this is our goal, concerning climate protection as well as many other issues:

Think about vehicle service elements.
But also think about safety features.
Driver assistance systems play a role here.
And of course, design is another important aspect to consider.

But the core of the matter is: Which qualities and characteristics will our vehicles have to offer a few years from now in order to be successful in our markets?

I am sure you realize that in our industry, development cycles are longer than in other lines of business. Therefore, we have to recognize trends early on and have to act accordingly. This is a long-term, future-oriented approach.

From today's point of view, I can state: We do not see any trend in the coming years that we are not prepared for. Recognizing and following trends is one of our company's key strengths. And in the past, our products have frequently demonstrated that. Whether you look at BMW, MINI or Rolls-Royce - our model portfolio is so popular, among other things, because these vehicles set trends instead of playing catch-up.

Ladies and Gentlemen -

These are three examples to substantiate why we can say: "We are well prepared for the future!"

At present, we are the leading premium manufacturer, and we are on the right track for remaining successful in the future. We are future-oriented - this is our strength. Tomorrow you will be able to see how far our future-oriented thinking actually goes. Because this is when we are going to present, among other things, our BMW Concept CS.

Of course I realize that this concept car in particular is of major interest to many of you. And of course I don't want to disappoint you. So we thought we would offer you a glimpse at this impressive vehicle here. Let's begin the film!

Ladies and Gentlemen -

I suppose you agree with me when I say: Tomorrow, this vehicle will be one of the highlights at the Auto Shanghai 2007.

What can I already tell you about this vehicle?

1. The BMW Concept CS is a clear symbol for the BMW brand's desirability. It is a vehicle that inspires people. It stands for "sheer driving pleasure" in its purest form. And it shows our characteristic BMW interpretation of a Gran Turismo that combines driving pleasure and travel comfort.

2. This BMW Concept CS also stands for a further development of our design language. Design is a very distinguishing feature for BMW, and this is not going to change. Our customers want a face that stands out in a crowd. Our expertise in this field is further underlined by this concept car. With our last leap in design a few years ago, we clearly broke away from competitors. We frequently see that other manufacturers follow our design language more closely. Now, we are starting the next round. This is how the next step in the evolutionary development of our design language could look like.

3. With this concept car, we also show that generally there is still a lot of expansion potential at the BMW brand. Many things are possible. We will not necessarily launch all the products people speculate about. But our competitors should not feel too safe. We still have a lot in the pipeline.

I think this is enough information for now. I invite you all to take a very close look at this vehicle tomorrow. There are lots of things for you to discover! And now I am very much looking forward to spending this evening with you. Thank you very much for your attention.
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:03 AM
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The CS isn't the X6 is it?
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:08 AM
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Thought it was that 4 door in the concept thread...
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinuneuro
The CS isn't the X6 is it?
No. But the X6 will have hints of CS....especially the rear and some of front, the grill and lower bumper.
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