Automotive Purchasing Weekly 16 November 2015 - page 6

BMW i3 is thebest-sellingelectric
car inGermany
13 November 2015 | OEM
Two years after it went on sale, the BMW i3 has established itself at the pinnacle of its
segment worldwide. In Germany, one in every four electrically-powered vehicles sold
since then has been a BMW i3, globally it is one in 10.
In the listings of the most popular EV
models, the BMW i3 occupies third place on
a world-wide basis since its market launch
in November 2013. The most important
single market for the all-electric five-door
is the U.S., where it ranks third as well. In
Norway the BMW i3 has been the best-
selling model across the entire BMW range
in the current year.
Its ability to respond to the individual
requirements of customers and national
legislation in the various countries also
explains how the BMW i3 is the only
imported electric vehicle in China which
can be purchased tax-free and avoids the
hurdles presented by the local licence plate
lottery. For Japan a special version of the
BMW i3, tailor made to accommodate the
low height of the car parking spaces there,
had been developed.
The BMW i3 is available now in 49
countries, meaning the core phase of the
market introduction is finished now. Only
some smaller markets are still to follow.
Crucial element within the success
story of the BMW i3 has been that it is the
only EV worldwide with an optional Range
Extender. In many cases – especially among
customers who still had their reservations
about buying an electric car – the choice
of the additional small combustion engine
tipped the balance in favour of the BMW i3.
With the creation of the BMW i brand
and the decision to develop a purpose-built
vehicle architecture, as well as passenger
cells made from carbon-fibre-reinforced
plastic (CFRP) and BMW eDrive technology
for electric drive systems, the BMW Group
has taken on a pioneering role in the field
of personal mobility. Both the BMW i3 –
designed to provide locally emission-free
mobility in urban areas – and the trailblazing
BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car blend the
joy of driving with a premium character that
is focused squarely on sustainability and
also involves a resource-friendly approach
to materials selection and manufacturing.
This all-encompassing strategy and the
compelling product attributes have helped
BMW i to become the most awarded brand
in automotive history during launch phase.
The BMW i3 meets the needs of
demanding target groups who combine
an appreciation for sustainable mobility
with a desire for a driving experience that
is both sophisticated and rich in emotional
appeal. Its progressive design, intelligent
lightweight construction, groundbreaking
drive system technology and innovative
connectivity turn locally emission-free
mobility into a fascinating experience,
opening up whole new groups of buyers to
the BMW Group.
More than 80% of the BMW i3 buyers
worldwide are new customers to the
BMW Group.
Aided by its flexible production
capacity, BMW Plant Leipzig is
currently assembling over 100 units
of the BMW i3 – as well as more than
20 of the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports
car – every day in order to meet the rising
demand for the car.
The success of the BMW i models offers
clear evidence of the growing interest in
sustainable personal mobility while also
providing a valuable shot in the arm for the
infrastructure development still required.
Achieving even greater market penetration
of all-electric and plug-in hybrid drive
systems depends not only on attractive cars
but also on an expansion of the network of
public charging stations and the creation
of other infrastructure-related elements.
Positive examples of how the impact of
electric mobility can be increased to good
effect through infrastructure measures and
public incentives can be found in countries
such as Norway and the Netherlands.
BMW i has introduced a range of
innovative mobility services to further the
cause of sustainability on urban roads.
One example here is the integration of
the BMW i3 into the fleet of the DriveNow
car-sharing service. 100 units of the BMW
i3 are already in use at DriveNow locations
in Germany alone and another 300 are due
to join them by the end of the year. These
cars provide large numbers of customers
with a convenient opportunity to get their
first taste of premium-level pure-electric
mobility and, in so doing, contribute to
the increasing acceptance of this drive
system technology. In September 2015
DriveNow sent the largest BMW i3 fleet yet
– numbering 400 cars – into service in the
Danish capital Copenhagen. By the end of
2015, electric vehicles will account for 20%
of the vehicles in the BMW Group owned
car-sharing fleet.
The impact of BMW i as an innovation
driver across the other BMW Group brands
is more significant and visible than ever.
The extensive transfer of technology to the
core BMW brand also helps further increase
the efficiency of current and future models.
Following its introduction into the BMW X5
xDrive40e, the BMW eDrive technology
originally developed for BMW i cars will
also find its way into BMW 3 Series, BMW
2 Series Active Tourer and BMW 7 Series
model variants over the course of 2016. All
variants of the luxury sedan also feature
a Carbon Core body structure, whose
development is likewise largely based
on expertise in the industrial use of CFRP
developed by BMW i and in which BMW is a
global leader in the automotive industry.
ŠkodaVrchlabí plant awarded
‘Factoryof theYear’
13 November 2015 | OEM
Škoda’s Vrchlabí plant has been awarded
‘Factory of the Year 2015/Global Excellence
in Operations (GEO)’ in the ‘Outstanding
site development’ category. Škoda has
been manufacturing the modern DQ 200
direct-shift gearbox at Vrchlabí since 2012.
The ‘Factory of the Year’ award is one
of the most prestigious competitions for
the manufacturing industry in Europe, and
has been organised by the trade journal
‘Production’ and consultancy firm A.T.
Kearney since 1992.
​The plant was evaluated on five criteria:
value appreciation, customer satisfaction,
Awarding first place in the ‘Outstanding
site development’ category, the expert
jury recognised the Škoda Vrchlabí plant’s
transition from vehicle assembly to modern
gearbox manufacturing this year. The DQ
200 seven-speed direct shift gearbox
manufactured in Vrchlabí is used in Škoda
vehicles as well as models from other group
brands, and is one of the most innovative
automatic transmissions in the automotive
“We are delighted that our plant in
Vrchlabí has been named ‘Factory of the
Year 2015’,” said Škoda Production Director
Michael Oeljeklaus. “In a joint effort among
the employees, trade union and the
company, we have transformed Vrchlabí
over recent years into a high-tech location
for gearbox manufacturing. The victory in the
category ‘Outstanding site development’ is
a tremendous recognition of this. The award
also acknowledges the local production
team’s hard work in shaping the changes
with great skill, commitment and flexibility.
Today, the location is well-established
producing direct shift gearboxes, and has
excellent future prospects.”
The VW Group awarded Vrchlabí the
contract for DQ 200 production in early
2011. The first DQ 200 gearboxes ran off
the production lines there in October 2012.
Škoda invested around €220 million into
the local DSG production in partnership
with the VW Group. The majority of that
sum went into technical facilities and other
measures, such as the Training Centre in
transmission production, the logistics area,
the Measuring Centre, laboratories and the
Centre for Quality Analysis. New buildings
were constructed and existing facilities
modernised at a cost of around €27 million.
The automaker is currently increasing
the location’s production capacity. By
March, the daily manufacturing volume
will have increased from 1500 to 2000
DQ 200 gearboxes. The manufacturer will
be investing a further €25 million into the
expansion. The production capacity had
already increased from 1000 to 1500 DSG
gearboxes per day in 2014.
Around 910,000 DQ 200 gearboxes
have been produced at the site to date.
Approximately 1000 people are employed
in gearbox production at Vrchlabí, making
Škoda one of the largest and most important
employers in the region. Earlier this year,
the company was honoured for their social
contribution to the development of the
Vrchlabí region in the competition ‘Česká
inovace’ (‘Czech Innovation’).
KarmaAutomotivesigns supply
12 November 2015 | OEM
Karma Automotive have announced that the BMW Group has agreed to be a supplier, to
ensure that their vehicles are built with the highest quality automotive parts.
BMW will supply Karma Automotive
with their latest powertrain components,
including high voltage battery charging
systems and a wide range of hybrid and EV
Throughout automotive history, BMW has
been globally recognized for engineering
and manufacturing world-class products.
They are a proven technology leader and
renowned for conceiving and delivering
groundbreaking innovations.
Karma Automotive will integrate the first
BMW components into its plug-in hybrid
flagship vehicle, which will re-launch in 2016.
The next generation of vehicles already in
development will utilise more of BMW’s
powertrain technology.
“The Wanxiang Group is giving Karma
Automotive the opportunity to bring a
stunning car back to the market, and the
partnership with BMW and their outstanding
track record is a great fit for the future,”
said Karma’s CEO Tom Corcoran. “We
will continue to develop beautiful cars
with the latest cutting edge hybrid and EV
Co-founder Bernhard Koehler said: “I’m
personally excited and incredibly proud we
will be integrating the sophistication, integrity
and character of the BMW powertrain into
our own. Karma Automotive products and
ultimately our customers will be the greatest
benefactors of this fantastic relationship.”
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