Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’d like to wish you all a very warm welcome to our Press Conference here today.
Today’s conference is all about one thing: this very special day and the highlights of our centenary year. We won’t be looking at the latest updates to our Strategy Number ONE today, as we’ll be presenting these at our Annual Accounts Press Conference on 16 March.
At this point, allow me to extend a warm welcome to:
• Our Chairman of the Board of Management , Harald Krüger,
• The Head of BMW Group Design, Adrian van Hooydonk and
• Maximilian Schöberl, Head of BMW Group Corporate Communications and Governance.
In a few moments, Mr Schöberl will take you through the various activities and events scheduled for our centenary year. After that, Mr Krüger will outline how we envisage future mobility in 2030 and beyond. Mr van Hooydonk will show you how we are expressing our visions for the future. And after that, we look forward to taking your questions.
So, let’s start with Maximilian Schöberl.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to our press conference here today – our Centenary Press Conference, you could say. The place where we are all sitting right now is the birthplace of our company. This main building once formed part of the first ever BMW plant. The plant was built in 1918 for the industrial-scale manufacture of aero engines. This site is still considered the nucleus of industrial BMW engine production to this very day. Now, almost 100 years later, we are returning to our very roots. This place will very soon be the new home of BMW Group Classic. Comprising 13,000 m² of space and in direct proximity of the plant and the BMW Museum, this is where we will present our historic archive, iconic vehicle collection, and workshop and parts service.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today’s press conference is the first official event to be held in our brand-new BMW Group Classic building, and already we have put together a selection of highlights from the last 100 years for you to enjoy today.
As we celebrate our centenary, we will be deliberately looking forward rather than back – at "THE NEXT 100 YEARS". So, how is the BMW Group going to celebrate its 100th anniversary? Let me tell you about a few highlights: Today's ceremony in the Olympic Hall will mark the start of our centenary celebrations. It will be broadcast to our BMW Group locations around the world so that as many of our associates as possible can watch the events unfold. Here in Munich, we are expecting around 35,000 associates from the plant, headquarters, subsidiaries, retail outlets and branches to follow the event from the Allianz Arena. In addition, 300 associates from around the world will watch the event live at the Olympic Hall itself – here as representatives of their facilities. Today's Centenary Event will be the first in a string of events that will be taking place throughout 2016, our anniversary year. Over the next few months, we will be presenting a series of future visions, to be unveiled as part of the BMW Group World Tour, “Iconic Impulses”. This World Tour starts today – in the Munich Olympic Hall and will later move on to Beijing, London and Los Angeles. Starting in April, an exhibition about the future will open in the ‘double cone’ structure of BMW Welt. It’s designed to reflect the contents of the World Tour and will bring future mobility to life for visitors to experience. Later in the year, from 9 to 11 September, a great festival in the Munich Olympic Park will celebrate the BMW brand. Employees, customers, partners, clients and friends of the brand will all be invited, along with the general public, to experience BMW in all its facets: from Classic, BMW i and BMW M, to BMW Motorrad and Lifestyle.
Our centenary year will also be accompanied by a special exhibition at the BMW Museum, and a national BMW Group campaign involving print, online and TV media, with optional adjustments for individual markets. There is also an international BMW campaign. This will cover the full range of media and run in many of our markets around the world. Our centenary communications will be rounded off by a wide range of print media and lifestyle collections, some of which will be available as limited editions only.
I promise you, ladies and gentlemen: An exciting year lies ahead – with plenty of highlights to look forward to!
Thank you very much, Mr Schöberl.
Mr Krüger, would you like to take over?
Good morning ladies and gentlemen
… and a warm welcome from me as well. Today is a big day for the BMW Group! … and I am delighted that you’ve all come to see us here in Munich. You’ve accompanied us for many years – so I would like to thank you most sincerely for your support. Today, in a world of rapid change, a company turning 100 years old is truly special. What is it that sets the BMW Group apart? Well, first and foremost, it’s our people – the people who have made our company what it is today and continue to enrich it: Our customers, associates, investors, suppliers, dealers and many, many other partners as well. Every one of them – not only as individuals but also taken all together – adds to the diversity that makes our company so unique. In my view there are three qualities that make the BMW Group really stand out:
• Our capacity to learn and adapt
• Our aptitude for technological innovation
• Our sense of responsibility toward society.
We have demonstrated on many occasions throughout our history that we are capable of learning fast and taking bold steps. … and it’s all thanks to our associates. Our team has always been truly special: they share our fascination for mobility and make it an integral part of their lives. That’s why it was my personal wish to enable each and every one our associates around the world to join our inaugural centenary celebration via live-stream at their facility.
At the BMW Group, we are always on a quest to find a better solution. It’s simply part of our DNA. And it’s also the spirit of our cooperations, a recurring theme that permeates our corporate and leadership culture. Over the last 100 years, numerous bold decisions have provided evidence of the fact that: The BMW Group regularly refocuses its business activities – and develops new strengths in the process. In 1923, the Bayerische Motoren Werke began producing motorcycles – and so transitioned from being an engine supplier to a vehicle manufacturer. Just five years later, the next big change happened: BMW purchased a vehicle plant in Eisenach and became a motor vehicle manufacturer. Then, in 1990 we inaugurated our Research and Innovation Centre, which we call ‘FIZ’. The set-up is perfect for vehicle development projects. The building soon came to epitomise the ideal “structure of communication”. Over the years, FIZ became an incubator for ideas, taking our innovative strength to entirely new heights. FIZ is something we firmly believe in – and that’s why we are in the process of expanding it. This year, we will lay the foundation stone for FIZ Future. Moving ahead, we want to remain a driver of innovation – because for us, it’s a tradition.
In 1923, for instance, our very first vehicle – the legendary R 32 – revolutionised motorcycle engineering. Unlike other manufacturers, who fitted an engine to a bicycle, the R 32 reinvented the very idea of the motorcycle. The entire concept was using the engine as a starting point. Then, in 2013 history repeated itself: We became the first automotive manufacturer to launch a series vehicle conceived entirely for electric mobility: the BMW i3. Our history proves a number of points: We are capable of reinventing ourselves whenever we need to. We are capable of shaping the future. And: We reflect on our actions and take responsibility. Throughout our history, we have had our trying times – and some chapters of our past are a cause for the most profound regret. 1983 saw the publication of a book entitled “BMW – eine Deutsche Geschichte” (BMW – A German History”). With this book, we became the first company in Germany to initiate an open discussion about this dark chapter of its past. Since the 1990s, we have been working to support a number of projects promoting intercultural understanding – more than 100 social and environment projects in 42 different countries, in fact. We see ourselves as an integral part of society.
And to emphasise that point, we are further developing the activities of our foundations. In the future, our two current BMW Group foundations will merge to form the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt The amount of capital the foundation owns will be increased by €50 million to a total of €100 million. And the foundation will receive annual donations from the BMW Group as well. Our donation for 2016 will amount to another €5 million. Stefan Quandt and Susanne Klatten are also supporting the foundation’s initiatives with an additional €30 million. On top of all this, the foundation is going to develop the Eberhard von Kuenheim Fund, making it a pioneer in the field of impact investing.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In our centenary year, we are deliberately looking not just back but first and foremost ahead – to the future: THE NEXT 100 YEARS. Nobody knows what the next 100 years will bring. But there is one thing we can be sure of: Future mobility will connect every area of people’s lives. And that’s where we see new opportunities for premium mobility. To develop customised solutions, we need to see mobility within the broader context of the individuals’ lives. That’s why the BMW Group has developed a clear vision of the future. I’d like to share a few aspects of that with you right now. As we can see: Mobility is going to diversify. In the future, people will want access to the right mobility solution for their needs in any given situation. As a vehicle producer, we need to develop a fuller understanding of mobility in all its facets and address the new points we discover. Connectivity is becoming increasingly mainstream. Our technologies will learn to learn from people. For a better quality of life, the BMW Group is going to turn data into intelligence. Soon, our cars will be digital chauffeurs and personal companions. They will anticipate what we want to do and make our lives easier for us. Transportation will become a personal experience that people will love because it’s precisely the way we want it to be. All of this forms part of our holistic vision of future mobility in 2030 and beyond. As always, the customer and their personal experience will remain the focus of what we do.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I firmly believe that: Personal mobility is once again at the dawn of a new and thrilling era! And for the BMW Group, that era begins today: The beginning of THE NEXT 100 YEARS!
Thank you very much!
Harald Krüger, thank you.
We now come to the BMW VISION NEXT 100. Let me hand it over to Adrian van Hooydonk.