In a surprising move last week, Volkswagen acquired an 8% stake in SGL Carbon SE, with whom BMW has a joint venture for production of carbon fiber for the BMW i models. While BMW and Susanne Klatten (one main BMW shareholder) is watching this closely, Financial Times Germany now reports that VW is trying to play this move down as an investment and backs their claim by waiving a seat in SGL Carbon’s Supervisory Board. “That’s out of question,” a VW Spokesperson told FTD and went on: “Neither are there any plans”.
This might look like a relief at first sight, yet Financial Times also report that the Volkswagen Group has pretty good ties with SGL Carbon, even without being involved in the SGL Supervisory Board. Huber … CONTINUED
The BMW Group’s sales growth continued to be solidly in the double-digit range in February. A total of 111,720 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles were delivered to customers (prev. yr. 91,763) – an increase of 21.7% compared to February 2010 and setting a new record high for the month. For the year to the end of February, sales volumes were 24.7% higher than in the first two months of the previous year, at 216,911 units (prev. yr. 173,913).
According to Ian Robertson of BMW, the company appears to be targetting annual i3 sales of at least 30,000 units by drawing a production target comparison to lower-volume Mini models (such as the Clubman, of which 30,000 were sold globally in 2010). Meanwhile, the i8′s pricing remains to be determined, based on future legislation (and no doubt any tax breaks for green vehicles).
The BMW i3 launches in 2013 and the i8 shortly after, with both models to be built in BMW’s Leipzig plant.
More info on i3, i8, and BMW’s new i sub-brand can be found at http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=491912
BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer said this week at Geneva that the company was “surprised” by Volkswagen’s move to take an 8% stake in SGL Carbon SE, with whom BMW has a joint venture for production of carbon fiber. However, he added that that BMW’s joint venture with the carbon-based products maker is expected to be unaffected by the deal, at least for the time being.
BMW plans greater use of the lightweight but strong carbon fiber material carbon fiber in its future vehicles. BMW and SGL planned to invest as much as 230 million euros ($317.9 million) in a joint venture to produce carbon fiber car bodies on an industrial scale. The future BMW i3 (Megacity) and the BMW i8 (Vision EfficientDynamic) both have body shells constructed … CONTINUED
The BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën plan to invest 100 million EUR in their intended joint venture on hybrid technology named “BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification”, both companies announced at a press conference in Geneva today. The new company will operate out of two locations – the greater Munich area, Germany and Mulhouse, France. 400 employees are expected to work for the joint venture by the end of 2011. Subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities, the new company is expected to launch its operations in the second quarter of 2011. The new hybrid components will equip both partners’ vehicles from 2014 onwards.
“As responsible carmakers, we aim to create an open European platform and foster the development of European standards for hybrid technologies. This joint … CONTINUED
The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported February sales of 19,919 vehicles, an increase of 10.8 percent from the 17,971 vehicles sold in the same month a year ago.
“In a market affected by some nasty weather, the BMW and MINI brands continued their sales momentum led by some great new products,” said Jim O’Donnell, President and CEO of BMW of North America, LLC. “The recently launched X3 and MINI Countryman are showing good strength in the market.”
BMW Brand Sales
Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 8.7 percent in February for a total of 16,416 compared to 15,100 vehicles sold in February, 2010.
In February, best performing vehicles included the new X3 SAV – February was its first full month of U.S. sales … CONTINUED
Saturday evening saw the launch of teaser communications for the new BMW sub-brand. Light installations and video projections illuminated BMW Group buildings around the Petuelring road in the north of Munich. The four-cylinder building, BMW Welt and BMW Museum were bathed in the colours of BMW i.
The new BMW sub-brand itself was launched at today’s press conference in the BMW Welt. The print campaign for BMW i will initially feature two motifs.
As of Tuesday, a giant poster at the Munich Opera house and on other squares around the city of Munich will present the world of BMW i to the public.
The new brand’s affiliation with its parent brand, BMW, is clearly recognisable, thanks to the design cues taken from BMW’s Corporate Identity. However, in terms of … CONTINUED
BMW of North America, LLC today announced its annual Center of Excellence honors, awarded to the top performing dealerships in the U.S. Thirty-two of the 338 BMW dealers nationwide achieved “2011 Center of Excellence” status based on high customer satisfaction, outstanding brand representation, operational excellence and profitability.
The BMW dealer network continues to invest in their sales and service facilities spending nearly $3 Billion in the past decade. Dealers recognize the benefits of continuously improving their business processes and focusing on delivering top-tier customer service to keep BMW one of the most successful brands in the U.S.
“The Center of Excellence program rewards the BMW Dealers who excel in their key business metrics,” said Peter Miles, Executive Vice President of Operations, BMW of North America, LLC. “This year’s … CONTINUED
The BMW Plant in Leipzig continues to grow. Back in November, we reported that BMW invests € 400 million to expand the plant for the production of the Mega City Vehicle. Today, DB Schenker announced to build a new logistics center to supply components for the BMW plants in China and South Africa. This will not only improve the supply for these plants but also create 600 new jobs in Leipzig.