Munich The BMW Group wants to realign its sales. “In 2025, around a quarter of our sales will be online,” said Sales Director Pieter Nota on Friday in Munich. In addition, BMW intends to significantly expand its business with “over the air” updates. With these retrospectively bookable services, customers can, for example, buy additional battery power or special light and sound packages already draws very high margins.
The realignment of sales is part of the Group’s ongoing transformation towards electromobility and digitization. BMW wants to have at least twelve all-electric models and as many plug-in hybrids on the market by 2023. In addition, the model range should gradually get a new operating system and thus become “update-capable”.
BMW can already refresh some models with software, but the Munich-based company still has some catching up to do with Tesla. The challenger from California keeps its entire range of models up-to-date with software updates and is already drawing considerable income from it. In addition, Tesla is currently building a factory in Brandenburg and will add even more force to BMW on the European market from next year.
Nota mainly places his hopes in new models. This year, the “i4” and the “iNEXT” are two electric cars with which BMW wants to stop the Tesla advance. The electric SUV “iNEXT” has a completely new on-board network and operating system, which is then transferred to all sedans and SUVs. The new services are to be used on a large scale for the first time in the “iNEXT”. Among other things, the cars should be connected via the new 5G mobile communications standard and thus be able to send and process large amounts of data in real time.
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More cars are expected to be sold again in 2021
Born in the Netherlands, he has been Head of Sales at BMW since 2018, before that Nota worked at the electronics group Philips and Beiersdorf. Together with Jens Thiemer, Head of Marketing, who has changed from Mercedes, Nota is supposed to make marketing and sales much more efficient and powerful. In addition to the challenge from Tesla, the main competitors Mercedes and Audi remain, which are also preparing strongly for electromobility and the digitalization of their business models.
BMW closed 2020 with its Mini and Rolls-Royce brands with a worldwide sales decline of 8.4 percent. In the first half of the year, the factories were temporarily shut down due to the corona pandemic, and the dealerships were also closed. In the second half of the year, however, the company caught up strongly. In the fourth quarter, the group sold more than 600,000 cars for the first time. For the current year BMW is aiming for “profitable growth”, but Nota did not want to commit any further.
In addition to the corona pandemic, the auto industry is currently being slowed down by the global shortage of chips and electronic components. The reason are delivery and production problems in the semiconductor industry. There is already a threat of production interruptions in the VW Group because the cars can no longer be built. “Production is currently running,” says Nota. “We ordered from our suppliers on time.”
More: Lack of chips slows down car manufacturers – Daimler continues to cut production, short-time work at VW