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BMW Stays On Top Of The Car Competition

BMW has served as an icon in the automobile industry. Its name spells might and style that is the very reason why it is enjoying the top position in the car manufacturing market. Nonetheless, with the release of Lexus IS350 which has 306 horsepower and the Infiniti G35 which also have above 300 horsepower mark, BMW is found wanting for acceleration. Hence, it has triggered the debut of a powerful car from the automaker by the name BMW 335i sedan.

All-new 335i sedan comes with the customary BMW body parts only that this time the automaker offers turbocharged V6 to create greater power, performance and acceleration. To those wondering how powerful this model can get, the car has been clocked at 0-60 in 4.9 seconds and a 1/4 mile in 13.6 seconds. Peak torque of 300 lb-ft comes effortlessly to extend over a wide speed range from 1,400 - 5,000 rpm.

The 6-cylinder engine is the world’s first of engine of its kind. Said car also has high precision fuel injection, six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, all-aluminum crankcase, Valvetronic valve management, an electric coolant pump, fully controlled oil pump, top-quality audio, navigation and telematic solutions, and more. Six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission is also offered as an option.

The proficient increase in acceleration is attributable in part to the gasoline direct injection. The concept behind was developed by BMW to ensure a more appealing and powerful car with measurable edge in fuel economy without reducing its dynamic qualities.

BMW 335i sedan retained its magical dynamics and driving feel. The only difference is that it is given a boost in handling and acceleration. It boasts its new standard of responsiveness and spontaneity. Moreover, it can accelerate from 0 - 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds. When equipped with sport package, this feature can continue to a top speed of 150 mph.

BMW beat its german competitors in sales

In August, BMW sold 99,755 off dealer lots, while its biggest competitor Mercedes, came out a little short: 96,200. The numbers are still impressive when compared to the other german automobile manufacturer, Audi, that has only sold 66,400 in August, about 32% less than BMW and Mercedes.

Part of the BMW success is based on the Mini sales, which accounted for 14,752 units. The British based car has definitely helped BMW achieve its goals and we’re expecting that the new Mini Clubman model that it’s in the works, to produce even more revenue.

The BMW car model with the highest sales growth was the new BMW X5 which is up 24% comparing to the other months, which I find it pretty amazing since we were still in the summer season and it’s known that SUVs or SAVs has BMW calls them, tend to sell better as we approach the cold season.

Next year, around this time, the BMW 1-series should be in full production and it’s expected to boost the BMW sales numbers.

Batman’s new car: Bugatti Pur Sang ?

I think it might work, with a little modifications here and there, the Bugatti Pur Sang could be Bruce Wayne's daily car and a "monster" at night. Leaving the jokes on the side, the Bugatti Pur Sang is a standard-issue Bugatti stripped of all of its paint. The body is all made out of aluminum and carbon and for those of you looking to always strip off some weight of your car and make it faster, this seem to work. The Bugatti goes up to 200MPH and according to the company's representatives, only five of them will be built.

Bugatti Pur Sang

Bugatti Pur Sang

Bugatti Pur Sang

Bugatti Pur Sang

Bugatti Pur Sang

BMW USA offering performance parts with full factory-backed warranty.

BMW USA is going after the performance parts market rivaling the products available from aftermarket firms. The advantage on the BMW's side is that the performance parts are coming with full factory warranty.

Beginning with the its lowest class, the 3-series, BMW is offering a host of components, from brake upgrades to engine kits, that will boost performance and not cause owners to fear a trip to the dealer for service. Here are some of the parts offered:

  • carbon fiber and aluminum strut braces
  • 3.07:1 performance diffs
  • lowering kits
  • performance exhausts
  • BMW Performance Cross Drilled Rotors
  • BMW Performance Wheel
  • an engine package for three-liter models that boosts output to 235 HP and 222 lb.-ft. or torque.

Now, we can not ask ourselves what BMW's plans are in regards to the 135i coupe due to launch this year. Since the new 1-series coupe seems to the be the perfect candidate for the aftermarket parts, I am more than confident that BMW USA will take care of its loyal bimmer fans and surprise us with some interesting parts.

Press Release:

BMW PERFORMANCE PARTS: Factory-backed performance enhancements for the Ultimate Driving Machine

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - September 18, 2007… BMW is proud to release its new line of BMW Performance parts that can enhance the acceleration, handling and braking performance of your BMW vehicle. Available from any BMW Center in the US, these components take the vehicle's capabilities to levels that those familiar with BMW's racing heritage can appreciate. All BMW Performance parts are backed by BMW and are designed to properly work with your BMW vehicle. Unlike other components that one may find in the performance marketplace, fit and finish is at BMW's high OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) standards.
BMW produces its Performance parts to maintain all emissions certification, noise compliance and occupant comfort and protection requirements. Also integrated into the design and development of all BMW Performance Parts are crash-worthiness, prolonged service life, factory appearance and of course, incredible performance you can feel with no compromise to either environment or owner.

BMW Performance parts do not adversely affect the new vehicle warranty. These components are Original BMW Accessories and as such, carry the full BMW Parts and Accessory Limited Warranty. If a component was installed by an authorized BMW center at the time of new vehicle purchase, the component is covered by the same terms and conditions as the new vehicle warranty. If installed separately, all BMW Performance parts carry a two-year unlimited mileage warranty.

Initially, BMW Performance parts will be offered for the 3 Series Sedans, Coupes, Convertibles and Sport Wagons as well as the Z4 Roadster and Coupe.

* BMW Performance Exhaust - This stainless-steel exhaust reduces backpressure and weight while producing a sound that is perfectly balanced for performance and a comfort. At 6,000 rpm, five additional horsepower is achieved with an 8.8-pound weight reduction for improved dynamic performance. Two stainless steel tips with a brushed finish connect to a muffler with a straight-through design and it replaces the entire rear muffler section. For 2004-2006 3 Series models (previous generation.)

* BMW Performance Engine Kit - This upgrades your 330's engine to a full 235 horsepower and 222 lb-ft of torque, up 10 horsepower and eight lb-ft. Through the use of specifically-tuned camshafts and a modified DME, maximum engine speed is raised from 6,500 rpm to 6,800 rpm. For all 2004 - 2006 330i, 330Ci and 330xi models (previous generation.)

* BMW Performance Shift Kit - Offering a 25% reduction in shift lever travel, more precise shifting can be realized on manual transmission models. With an Alcantara and aluminum shift knob, this shifter assembly provides a more direct feel with increases response. Designed for 2004 - 2006 3 Series models (previous generation.)

* BMW Performance Strut Brace - Increase vehicle stability by tying the two front strut towers together. Constructed of Carbon Fiber and Aluminum, this brace installs easily and looks as fantastic as it works, as it is the perfect underhood accessory for the detail-oriented. Fits 1999-2007 3 Series except 335i models.

* BMW Performance Differential - A 3.07:1 ratio greatly improves acceleration by a half second through a 5% axle ratio increase from 2.93:1. This complete differential can bolt right into any 2002-2006 330i without the Performance Package (previous generation.)

* BMW Performance Suspension - For those who want greater capability in the turns and a reduced ride height this kit is here to serve. With its performance-calibrated struts, shocks and springs, the components in this kit are matched for optimum performance on the track without compromising ride quality on the street. On certain models, a front lower control arm set and stabilizer bars are included as well. A kit is available for the current E90 3 Series Sedan and the previous generation 3 Series variants except models with the factory Sport Package.

* BMW Performance Cross Drilled Rotors - Add M3 stopping power to your 3 Series. Up front, these two-piece composite rotors are a direct replacement and greatly improve braking in wet and performance driving. For the rear, the one-piece cross drilled rotors add competition appearance and balanced braking. Engineered for 2005-2006 330i and 330xi models.

* BMW Performance Air Intake System - Increase the power and underhood appearance on your vehicle. This system adds three horsepower at 6,000 rpm, and replaces the factory airbox and filter assembly for a 24% increase in airflow. No reprogramming of the DME is required and there is no negative influence on emissions output. The injection molded airbox is topped with a carbon fiber insert with "BMW Performance" worded on top. Available for 2004-2006 325i and 330i variants.

* BMW Performance Wheel - Nothing makes a car come alive than the right set of wheels. These two-tone Ferric Gray 18- and 19-inch one-piece alloy wheels are two pounds lighter than the factory offerings for enhanced driving dynamics and appearance. These staggered multi-spoke wheels are available as a complete set with tires already mounted, or can be purchased individually without a tire. Applications include 2003-2007 Z4 Roadsters and Coupes (18×8.0/18×8.5) and previous- and current-generation RWD 3 Series vehicles (19×8.0/19×9.0.)

BMW Concept CS will go in production

BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer has announced today that BMW will be producing a four-door Gran Turismo car based off of the CS Concept that debuted in Shanghai this year.

The BMW brand will also debut what it calls a Progressive Activity Sedan, or PAS, very little details have been revealed, so we'll have to wait for more details on exactly what makes it different from a standard sedan.

On a different note, BMW has a short-term five-year plan of achieving annual sales of 1.8 million vehicles by 2012. After that, it will have another eight years to reach annual sales of 2 million by 2020. This could be achieved by increasing the production at the Spartanburg plant in the South Carolina, as well as the MINI plant in Oxford.

Even more, the Mini will get a "further model in the sports activity vehicle segment."

After the BMW Concept CS photos, you can read the full speech given by the BMW's CEO.

BMW Concept CS

BMW Concept CS

BMW Concept CS

Speech of Dr. Norbert Reithofer
Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG
Press Conference on the Strategic Realignment of the BMW Group

27 September 2007, 3:00 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I, too, would like to express my sincere thanks for your attending this press conference!
The BMW Group is about to implement a fundamental strategic realignment.

I know that many of you believe this will primarily involve one of the three following options:
First: a major acquisition or merger.
Second: a restructuring along with mass layoffs.
Or third: a brand-new business model.

Our definition of strategy is a long-term and target-oriented approach. Forward-looking action on the basis of comprehensive analyses is what has enabled this company to prosper for over 90 years now.

We as the BMW Group will continue to chart our own course.

The Board of Management has taken the time for a very thorough strategic review.

For us, it was worth it. After all, our new strategy is the framework for all our future decisions. We have defined what we intend to do as well as what we do not want to do in the future.

The Board of Management set the course for the company's future on its own instead of handing over this task to external consultants. And this very fact guarantees that our strategy will be implemented.

Our strategy will lead the BMW Group through some fundamental changes.

1. We will consistently align the BMW Group to achieve profitability and increase value over the long term.
2. We will create the basis for ensuring the Group's long-term growth.
3. We will share the company's success with our shareholders to a greater extent.
4. We will start a program to tap into efficiency potential amounting to billions.
5. We will engineer new technologies in the field of mobility within the scope of an innovation initiative.
6. We will focus even more on our customers. They will be the benchmark for all our activities.

All of this will ensure the company's success and safeguard the Group's independence.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Why are we launching a new strategy at this point in time?

The BMW Group is acting today from a position of strength:

  • We are the world's leading manufacturer of premium automobiles in terms of retail. This is backed by the largest product and market initiative in our corporate history.
  • With BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, we have three extremely strong and authentic premium brands.
  • The BMW Group is the most attractive employer in Germany.
  • The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices ranked us first in our sector in terms of sustainability for the third consecutive year.
  • We have gained a clear lead over our competitors in reducing CO2 emissions – thanks to our EfficientDynamics initiative.

This shows that we are successful!

But, would the BMW Group have remained so successful if the company had not changed course? Would we have been able to increase our company's value over the long term?

  • While retail and revenues have risen steadily in recent years, our profit has displayed disproportionally low development.
  • Our key performance indicators have worsened.

On top of that, our retail curve would have leveled off substantially once the second step of the product initiative came to an end a few years from now. If we didn't take measures to adjust our strategy, our growth would slow down.

We clearly realized: Yesterday's formula for success will not work in the future.

This assessment was supported by the analysis of the many external challenges that affect us at present and that will intensify in the future:

  • currency burdens that we have to cope with as an international company,
  • rising raw material prices and the depletion of fossil fuel reserves,
  • stricter regulatory conditions, which face us with requirements that differ widely from one market to the next,
  • the public's increased environmental awareness and the debate concerning the acceptance of individual mobility in the future,
  • the aging population in our key sales markets, and
  • The limits of mobility in increasingly densely populated areas.

We conducted an in-depth study on the business environment to address these challenges along with 200 other trends.

It became obvious that our competitive position was at stake. We realized that we couldn't carry on as we had before.

We therefore took action!

  • We carried out a comprehensive evaluation of all the opportunities and risks relating to our future growth.
  • We chose the opportunities we wanted to take advantage of and created a timetable.
  • We set the stage for the BMW Group's ongoing success – in the interests of our shareholders and all of the other stakeholders.

The reach of our strategy is until 2020. Our strategic objective is: The BMW Group is the leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility.

As you know, any good strategy only unleashes its full potential in the medium to long term. Nevertheless, we set ourselves an milestone for the first five years to 2012.

We will significantly improve our profitability and capital efficiency.

To this end, we will focus the entire organization more strongly on the return on capital. We will reduce capital expenditure per vehicle.

  • Our future key performance indicator for our automotive business is the Return on Capital Employed. We intend to achieve a RoCE of 26 percent in the Automobile segment by 2012.
  • This results for the EBIT-based return on sales of 8 to 10 percent in the Automobile segment.
  • We aim to increase our automobile retail to 1.8 million units.
  • We will increase our motorcycle retail by 50 percent to 150,000 units per year.

We will also take another step forward in improving the transparency of our financial reporting: We will extend our segment reporting in the business year 2008, breaking down performance by operating segments. In the process, we will introduce new financial targets and key performance indicators for BMW Motorrad and Financial Services.
Furthermore, we have set ourselves ambitious long-term growth targets.

Once again, the main focus here is to place profitability and earnings quality at the forefront. This will be the basis of all our decisions.

As far as retail volume is concerned, we intend not only to remain the world's leading premium provider in the automotive industry. By 2020, we want to lead all of the segments in which we are active.

What this means is that we intend to increase our automobile retail to more than two million units by 2020. This includes completely new vehicle concepts for individual mobility.

We will launch a far-reaching program to tap into efficiency potential today in order to achieve our ambitious profitability targets.

It is designed to tap approximately six billion euros in efficiency potential by 2012 – compared with our original budget.

This is the cost we would have had to bear if we had continued growing on the basis of our current level of costs. These efficiency measures will allow us to sustainably improve earnings quality and to cover risks arising from currency exchange rates, raw materials and legislation. In addition, they will give us flexibility for investing in future technologies.

The program includes measures that will have a lasting effect on both cost and performance.
We will take our very own approach here as well:

From today to 2012, we will keep our headcount stable while taking on additional tasks. We follow the principle of EfficientDynamics. What this means is: More output from less input.

As far as performance is concerned, we understand "more output" as:

  • additional earnings potential from expanding present operations and launching new activities and
  • positioning our vehicles consistently in the premium segment.

This will lead to a significant improvement in revenue and profit per unit.

As far as costs are concerned, we understand "less input" as:

  • a rise in productivity of at least 5 percent per year,
  • putting all of our costs structures to the test,
  • a reduction in costs, capital expenditure and capital employed per vehicle,
  • economies of scale through cooperation in the fields of components, modules and drive systems,
  • the standardizing of processes, and
  • taking additional measures to counter currency-related burdens.

We will continue to step up natural hedging and global sourcing:

  • We will increase the production capacity of our US plant in Spartanburg to 240,000 units. Plans for the expansion are already underway.
  • We will also strategically increase purchasing in US dollars.
  • We will raise the Oxford MINI plant's capacity to 260,000 units per annum – without making additional structural investments.
  • We will take the first step to increasing our capacity in China from 30,000 to 44,000 units a year.

We will implement these measures to take the efficiency of our high-performance organization to a new level within the next five years. And this will definitely improve the Group's profitability over the long term. So at the end of the day, the BMW Group will be even more attractive to shareholders.

And we plan to do even more for our shareholders in the future!

The Board of Management will propose to the Supervisory Board and the Annual General Meeting that the dividend for the 2007 financial year be increased substantially. This is only a first step. We are convinced that our strategic review will bring about lasting success. We will continue to let our shareholders directly participate in our company's success. This is important to us.

And I would like to add that a further increase in the dividend will not have an effect on our employees' profit sharing plan. This is why we set a cap here.

We have the option of a share buyback on the table. However, this is not on the agenda for the next twelve months. For the time being, we will concentrate on increasing the dividend payout ratio.

The incentive program for our management will be realigned. In the future, executive pay will be based both on the company's earnings quality and on individual performance.

We are doing more for our shareholders. And we are doing more for our associates as well.

In order to safeguard their pensions, we will fund out our pension obligations in three phases over the next few years starting in 2008. Thereby, we will also reduce the risks associated with our pension obligations amounting to about four billion euros.

We examined all of the options for future growth as we worked on our strategic review.

We did not rule anything out and are ready to break new ground and define new frontiers.

We took a look at the competitive environment to determine whether we can generate added growth by purchasing a fourth brand. Such a brand would have had to meet the following criteria:
1. An additional automotive brand would have to be a perfect fit for us and our strengths.
2. Rising unit figures would have to result in a decline in unit costs and thus lead to economies of scale.
3. The new brand would have to at least make the same contribution to earnings as our existing automobile business.

None of the automotive brands we evaluated meets our requirements at present.

In the meantime, we took action in the Motorcycles segment during the strategic review and acquired the Husqvarna brand which has a rich tradition. Its sporty profile will enable us to attract younger target groups even more rapidly.

In principle, we will keep acquisitions on our agenda. We defined clear criteria for potential acquisitions within the scope of our strategic review. This will allow us to act swiftly whenever necessary.

The premium business remains our strength – not the near-premium business, nor the mass market segment.

What this translates into for our automobiles and motorcycles is:

  • ground-breaking design,
  • high emotionality, and
  • product substance.

As far as our services are concerned, this means:

  • resolute customer focus,
  • comprehensive service, and
  • innovative mobility solutions – anytime, anywhere.

Another – and of course obvious – option in our strategic review is further growth via new models from our existing brand portfolio.

In order to focus on capital efficiency, we will further continue to make our product decisions based on derivative utilization as well as on modular systems.

Here is an outlook until 2012:

  • We would like to confirm the announcement of the BMW X1. This model is going to complement the successful X family, together with the BMW Concept X6 presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
  • Furthermore, we decided to manufacture a four-dour Gran Turismo based on the CS concept study showcased in Shanghai.
  • Another result of our strategy is that we will not build a space-functional concept. It will be replaced by a fundamentally altered concept. What I am talking about here is a new segment. We currently call the concept Progressive Activity Sedan or PAS in short. Expect this concept to introduce its own interpretation of the sedan and to surprise you with intelligent features.
  • As far as Rolls-Royce is concerned, we would like to confirm our plans for the third variant of the Phantom: a coupe. Moreover, we reevaluated and confirmed an additional Rolls-Royce model during our strategic review. It will slot in below the Rolls-Royce Phantom in terms of both size and price.
  • At MINI, we opted for a further model in the sports activity vehicle segment.
  • We will continue to extend the range of products under our BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna Motorcycles brands in the years ahead.

Further product decisions beyond the planning horizon until 2012 have been taken. Nevertheless, we cannot provide any details at this point.

We will tap further growth potential as regards the markets as well. The greatest opportunities are harbored by the BRIC markets, with China and Russia leading the way. We will seize these opportunities, by expanding our retail network, for instance.

Going beyond our core business and the above-mentioned strategic directions – products and markets –, we identified additional growth prospects concerning segments situated along the vehicle lifecycle and along our industry's value chain.

We defined specific potential in both areas and all suitable options will be pursued consistently in order to achieve a significant result contribution in the future. I hope you will understand that we need to protect our competitive advantage. Therefore, I cannot give you any details right now.

The mobility of the future was an issue we tackled alongside different options for growth.

This is an area involving growth through new vehicle concepts.

Demands placed on mobility are undergoing fundamental change. Moreover, driving in increasingly densely populated areas is different than going out on a dynamic drive in one's spare time.

The BMW Group will invest substantially in future technologies with a view to developing entirely new mobility solutions. This applies to design, concept and drive systems.

In concrete terms, we are striving to achieve an additional retail volume in a six-digit range by 2020. We made a conscious decision to leave the choice of concepts, technologies and drive systems with which we will achieve this open.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am firmly convinced that this strategy will lead us to continued business success.

Business success and responsibility are firmly linked to each other.

Global change poses a major challenge to the BMW Group as a company. We pursue clearly defined strategic goals and assume responsibility:

  • First: Our development strategy EfficientDynamics gives us an edge over our competitors. We continue to invest in high-efficiency combustion engines as well as alternative drivetrains – ranging from full hybrid to hydrogen drive. Our vision for individual mobility of the future is: Zero-emission driving. And the BMW Hydrogen 7 shows one way to do this.
  • Second: As an industrial enterprise, we are confronted with the depletion of natural resources. This is another area in which we are very ambitious: The BMW Group should be the most responsible company when it comes to using natural resources. This principle applies to the BMW Group's entire value chain, running the full range from purchasing and production to recycling. More importantly, we are making further inroads in sustainable development within the BMW Group. This is reflected in what our associates do every day.
  • Third: It is a known fact that social causes matter to the BMW Group. We make our contribution exactly where we see the possibility to make a difference. We will point the way to the future with exemplary lighthouse projects. Launching social projects – the way we see it, this is also what being a good corporate citizen is about.
  • Fourth: Assuming responsibility is also crucial within the company. Part of the review required bringing our corporate values in line with our strategy. This involved redefining some of our existing basic principles.

Why is this important to us?

We would like to create just as much value for ourselves as we do for society. This added value is called future viability.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Corresponding with our strategy, the entire Group will be realigned.

The BMW Group's basic organizational structure has remained mostly unchanged since 2000. Due to the new strategy, however, complexity of our tasks will rise significantly. This is exemplified first of all by our strategic directions – products, markets as well as new business segments and activities along the vehicle lifecycle and the value chain.

In the end, this means that all divisions will have to shoulder significantly more challenging workloads. And each area will have to find its own approach and focus to deal with the tasks at hand.

In a nutshell: Strategy implementation requires a high-performance organization capable of handling the complexity of our activities and generating growth.

Given that, we brought our organizational structures in line with the new strategic requirements.

The Supervisory Board followed our proposal to create two new divisions. Accordingly, we appointed two new members to the Board of Management this morning:

  • By establishing the new division Corporate and Brand Development, we have underlined the importance of corporate planning, brand management and strategic implementation. The new division will help the entire company focus on the defined objectives. It will also be home to BMW Motorrad, Financial Services and Softlab, three business units that will be developed further according to our strategic targets. If new business units result from the strategic review, they will be assigned to this division as well. The division will be headed by our former director of corporate planning, Dr. Friedrich Eichiner.
  • The new division Purchasing and Supplier Network is also a direct result of our strategic review. This division will primarily be responsible for optimizing the process chain, from raw material to finished products, with the top priority of lowering material costs while improving the quality of parts. After all, this is our major expense factor. Correspondingly, our strategic approach includes optimizing the interface between the BMW Group and its supplier network as well as redefining the share of in-house activities in strategically relevant technologies. This is why the new division includes material procurement, parts logistics, as well as the vehicle components and systems area. Dr. Herbert Diess, up to now in charge of BMW Motorrad, will be head of this division. He has made major accomplishments in these areas at BMW Motorrad. In addition, his professional background with Bosch makes him an expert on the supplier side.

In conjunction with implementing our strategy, we decided to make a so-called castling move, like in chess, to secure our future competitive edge. Dr. Michael Ganal and Stefan Krause will in the future take on each other's current responsibilities. As you well know, they are both very familiar with corporate culture within the BMW Group. This move underscores our flexible personnel policy. We want our executives to be global thinkers, highly skilled and able to apply their expertise in various areas throughout the Group. This has proven a mainstay of our business savvy.

In the future, Dr. Ganal will be heading the finance division while Mr. Krause will be in charge of sales and marketing. Both colleagues have done an excellent job for years. They are now going to give fresh input to their new divisions by sharing their vast experience in leading their respective teams.

Besides the structural realignment and the board reorganization, internal implementation will be ensured by two board committees:

  • I will head up the "Strategy Implementation" Committee myself. The committee's task is clear: guarantee implementation and review progress made.
  • The Board of Management's "Profitability Improvement" Committee will be headed by our CFO, Michael Ganal. He will see to it that all our divisions and all our projects are completely in line with our efficiency targets.

So let me name my colleagues on the Board of Management in alphabetical order:

  • Frank-Peter Arndt for the production division
  • Ernst Baumann for the division human resources, Industrial Relations Director
  • Dr. Herbert Diess for the division purchasing and supplier network
  • Dr. Klaus Draeger for the development division
  • Dr. Friedrich Eichiner for the division corporate and brand development
  • Dr. Michael Ganal for the finance division
  • Stefan Krause for the division sales and marketing.

There will be a photo opportunity following the Q&A session.

Implementation of our strategy within the new structures and with the new Board of Management will start on October 1.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The BMW Group is at the beginning of a new era.

Thank you!

Mercedes C63 AMG

Is the new Mercedes C63 AMG the MB’s response to the upcoming 2008 BMW M3?

It certainly looks like it. It seems that Mercedes Benz wants to stay ahead of the game, and the competition of course, and they have just released the information about their latest model: the 4-door Mercedes C63 AMG

Mercedes C63 AMG

Mercedes published the first photo of it 2008 Mercedes C63 AMG. The new model is equipped with a 6.3 liter V8 engine and it has 457hp. The top speed that could be reached is 248km/h and it goes from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds. The 2008 Mercedes C63 AMG uses a Speedshift Plus 7G-TRONIC transmission and the expected, shift paddles. The 2008 C63 AMG has three driving modes: Comfort, Manual and Sport. There are no news on whether a manual box will be offered as well, but knowing Mercedes’ past record, most likely it will not be available.

Mercedes C63 AMG

It seems like 2008 will be a great year for all the German automobile fans, BMW will release their 2008 M3, Mercedes their C63 AMG and a few other new models, and Audi will bring to the table the new 2008 A5. So, stay tunned for future spy shots and more rumors.

Mercedes C63 AMG

Mercedes C63 AMG

Mercedes C63 AMG

Mercedes C63 AMG

Mercedes C63 AMG

Mercedes C63 AMG

Apple will develop a navigation and sound system for Mercedes Benz

Apple is working on a navigation system that will be used in the Mercedes Benz cars starting in 2009. Mercedes will have the exclusivity for 6 months and afterwards, any car manufacture could purchase the Apple navigation system.

apple logo

In the last few yeas and starting this year with the iPhone as well, the iPod have had support from BMW and Mercedes and aftermarket car accessory makers. The iDrive system, as I have mentioned in a previous article, it is already supporting both the iPod and the iPhone and it offers complete control over them.

There are no details on whether the Apple navigation system will rely on Google Maps as a navigation aid.

Mercedes GLK, a new competitor for BMW X3

Mercedes Benz has officially announced its new small SUV set to be launched late 2008 - the Mercedes Benz GLK-Class. This will be the fifth SUV/Crossover model in Mercedes� lineup, joining cars like the M-Class, R-Class, GL and the old-school G-Class SUV. It�ll offer space for five passengers and will have generous trunkspace, which will be accessible over a relatively low tailgate. New underpinnings, which engineers are calling the “direct control chassis,” promise less body roll, a tighter turning radius and more responsive steering.

�The Mercedes GLK will go head to head against competitors such as the BMW X3 and the Land Rover LR2. Guesses on pricing, however, put it under $40,000 to match the BMW X3’s $38,775 starting price and fall far enough below the M-Class MSRP of $44,425. Predictions are that we’ll see the GLK-Class debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2008.

How to repair your own Maybach

I just remembered today about a funny video that one of my friends has sent me, showing the romanian billionaire Gheorghe Becali trying to fix his own Maybach. Becali, a romanian soccer team owner as well, it is known for his eccentricity and his love for expensive cars, he owned most of the german cars, from Audi, Mercedes to BMW.

He has bought his Maybach less than two years ago by placing a customer order and paying around 500,000 euros. Less than two days after he received his car, due to the car’s larger than normal size, he managed to scratch it twice while trying to park it near his office. The damages: $20,000.

A few weeks after this incident, he is involved in a car accident, and the Maybach is seriously damaged. Instead of waiting for a towing truck to bring his car to a Mercedes dealership, he decides to “fix” the car himself. Watch the video and you will see what I’m talking about.

P.S. I know this has been posted before, but I thought some of my readers might have not seen the story before.

Mercedes ML320 CDI banned in some states. Is BMW next?

The ML model of the german car manufacture Mercedes has been given a red light in some US states. The authorities have decided that the Mercedes ML320 CDI, powered by a 3.0L diesel engine will be banned due to concerns regarding its emissions technology and the effect on the surrounding environment. California was the first one to raise their concerns, followed by Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont.

The SUV’s turbocharged V-6 power plant contributes less to global warming than any gas engine out there and the authorities have also ignored the fact that the nationwide introduction last fall of ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel has nixed the blue-smoke spew associated with such cars.

It is also know that the BMW 335d and a BMW X5 diesel model are going to be launched in the US sometimes in 2008, latest early 2009. With this mind, I have a couple of questions for you:

1. Do you agree with the decision made by the 5 states?

2. Do you think BMW and Mercedes could form an alliance in order to protest against these states? Can the US states afford to ignore these great engines?

Mercedes diesel gets banned in three more states

Less than a few weeks ago, the Mercedes ML320 with a diesel engine has been temporarily banned from five states: California, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. Today, we have learned Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island have joined the other fives, and have temporarily banned their diesel engine. After I have posted my previous article, one of my readers has left an interesting comment, quoting:

There are national standards, and then California has stricter standards, which as the writer noted have been adopted by 4 other states. These engines are not banned per se, but are not allowed to be sold new in these states. Used diesels can be and are imported into these states all the time. The 2007 Mercedes E320 Bluetec did not pass CA emission standards, but only by a fraction of a percent. Once they add the AdBlue mixture (which the US EPA is almost ready to approve) then these diesels will be able to be sold in all 50 states.

As Dan has mentioned, when the new Mercedes Bluetec diesel engine will be rolled out, approximately a year from now, the new engine will meet even California’s strict emissions regulations. According to Autoblog, eventually all the Mercedes Benz SUVs will be offered with the Bluetec diesel option. The move was suppose to have taken place this year, for the 2008 models but it will be probably released next year as 09 model.
Another issue for the german manufacturer will be higher costs associated with this new engine and apparently Mercedes will have to subsidize it in order to keep the prices down and be competitive.
Mercedes’ competitor, BMW, has already announced its plans on bringing their BMW diesel engines into the US sometimes in 2008 and I’m quoting a BMW official

As a means of producing so much power with a minimum of environmental impact and a maximum of fuel efficiency, it is no surprise that BMW will be among the first to introduce 50-state clean diesel technology.

It seems like this is a lesson learned by BMW and they just want to get things straight the first time. Hopefully, their prices will stay competitive and we can all enjoy the diesel power in our engines.

2009 Mercedes-Benz ML 450 Hybrid

Mercedes Benz will unveil their latest model at the Frankfurt Show: the 2009 Mercedes Benz ML 450 Hybrid. This SUV will be packing a two-mode hybrid drivetrain that was co-recreated by BMW, GM and M.B., producing 340 HP and 354 lb.-ft. of torque, all while delivering over 30 miles-per-gallon.

Having this great mileage, the ML 450 Hybrid could be really competitive on the American market and the expected launch date is sometimes in 2009.

Mercedes Benz ML 450 hybrid

Here is the press release:

Mercedes-Benz will also be presenting the ML 450 HYBRID, due to be launched on the market in 2009 as the most economical two-mode petrol hybrid SUV worldwide. Its innovative two-mode hybrid system enables electric driving and satisfies the highest comfort demands. With a combined system output of 250 kW/340 hp and a combined maximum torque of 480 Nm, the ML 450 HYBRID consumes just 7.7 litres per 100 kilometres - equivalent to CO2 emissions of 185 g/km. Product highlights at this year’s International Motor Show in Frankfurt also include the new C-Class Estate, which combines functionality with stylish design and hallmark Mercedes refinement. Mercedes-Benz will also be exhibiting various C-Class BLUETEC versions — with and without hybrid — which are due to be launched successively.

BMW vs. Audi in a war of words

Last week BMW Group Australia managing director Guenther Seeman made a comment towards the German automaker Audi saying the brand from Ingolstadt is not a premium competitor because it doesn’t offer rear-wheel-drive cars, instead referring only to Mercedes-Benz and Lexus as his competition in the Australian market. Seemann explains that BMW has only two main competitors,

?one comes from Stuttgart and the other comes from Japan?.

Seeman also dinged Audi by suggesting it was buying market share by discounting its vehicles, and therefore violating the trust of its customers. Seeman’s counterpart at Audi Australia, Joerg Hofmann, has fired back at BMW by insinuating the Bavarian brand is just plain arrogant.

For me, a premium product has nothing to do with the drivetrain. I think it’s even boring for the customer if you offer only one drivetrain.”

Hofmann also had a remark to make in regards to the car discounts:

BMW has already begun offering thousands of dollars in discounts on its newly redesigned volume seller, the 3-Series.”

In Australia, the market is still “owned” by BMW, MB and Lexus, with Audi coming in the 4th place. One thing to be noticed is that the Audi sales have increased over last year by 41% compared to the BMW 4%. What do you guys think? Is there a disadvantage that Audi doesn’t offer any rear-wheel-drive cars? Does Audi has an advatange over BMW with their all-wheel-drive cars? In the end, which one would you rather buy, the A4 or BMW 335i?

Top 5 most fuel-efficient cars - city cars

Ok, you’re right, this article doesn’t apply to the US market, but I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the top 5 most fuel efficient cars in Europe. For us, living in the United States, gas price has never been a problem, until recently when the oil market has skyrocketed and we started paying more and more for gas.

We have always loved our big and powerful cars and in my case, I have always looked down at the small cars, never presented any interest in them. But things seem to be changing now and more and more people are looking at hybrid cars or in general just cars with a low gas consumption. With this said, let’s see what our European friends are driving and find out what they decided on what the best car is.

1. Fiat Panda 1.3 Multijet Diesel

MPG 43.47

CO2 114

Fiat Panda

Fiat Panda

2. Citroen C2 1.4 HDi Diesel

MPG 40.05

CO2 107

Citroen C2

3. Citroen C1 1.0

MPG 39.05

CO2 109

Citroen C1

4. Toyota Aygo 1.0

MPG 38.39

CO2 109

Toyota Aygo

5. Peugeot 107 1.0

MPG 38.72

CO2 109

Peugeot 107

The tests were conducted on public roads and take into account traffic conditions, weather, types of road and all the other variables that influence your mpg.

The MPG is displayed in US gallons, I did the conversion from imperial to our US gallon, so the results will be accurate. Now here comes my question:

Would you be willing to give up the comfort, size and speed for an economical car? Would these cars be appropriate for our driving conditions?

If you own a BMW in Chicago …

then this article is for you. I am not sure if I have mentioned before, but I live in Chicago and most of my cars were BMWs, some of them leased, others owned. I’m almost positive that if you live in a large city, you can relate to this. While I love my cars, it always hurts me to see the abuse they’re taking.

First of all, the parking in Chicago and the Downtown is terrible, very limited parking and tight spaces. While I always try to avoid parking in a tight place, sometimes I have no choice, and even if I leave enough space between cars, most of the time, someone will hit my bumper. I honestly think that the cars’ parking sensors should be standard on all the car, this way a lot of these small incidents wouldn’t happen.

Similar things happen when I park my car at the store’s parking lots, even though I try to keep away from everyone, nine times out of ten, someone ends up parking next to me and…guess what? A nice ding in my door. I guess it’s better than having your car scratched, so I try to live with it.

But if you lease the car, this could become an issue, since most of the lease inspectors are very picky about dents, dings and scratches. Luckily, BMW Financial Services are pretty flexible and as long as the ding’s area is not larger than a quarter, then you will not be charged for it. It did happen to me though when the damage was more extensive and I ended up paying for it.

The second thing that my “BMW” doesn’t like in Chicago are the winters. Our cold season here is pretty long and we get a fair amount of snow every year. I understand that in order to keep the roads clean , the city needs to use salt and sand for the winter road maintenance, but our BMWs are the ones that will suffer the damage. I hate to see my car all covered in salt and I try to wash it weekly, but it doesn’t really help much.

If you don’t have a parking garage at home, which a lot of the people in Chicago don’t, then a lot of mornings in the winter, you will pretty much find your car covered with snow and the truck snow plow is making the situation even worse. I did find my door damaged once because of a truck and unfortunately, the damage wasn’t minor.

And finally, we’re getting to the traffic issue. Chicago is probably in the top 3 nationwide for the worst traffic conditions. If you have a BMW with a manual transmission, then the chances that you will have to replace your clutch at one point, are pretty high. Also, the brakes will wear out faster and in my case, I have recently passed the 35,000 miles mark and when I took my BMW in for service, the front brakes needed to be replaced. Luckily, the job was covered under the maintenance program.

In the end, despite all the difficulties that I encountered, I still love Chicago and I LOVE my BMW.

Is the new Audi A4 up to the BMW 335i’s standards?

Well, it’s hard to tell but looking from this picture, it seems that Audi is trying to become a key competitor again in car’s middle class. Thanks to the guys at, here is front shot of this new Audi A4 that is scheduled to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month. The car’s dynamics have slightly improved but I still think it’s behind the G37 or the BMW 335i coupe.

new Audi A4

The Audi A4 is 4.7 meters long and 1.83 meters wide, the base engine is the 1.8L TFSI with 160hp. Also, the 3.2L V6 gas engine produces 260hp. Several diesel engines are available as well, 2.0, 2.7 and 3.0L.

I’m anxious to see what the test drives will reveal about this new Audi A4 and then we can judge if it actually compares to the BMW 335i. From its looks, I can certainly say that it will be appealing to the Audi fans and the car fans in general, and if the handling will live up to the expectations, then Audi might have drawn a lucky card.

Bottom line is that I like better than the new Mercedes C-class.

2009 BMW F5

BMW is currently developing two new models based on its 3 and 5-series sedans, code named F3 and F5. The BMW F5 is basically a wagon version, also called a MVP-wagon, but with a taller ride-height and a high roof to maximize interior space.

Engine options will remain the same as the ones found in the 5-series sedan but don’t expect anything bigger than a six-cylinder to feature.


The BMW F5 is expected to compete with Mercedes-Benz’ R-class, even though at this moment the sales for the Mercedes model are very poor. My guess is that BMW saw this as an opportunity to take the lead in that class and surpass its long-time german competitor.

The expected launch date for the F5 is in mid-2009. The release date for the F3 model is set sometimes in 2010.

Once again, Chris Bangle, the BMW Chief Designer is taking a big chance by pushing forward this new design. Time will tell if it will turn out to be a “hit” or just another “bomb”.

Lufthansa and BMW Oktoberfest in Chicago

Every year, the german national airline, Lufthansa, is hosing an Oktoberfest party near the O'Hare Airport in Chicago. This year, the party was held on September 18, in the cargo buildings area. Lufthansa has sent an invitation to Chicago dealers that were willing to bring some german cars at the Oktoberfest.

Motorwerks has decided to send out three cars from the most representative german brands: a BMW 335i coupe, a 2008 Mercedes C-Class and a Porsche.

One large tent was setup outside and around 400 people have attended the party. Traditional german food and beer have been served along with tasty deserts, wine and beverages.

Bottom line, it was a great experience, I loved talking to people about the new cars and the BMW European Delivery and I have to admit: I kinda ate too much! The food was absolutely delicious :)

BMW 335i montego blue

BMW 335i montego blue

2008 Mercedes Benz C-Class

Food Oktoberfest


Porsche Panamera Photos

I was looking the other day at the Porsche Panamera's spy photos and I can't figure out where Porsche is going with their new model. In case you didn't know, the 2010 Panamera is a four-door Porsche.

2010 Porsche Panamera

It is pretty interesting that Porsche has decided to come out with this new design and in my opinion, I think they're trying to go after the BMW 6-series. I know that many of you will argue that the 6-series is a different car, but from the shape and size, it certainly seems like Porsche is looking to offer their fans a new challenge.

No pricing information is available at this time, and all we know is that the Panamera will be a 2010 model, but it's unknown if it will be released at the end of 2009 or beginning of the following year.

I'm really curious to see what you think about this model and also if you see any other competitor for the Panamera.

2010 Porsche Panamera

2010 Porsche Panamera

2010 Porsche Panamera

BMW X1 Officially Announced

BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer revealed the automaker's plans for the future, which include a BMW X1, a smaller SUV that will complete their X-line.

Here is a quote from his long speech:

Here is an outlook until 2012:

  • We would like to confirm the announcement of the BMW X1. This model is going to complement the successful X family, together with the BMW Concept X6 presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
  • Furthermore, we decided to manufacture a four-dour Gran Turismo based on the CS concept study showcased in Shanghai.
  • Another result of our strategy is that we will not build a space-functional concept. It will be replaced by a fundamentally altered concept. What I am talking about here is a new segment. We currently call the concept Progressive Activity Sedan or PAS in short. Expect this concept to introduce its own interpretation of the sedan and to surprise you with intelligent features.
  • As far as Rolls-Royce is concerned, we would like to confirm our plans for the third variant of the Phantom: a coupe. Moreover, we reevaluated and confirmed an additional Rolls-Royce model during our strategic review. It will slot in below the Rolls-Royce Phantom in terms of both size and price.
  • At MINI, we opted for a further model in the sports activity vehicle segment.
  • We will continue to extend the range of products under our BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna Motorcycles brands in the years ahead.

An AWD SUV with a biturbo engine will be something that I will be looking forward to.

2008 Nissan Skyline Coupe another competitor for BMW

With the new Infiniti being already a tough competitor for BMW's 3-series, the japonese automaker Nissan has decided to launch their own coupe version, named Nissan Skyline. The 2008 Skyline will be getting the same engine as the G37, the powerful 3.7 liter V6 engine, but the engine in the Nissan version gets an whooping 3HP extra.

Nissan Skyline comes with all the whistles and bells found in the Infiniti G37, which include the HDD CARWINGS navigation system and backup camera.

It would be interesting to see some test drives results and a comparison between the BMW 335i coupe, the Infiniti G37 and Nissan's Skyline coupe. I'm sure more of this will come as soon as the car it's released to the public.

No pricing info has been released but this will be another interesting aspect. With the Infiniti brand being Nissan's luxury line, we're expecting the Skyline to be priced a little lower than it's twin-brother, the G37.

Nissan Skyline Coupe

Nissan Skyline Coupe

Nissan Skyline Coupe

Nissan Skyline Coupe

Nissan Skyline Coupe

Nissan Skyline Coupe

Time Out For Our Sponsors

Some of our little revenue one edBMW comes from the following direct advertisers. If you are interested in advertising on please visit your advertising page for more information.

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Another competitor for BMW 3-series: 2009 Jaguar X-Type

Jaguar has unveiled a freshened X-Type sedan and wagon which are going to be competing directly with BMW's 3-series models. According to Jaguar, there are about 500 new changes in this new model which is based on the XJ line. Four different seat styles and a variety of trim elements adorn the cabin, and the instrument cluster has been modernized in the style of the new XF. Updated Bluetooth, Parking Assist, and support for digital audio broadcasts are among the techno bullet points.

One of the strong selling points that the new X-Type brings to the table is the new automatic transmission in the acclaimed 2.2 diesel.

On sale in the UK in March and other European markets in April, but no other information regarding the North American market.

2009 Jaguar X-Type

2009 Jaguar X-Type

2009 Jaguar X-Type

2009 Jaguar X-Type

2009 Jaguar X-Type

2009 Jaguar X-Type

2009 Jaguar X-Type

2009 Jaguar X-Type

2009 Jaguar X-Type

2009 Jaguar X-Type

2009 Jaguar X-Type