Speeches from the NAIAS: Dr. Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Mgmt. BMW AG

by Bernie McGroarty on January 13, 2014, 12:24 pm

Dr. Ian Robertson (HonDSc)

Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing BMW, Sales Channels BMW Group

Dr. Ian Robertson: Good morning and welcome to BMW! What a sound! What great cars. It’s cars like this which make BMW so successful, especially here in the US! Ludwig, you had a great year in 2013.

Ludwig Willisch: That’s right Ian. It was the Best Year Ever for the BMW Group in the United States! With more than 376,000 BMW and MINI vehicles sold in this country alone, we have set a New All-Time Sales Record. I am also pleased that BMW was the Number One Premium Sales Leader across the Americas in 2013.

And on a worldwide level, we finished once again as the clear number one premium car company in the world in 2013. It was our most successful year ever in sales, with over 1.96 million vehicles. The BMW brand had a record year with over 1.65 million cars sold, and this makes me very happy. We're carrying strong momentum into 2014 and it is once again our clear goal to achieve further growth this year. I can tell you this, we intend to remain number one in 2014!

How are we going to do this? We have some great new products and we’ll continue to push into segments where we haven’t been before. This year we’ll launch the BMW 4 Series Convertible, the Active Tourer, as well as the BMW X4, just to name a few. And by the way, the BMW X4 will be built right here in the US, in Spartanburg.

Over the last decade, we have invested around six billion dollars in our American plant. 2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of production at our Spartanburg plant, where we have produced over 2.5 million vehicles. This is a clear sign of our commitment to the US, where we directly and indirectly provide for around 70,000 workplaces.
A further sign of our commitment to this market is the arrival of our revolutionary emission-free BMW i vehicles later this year.

BMW i plays an important role in our growth strategy. We started sales of the BMW i3 last November in Europe and this car will make its way to the US in May. We have already received around 11,000 orders for the BMW i3 worldwide and we expect that this market will play a significant role. The second member of the BMW i family, the BMW i8, will be arriving in summer.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the BMW brand stands for dynamics and sporting flair as much as for sustainability. Today at the Detroit Auto Show – it’s all about M – the most powerful letter in the world. BMW M has played an important role in shaping the BMW brand.

For more than four decades, BMW M has stood for emotional, high-performance sports cars and numerous success stories in motorsport. Our M vehicles have the best-in-class values – in sportiness as well as fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. These two models – the new BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupé are set to write the next chapter of BMW M’s decades-long success story. True to BMW M – these two high-performance sports cars are the result of meticulous and passion-fuelled development. They set new standards in terms of overall concept, precision and agility.

The engine is of course the heart of every M model. We have developed a fantastic new six-cylinder turbocharged engine to provide an even more thrilling drive. With 431 hp and a peak torque of 550 Nm these cars are now even more powerful than before. At the same time we’ve reduced fuel consumption and emissions by 25 percent! One reason for this is the reduction in weight. Our know-how in carbon fiber and lightweight design plays a key role in this.

We also worked closely together with BMW Motorsport’s professional racing drivers in the development of these cars. As the biggest BMW M market in the world, I’m certain that these two models will be right at home here in the United States when they arrive in June.

Ladies and Gentlemen, you can be sure that with an electric or combustion engine, BMW will always offer "The Ultimate Driving Machine". This means a pure, emotional, and sustainable driving experience in every car we make.
Here is another perfect example!

Check out pics of the M3 and M4 from NAIAS.

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