BMW plans €30 bn investment to boost technology focus

BMW Group recently said it aims to invest more than €30 billion by 2025 in research and development as part of boosting its technology focus.
BMW-picResearch and development expenses for 2019 totalled €5.952 billion, significantly up on the previous year’s €5.320 billion.

“New technologies are key to the future of mobility. We intend to invest more than 30 billion euros in research and development to underscore our position as an innovation leader,” said Oliver Zipse, chairman of BMW Group.

Some 46,000 employees have received training in the field of electric mobility over the past eight years. BMW Group founded the Critical Techworks IT joint venture in 2018 in order to secure the expertise and skills. BMW Group has 5,300 employees in the field of data analytics in Germany.

BMW, as part of the Performance > NEXT programme, is aiming to achieve efficiency savings in excess of 12 billion euros by the end of 2022. BWM aims to reduce development times for new vehicle models by as much as one third.

BMW aims to eliminate up to 50 percent of traditional drivetrain variants from 2021 onwards in the transition to creating enhanced, intelligent vehicle architectures – in favour of additional electrified drivetrains. It is in this area that the full impact of these measures will come into effect, particularly in the years after 2022.

BMW is strengthening performance with an array of new models – especially in segments where the rates of return are highest. BMW aims to double its sales volume in the luxury segment from 2018 to 2020.

BMW aims to have more than one million vehicles with all-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrains on the roads by the end of 2021. At that stage, the BMW Group will offer five all-electric series production vehicles.

BMW Group’s workforce at 31 December comprised 133,778 employees as compared with 134,682 employees in 2018. BMW continues to recruit skilled workers and IT specialists in future-oriented fields such as software development, digitalisation, autonomous driving and e-mobility, as well as for its international production network.

BMW’s workforce comprised 126,016 employees in 2019 eliminating employee groups such as apprentices, students gaining work experience and doctoral students.

BMW is using innovative digital technologies to optimise its processes. BMW is using Blockchain, a technology that enables tamper-proof data sharing, with potential applications throughout the automotive value chain.

BMW is using this technology in purchasing to ensure the traceability of components and raw materials in multi-stage international supply chains.

“In 2019, we conducted a pilot project for purchasing front lights. This year, we want to expand the project to a large number of other suppliers,” said Andreas Wendt, member of the Board of Management of BMW responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network.

BMW Group initiated the PartChain project to ensure seamless traceability of components – more or less “at the push of a button” – and provide immediate data transparency in complex supply chains for all partners involved going forward.

PartChain enables tamper-proof and consistently verifiable collection and transaction of data in our supply chain. The pilot project focused solely on part tracking in 2019. BMW expects the project to enable traceability of critical raw materials.

PartChain uses Cloud technologies such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure in addition to Blockchain solutions. This allows the origin of components to be tracked between all participating partners without any risk of manipulation.

The 2019 pilot project already involved two of the BMW’s 31 plants (Spartanburg/US and Dingolfing), as well as three locations of the supplier Automotive Lighting. This year, the platform will be rolled out to about ten suppliers.

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