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Innovative BMW i3, BMW i8, AlphaCity, DriveNow, ParkNow and BMW i Ventures successfully tackling mobility challenges of the future

bmw i3


LONDON--Sept. 24, 2013: Based on its recent analysis of the new mobility products and services market, Frost & Sullivan recognises BMW AG with the 2013 Global Company of the Year Award. According to Frost & Sullivan, BMW has firmly established its credentials as an innovative and sustainable auto manufacturer, working towards solving intensifying mobility challenges. Cars like the BMW i3 and BMW i8 and services like AlphaCity, DriveNow and ParkNow represent the future of mobility. These mobility services initiatives have been designed by BMW and its partners to complement each other and mark significant strides towards a future of fully integrated mobility solutions.

"BMW is the one participant in the new mobility products and services market that has not only rightly identified and addressed the changing mobility needs of the global consumer early in its life cycle, but has also set a benchmark for others to follow," commended Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Shwetha Surender. "The company has displayed effective leadership in customer value with its wide range of innovative and customised solutions, ranging from integrated mobility solutions to flexible usage models."

"On behalf of the BMW Group it's an honour to receive this recognition from Frost and Sullivan. A few years ago we stated that the BMW Group would be the leading provider of premium mobility products and mobility services. This independent industry recognition gives me further confidence that the BMW Group is headed in the right direction," said Dr. Markus Schramm, Senior Vice President Aftersales Business Management and Mobility Services BMW AG.

Apart from growing the traditional fleet business, BMW's multi-make fleet division Alphabet has focused its efforts on corporate car sharing and short term rentals. AlphaCity and BMW on Demand are aimed at providing increasing flexibility to both corporate and private customers.

AlphaCity was the first corporate car sharing programme to be launched globally. This innovative business model combines car sharing and leasing to improve employee mobility. Alphabet has tied up with the Dutch Railways NS to offer the NS Business Card to corporate clients. This novel mobility offering integrates access to all means of public transportation under one single contact-less chip card.

BMW i's car sharing programme DriveNow expanded into the North American market in August 2012. DriveNow allows customers to locate and reserve the nearest car using the DriveNow app and unlock the car using a digital key incorporated in the driver's license. The recently launched ParkNow app allows customers to search and pay for parking spaces using their cell phones. DriveNow in Europe is a joint venture with Sixt the car rental company and DriveNow in North America is wholly owned by BMW. "One of the most important factors in the success of BMW's mobility services is the use of information and communication technology to offer fully automated mobility services," noted Surender. "The combination of online reservations and contact-less chip cards has made car sharing easy, efficient and profitable, while global system for mobile communications (GSM) facilitates efficient billing and rapid identification of vehicle location."

Recognising the need to develop smart technology further, BMW has established a venture capital company - BMW i Ventures - with a corpus of $100 million. The initiative aims to promote mobile apps and mobile technology as part of BMW's long term growth strategy within the new mobility products and services market.

"Sustainability is a key aspect of BMW's vision; it has been the sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the last eight years for sustainable premium automobile manufacturing," remarked Surender. "BMW's pioneering BMW i electric vehicle (BEV/PHEV) range – the BMW i3 and the BMW i8 - is in line with its commitment to sustainable mobility solutions."

The BMW i3 has been designed as a competitively priced, compact megacity vehicle that offers key telematics, entertainment, and connectivity features. The emission-free electric motor has an output of 125 kW/250Nm and gives the car real punch on the road. The i8 has been conceptualised as a hybrid sports car which can run for 35 kilometres on electric power and uses less than 3 litres of fuel every 100 kilometres.

The first BMW i store opened in London in 2012 - BMW i Park Lane. It is the world's first BMW i showroom to be dedicated solely to electric mobility.