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      04-20-2016, 05:02 PM   #1
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BMW Core Development Team of i3 & i8 go to Chinese Startup Future Mobility Corp?

I haven't seen this posted anywhere on here yet. If it hasn't been, I'm surprised. If it has, sorry for the duplicate post.

Reference:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/bmw-lose...ine-1461086049

Quote:
Updated April 20, 2016 8:27 a.m. ET

BERLIN—BMW AG has lost the core development team of its i3 and i8 electric vehicle line to Future Mobility Corp, a Chinese startup backed by Tencent Holdings, as the German premium brand struggles to come up with a convincing answer to competitor Tesla Motors Inc.

Carsten Breitfeld, a 20-year BMW veteran who developed the company’s i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, left the Munich-based car maker last month to become chief executive of the Chinese electric car company. Now, three key executives from the “BMW i” electric car group are following him.

Dirk Abendroth, who developed electric powertrains for the i-series, Benoit Jacob, who was head of design at BMW i, and Henrik Wenders, head of BMW i product management, will take up positions at Future Mobility, according to two people familiar with the situation.

BMW declined to comment on whether the executives had departed.

The defections come as BMW and other premium brand manufacturers are struggling with weak sales of their electric vehicles and a growing threat from new rivals in the nascent electric car market.

BMW unveiled the i3 battery electric vehicle at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011 and began selling the vehicle two years later. The i3, marketed as an ecological city car, was soon followed by the futuristic i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.

But sales haven’t lived up to the hype, and BMW has slowed development of future models. Last year, BMW sold 24,057 i3 models, and 5,456 i8 models, a 66% increase in BMW i division sales.

Wieland Bruch, a BMW spokesman, said the BMW i products have been very successful in their individual market segments. The i8 is the best-selling plug-in sports car, he said in an email.

But the defection of BMW i’s core development team suggests that BMW’s strategy of developing niche products at time when Tesla Motors Inc. is moving into the mass market could make it harder for BMW to attract and retain young talent in the future.

After launching with much fanfare in 2013, the i3 has changed little and there are few plans for further development of the brand.

The i3 will get a new battery extending its range and a open-top derivative of the i8 is also planned. But a long-awaited third model in the i-series won’t be launched before 2020, Chief Executive Harald Krüger said recently.

“That’s too long for young people who want to change the world,” a person close to the company said.
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      04-20-2016, 05:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtron View Post
I haven't seen this posted anywhere on here yet. If it hasn't been, I'm surprised. If it has, sorry for the duplicate post.


"BERLIN—BMW AG has lost the core development team of its i3 and i8 electric vehicle line to Future Mobility Corp, a Chinese startup backed by Tencent Holdings, as the German premium brand struggles to come up with a convincing answer to competitor Tesla Motors Inc."


Reference:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/bmw-lose...ine-1461086049
This is now even bigger than Albert Biermann leaving BMW M for Hyundai. BMW i has now lost not just its program chief; it's lost what amounts to its entire upper brain trust. In one month.

Something's not right at BMW i -- and it probably has much more to do with corporate priorities and resources than the threat of Tesla on its face. (Typical that a newspaper would overgeneralize like that, though the WSJ is better about that than most). After all, a relatively small manufacturer can only do so much ...

To me, this is likely evidence that BMW has spread itself too thin.
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      04-20-2016, 06:42 PM   #3
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The Headline is misleading. BMW haven't lost their development team, they have lost their key EV executives some of which were working on other non-BMWi developments.
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      04-21-2016, 02:45 PM   #4
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It appears BMW is simply not interested in developing EVs, which is OK. I don't see EV becoming really mainstream in the foreseeable future. Many people either despise EVs or can't really own EVs due to other reasons.

Moreover, for all manufacturers other than Tesla, without a supercharging network, EVs aren't really mobile...

A friend of mine who is a very high earning millennial just put in a deposit for Model 3 (he can easily buy a Model S cash, but he's really frugal). He cares nothing about cars, drive an old Hyundai, but lined up on the first day to put down a deposit. A Model 3 will be his only car. He can't really buy a BMW i3 since a BMW i3 is not truly mobile (+ we all think it's hella ugly). It's a city commute car, you can't go anywhere with it. Unless other manufacturers adopt Tesla SC or builds thousands of them themselves, I just don't see any other EVs being competitive.
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      04-21-2016, 03:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zer0cool View Post
Unless other manufacturers adopt Tesla SC or builds thousands of them themselves, I just don't see any other EVs being competitive.
I sense that this is one of the sly potential futurethink wins for Tesla -- which, by the way (and I'm sure you know), has never considered itself a car manufacturer; cars are more a means to the company's end game -- licensing the Supercharger network to other EV makers.

After all, even if this Chinese company run by BMW i execs designs, builds, and markets the ultimate Tesla competitor in, say, the next five years (probably more like 10), they won't be worth much to consumers if they can't go places, and be refueled in those places.
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      04-21-2016, 03:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTT26 View Post
The Headline is misleading. BMW haven't lost their development team, they have lost their key EV executives some of which were working on other non-BMWi developments.
nice PR spin, bravo.
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      04-21-2016, 04:39 PM   #7
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Oh dear

This and the lower than expected sale seems to be a good opportunity to think about the i vehicle line up. There's room for at least two maybe three more i8 models with bigger engines IMO

Mercedes and Porsche are doing it with the GT and 911 successfully so BMW must have to ask themselves why not the i8, why is it not selling like hot cakes ?!

Having a 7 series that's faster doesn't help
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      04-21-2016, 04:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTT26
The Headline is misleading. BMW haven't lost their development team, they have lost their key EV executives some of which were working on other non-BMWi developments.
Perhaps the people that left feel the same way as I do. Bmw is waiting way way too long to introduce new i model. The brand, specially in this day an age, is loosing steam. I love the i brand, will order an i3 next year after the bat pack, but an suv should have been on the market by now. Remember when the i8 first hit the showrooms? People paying 50k over price for one? My dealer as 3 there now for 70k! They even drove one to my house trying to sell it!! And loosing these people sure wont help putting new cars on the market. I bet the owners cant be too happy with the ceo for letting this happen
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      04-21-2016, 04:49 PM   #9
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The way my friends at BMW AG put it... BMW lost some foot soldiers. They still have their "e-team".
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      04-21-2016, 04:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zer0cool View Post
... I don't see EV becoming really mainstream in the foreseeable future. ...
Depends on what you mean by:
"see",
"really",
"mainstream", and
"foreseeable".

Doesn't it?
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      04-21-2016, 04:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
third model in the i-series won’t be launched before 2020, Chief Executive Harald Krüger said recently.

“That’s too long for young people who want to change the world,” a person close to the company said.
Surely there will still be young people who want to change the world 3-4 years from now, but I guess I get his point. BMW has the opportunity to be a leader and innovator in the segment and they may fall behind in mind share.
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      04-21-2016, 04:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtron
I haven't seen this posted anywhere on here yet. If it hasn't been, I'm surprised. If it has, sorry for the duplicate post.

Reference:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/bmw-lose...ine-1461086049

Quote:
Updated April 20, 2016 8:27 a.m. ET

BERLIN—BMW AG has lost the core development team of its i3 and i8 electric vehicle line to Future Mobility Corp, a Chinese startup backed by Tencent Holdings, as the German premium brand struggles to come up with a convincing answer to competitor Tesla Motors Inc.

Carsten Breitfeld, a 20-year BMW veteran who developed the company’s i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, left the Munich-based car maker last month to become chief executive of the Chinese electric car company. Now, three key executives from the “BMW i” electric car group are following him.

Dirk Abendroth, who developed electric powertrains for the i-series, Benoit Jacob, who was head of design at BMW i, and Henrik Wenders, head of BMW i product management, will take up positions at Future Mobility, according to two people familiar with the situation.

BMW declined to comment on whether the executives had departed.

The defections come as BMW and other premium brand manufacturers are struggling with weak sales of their electric vehicles and a growing threat from new rivals in the nascent electric car market.

BMW unveiled the i3 battery electric vehicle at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011 and began selling the vehicle two years later. The i3, marketed as an ecological city car, was soon followed by the futuristic i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.

But sales haven’t lived up to the hype, and BMW has slowed development of future models. Last year, BMW sold 24,057 i3 models, and 5,456 i8 models, a 66% increase in BMW i division sales.

Wieland Bruch, a BMW spokesman, said the BMW i products have been very successful in their individual market segments. The i8 is the best-selling plug-in sports car, he said in an email.

But the defection of BMW i’s core development team suggests that BMW’s strategy of developing niche products at time when Tesla Motors Inc. is moving into the mass market could make it harder for BMW to attract and retain young talent in the future.

After launching with much fanfare in 2013, the i3 has changed little and there are few plans for further development of the brand.

The i3 will get a new battery extending its range and a open-top derivative of the i8 is also planned. But a long-awaited third model in the i-series won’t be launched before 2020, Chief Executive Harald Krüger said recently.

“That’s too long for young people who want to change the world,” a person close to the company said.
Dont worry. If its leaked images or bad bmw press bimmerpost wont publish it before everybody else
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      04-21-2016, 04:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clbmw View Post
Oh dear

This and the lower than expected sale seems to be a good opportunity to think about the i vehicle line up. There's room for at least two maybe three more i8 models with bigger engines IMO

Mercedes and Porsche are doing it with the GT and 911 successfully so BMW must have to ask themselves why not the i8, why is it not selling like hot cakes ?!

Having a 7 series that's faster doesn't help
The i8 is not designed to be a standard ICE vehicle. Its core is to provide sustainable technology, high performance and optimum weight at a highly unconventional level something it succeeds in.
The i8S replaces its three cylinder with a four cylinder again with the same aim.

But once again must I educate? BMWi is a long term investment it is not just about cars but the entire philosophy on how we use and build our cars from vehicle services,materials, construction and sustainable production methods within manufacturing. We are already years ahead of many manufacturers in advanced construction techniques in a volume vehicle which will be extended with the next generation 5er and so on across the range.

The i3 and the i8 are the first BMW models so it is rightfully that we allowed them to establish themselves within the market which they have done.
To which they have been a success from a global perspective.
There is no rush until the next BMWi model which is why we will not see it till 2020 in production guise, although a purely conceptual idea will be shown first.

Now it is about the next stage of progress for the i3 and i8 models. The i3 comes first this Summer with the i8 next year.

Whilst the future vehicle development has been in discussion. The next phase of sustainable technology is well underway for production @ BMW such as Power eDrive and Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology which will be shown imminently.
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      04-21-2016, 04:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone
The way my friends at BMW AG put it... BMW lost some foot soldiers. They still have their "e-team".
Foot soldiers with ALOT of knowhow bmw spent millions (billions) in obtaining
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      04-21-2016, 05:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zer0cool View Post
It appears BMW is simply not interested in developing EVs, which is OK. I don't see EV becoming really mainstream in the foreseeable future. Many people either despise EVs or can't really own EVs due to other reasons.
I think what BMW has done is to specialize in hybrid powertrains(ie: e-drive) - bc most people need a car to go further than batteries alone can provide(range) right now. The new 330e comes to mind as being an great example of e-drive packaging. BMW 330e Plug-in Hybrid gets 248bhp and (OFFICIALLY) does 140mpg!
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      04-21-2016, 05:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viffermike View Post
This is now even bigger than Albert Biermann leaving BMW M for Hyundai. BMW i has now lost not just its program chief; it's lost what amounts to its entire upper brain trust. In one month.

Something's not right at BMW i -- and it probably has much more to do with corporate priorities and resources than the threat of Tesla on its face. (Typical that a newspaper would overgeneralize like that, though the WSJ is better about that than most). After all, a relatively small manufacturer can only do so much ...

To me, this is likely evidence that BMW has spread itself too thin.
Could not said it better myself!!!
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      04-21-2016, 05:11 PM   #17
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"The i8 is the best-selling plug-in sports car"?? That's some marketing spin. What exactly is it competing against? The Tesla Roadster and 918 Spyder, neither of which can be bought new anymore??
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      04-21-2016, 05:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTT26
Quote:
Originally Posted by clbmw View Post
Oh dear

This and the lower than expected sale seems to be a good opportunity to think about the i vehicle line up. There's room for at least two maybe three more i8 models with bigger engines IMO

Mercedes and Porsche are doing it with the GT and 911 successfully so BMW must have to ask themselves why not the i8, why is it not selling like hot cakes ?!

Having a 7 series that's faster doesn't help
The i8 is not designed to be a standard ICE vehicle. Its core is to provide sustainable technology, high performance and optimum weight at a highly unconventional level something it succeeds in.
The i8S replaces its three cylinder with a four cylinder again with the same aim.

But once again must I educate? BMWi is a long term investment it is not just about cars but the entire philosophy on how we use and build our cars from vehicle services,materials, construction and sustainable production methods within manufacturing. We are already years ahead of many manufacturers in advanced construction techniques in a volume vehicle which will be extended with the next generation 5er and so on across the range.

The i3 and the i8 are the first BMW models so it is rightfully that we allowed them to establish themselves within the market which they have done.
To which they have been a success from a global perspective.
There is no rush until the next BMWi model which is why we will not see it till 2020 in production guise, although a purely conceptual idea will be shown first.

Now it is about the next stage of progress for the i3 and i8 models. The i3 comes first this Summer with the i8 next year.

Whilst the future vehicle development has been in discussion. The next phase of sustainable technology is well underway for production @ BMW such as Power eDrive and Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology which will be shown imminently.
All sounds exciting Scott. Especially the i8S ...maybe there's room for an i8R and i8 GTS in future.

I wonder if BMW has done some market research as to what buyers would want from electric hybrid cars now they've tested the water. The price bracket the i8 occupies is competitive and TBH no one who spends that money is that worried about mpg over mph (their BIK tax bracket maybe).

The i8 is THE best looking car available today IMO and I'd love to see it as range of vehicles rather than just one or two models. Roll on i.

At the other end of the market, I expect given how many Eco 116d and 118d I see on the roads today, a hybrid version of a 1er would probably sell well! Even if it is sadly FWD
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      04-21-2016, 05:24 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by clbmw View Post
All sounds exciting Scott. Especially the i8S ...maybe there's room for an i8R and i8 GTS in future.

I wonder if BMW has done some market research as to what buyers would want from electric hybrid cars now they've tested the water. The price bracket the i8 occupies is competitive and TBH no one who spends that money is that worried about mpg over mph (their BIK tax bracket maybe).

The i8 is THE best looking car available today IMO and I'd love to see it as range of vehicles rather than just one or two models. Roll on i.

At the other end of the market, I expect given how many Eco 116d and 118d I see on the roads today, a hybrid version of a 1er would probably sell well! Even if it is sadly FWD
There will be a hybrid version of the 2er Sporthatch. Of which we will soon see prototypes.
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      04-21-2016, 05:24 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTT26
Quote:
Originally Posted by clbmw View Post
All sounds exciting Scott. Especially the i8S ...maybe there's room for an i8R and i8 GTS in future.

I wonder if BMW has done some market research as to what buyers would want from electric hybrid cars now they've tested the water. The price bracket the i8 occupies is competitive and TBH no one who spends that money is that worried about mpg over mph (their BIK tax bracket maybe).

The i8 is THE best looking car available today IMO and I'd love to see it as range of vehicles rather than just one or two models. Roll on i.

At the other end of the market, I expect given how many Eco 116d and 118d I see on the roads today, a hybrid version of a 1er would probably sell well! Even if it is sadly FWD
There will be a hybrid version of the 2er Sporthatch. Of which we will soon see prototypes.
Awesome I look forward to seeing it!
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      04-21-2016, 05:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
I think what BMW has done is to specialize in hybrid powertrains(ie: e-drive) - bc most people need a car to go further than batteries alone can provide(range) right now. The new 330e comes to mind as being an great example of e-drive packaging. BMW 330e Plug-in Hybrid gets 248bhp and (OFFICIALLY) does 140mpg!
You are correct. Our aim is to complete the full BMW range with an iPerformance option from the entry model to our flagship for now 7er.
As of now we offer a 2er,3er,X5 and 7er models as Plug-in Hybrids. And next year will see the 5er offer plug-in hybrid with eventually three levels from entry to M Performance. And then it will feature on the X3.
The next 3er will also offer a full range of options.

The upcoming 5er Gran Turismo Concept is the first BMW model to illustrate a hydrogen fuel cell for a production model of which a prototype based on the existing F07 has been showcased and tested by certain aspects of the media.
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      04-21-2016, 05:39 PM   #22
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Maybe it's just me but the i brand was never meant to be a mainstream, mass market brand. To me it was just an excuse to form a department for R&D that might recoup some of its costs away from the main corporate group, stuff like developing CFRP processes and other processes of that nature that they prototyped and proved to bring back to the BMW brand.

So basically a throwaway and experimental brand and eventually gets re-consumed by BMW's main branch.

Like Scion was for Toyota.
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