BMW MINI marked another milestone in the repertoire by starting production in Born/Netherlands on contract with Dutch’s local manufacturer VDL Nedcar.
The paper signed between the German auto giant and the Dutch based company was taken on-board for the Germans to achieve the impeccable sales target.
To delight, the Dutch King Willem-Alexander attended the plant inauguration ceremony to mark the country’s one more step towards industrial development. Further guest list included the German Ambassador, Franz Josef Kremp; the Netherland’s Secretary of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp; the CEO of VDL Groep, Wim van der Leegte; Dr. Andreas Wendt, Director of BMW Group Plant Regensburg – the partner plant of VDL Nedcar in Born; and Dr. Johann Wieland, Head of Indirect Purchasing, BMW Group.
This new facility is bounded by logistical aide from UK, the home of MINI.
“Contract production is a vital flexibility tool for us, and our experience gathered over the past ten years has been nothing but positive. Splitting production of the new MINI Hatch between Oxford and Born will give our global production network additional leeway,” stated Dr. Andreas Wendt, Director of the BMW Group’s Regensburg plant, the partner plant of VDL Nedcar in Born. “We appreciate the reliable, open and trustful cooperation with our Dutch partner. VDL Nedcar has many years of experience in producing high quality vehicles.”
The plant will see hiring of approximately 2,000 employees with expectations of the volume to reach 5-digit by this year. The standards of cars will be maintained intact as it happens to be from the Oxford. Of course, that could be possible as the staffs are entitled to go training on the BMW Group production system at the BMW plants in Leipzig, Oxford and Regensburg.
After Germany and US, it’s the Korea that got the first Driving Center of Asia from BMW Group. Located at Incheon, the group had pumped in 75.5 million US Dollars up to 2020 (77 billion Korean won) which had already created 100 jobs for the present.
Slated to open its doors to customers by early August 2014, the BMW Group Asia’s first driving center combines both a driving track and a dedicated brand experience.
At the opening ceremony, Dr. Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing BMW, said: “The Driving Center is the next step in our commitment to Korea and to Asia. Korea is one of our fastest growing markets and now our ninth largest single market worldwide. We see more potential here and wish to grow even further. I am very happy that customers here now have more opportunity to fully experience our BMW and MINI brands.”
The Driving Center is boasted of a 2.6 kilometer closed circuit track that gives drivers a chance to experience various situations like high speed driving, emergency and off-road techniques, using BMW and MINI vehicles.
Alongside, a new Junior Campus with specially tailored science education programs on mobility and road safety for children is also built, with a 12,000 m2 eco-friendly sports park. In total, the Driving Center covers 240,000 m2, the equivalent of 33 soccer fields.
In addition, the BMW Group will utilize the driving facility for the purpose of training for sales, customer service and product training.
For further information one can click to www.bmw-driving-center.co.kr and www.mini-driving-center.co.kr
Apart from the first driving center of Asia, BMW Group also announced the inauguration of a satellite R&D Center in Korea.
The R&D Center began its operations at the beginning of July.
By the end of 2015, the German automaker had claimed to hire a total workforce of 20 people.
Dr. Ian Robertson stated that, “Being one of the most highly-advanced technological nations in the world, customers in South Korea have very specific needs and expectations. Both the BMW Group and South Korea share a passion for high quality products and to be at the forefront of innovation. Therefore we have established this new R&D Center in Korea to better serve the demands of our customers here.”
BMW Group had defined the benefits of R&D operations to be implemented in threefold: the implementation of local customer requirements and market-oriented solutions, to pick up trends in innovation through improved ties with local companies, as well as technology scouting through cooperation with local technology companies, universities and institutes.
Alongside the fifth one inaugurated in Korea, the company also operates similar satellite R&D centers in Japan, China, the US, and Brazil.
BMW Group India has announced a price increase from 7 to 10 per cent across the BMW and MINI product range effective 1 January 2014.
Mr. Philipp von Sahr, President, BMW Group India said, “BMW is the strongest and the most trusted luxury automotive brand in India. We offer our customers exclusively authentic premium luxury products, which are differentiated by their emotional appeal, uncompromising engineering, innovative technology and outstanding quality. Premium is beyond mainstream. It sets the pace, demands the right ideas, fortitude and determination. At BMW Group, we believe that both profitability and growth are essential for a win-win situation at the end. We are making price decisions with all due care and consideration ensuring that they pay off in the long run.”
To help customers drive away in their dream car before1 January 2014, BMW Financial Services India and MINI Financial Services India will offer a range of convenient and customized financing solutions. BMW Financial Services India and MINI Financial Services India will also offer Lease for individuals and corporate customers along with insurance solutions through their cooperation partner in India.
The BMW 1 Series, the BMW 3 Series, the BMW 5 Series, the BMW 7 Series, the BMW X1 and the BMW X3 are locally produced at the BMW Plant Chennai.
The BMW 6 Series Coupe, the BMW 6 Series Convertible, the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, the BMW X5, the BMW X6 and the BMW Z4 are available in the country as Completely Built-up Units. The BMW M5, the BMW M6 Coupe, the BMW M6 Convertible, the BMW 6 Series Individual and the BMW 7 Series Individual can also be ordered as Completely Built-up Units.
The MINI Countryman is locally manufactured at the BMW Plant Chennai. The MINI Hatch and the MINI Convertible are imported in India as Completely Built-up Units.
China is the goldmine for nearly all luxury marques out there from Ferrari to Louis Vuitton. As per the figures revealed by Munich-based firm, now the largest automotive market of the world has overtaken United States as the largest market of BMW Group. In the first quarter of 2012, BMW Group that designs and develops BMW, Rolls Royce and MINI vehicles marketed 80.014 units in China, a rise of 37 percent from the same period in 2011. By contrast, BMW Group marketed 75.729 models during the same period in United States, that’s 17 percent up from the last year. Likely to see more upward movement, the company has recently introduced its F30 3 Series’ long wheelbase version for China. It features a 110mm longer wheelbase for catering to Chinese premium shoppers, who usually favor large cockpits.
This news comes as no surprise, that China is already the biggest market for the premium segment of BMW competitor Audi. Mercedes Benz is another German heavyweight that counts the Middle Kingdom as its 3rd biggest market after Germany and USA. Japanese automobile manufacturing companies such as Infiniti, Acura and Lexus are way behind Germans in China, as they lack brand cachet and do not create locally.