BMW Group launches new sub-brand: BMW i

21 Feb

By Matt McCarron

BMW Group has announced the creation of their latest sub-brand, BMW i.  BMW i, will be focused on the production of sustainable and environmentally friend transportation vehicles.

“BMW i represents a new movement in premium mobility…,” said Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “The products and services have been conceived around a revolutionary approach: purpose designed and purpose-built for sustainable, premium mobility. It’s a new day in our industry; a new era for individual mobility.”

BMW will begin production of BMW i vehicles in 2013 with the BMW i3 and i8. The i3, which was previously named the “Megacity Vehicle”, will be the first BMW series car to be an electric-only vehicle. The other upcoming BMW i creation, the i8, will combined both electric and gasoline power. This will allow the i8 to perform double duties as a mode of transportation. An individual can operate the i8 either as a plug-in electric vehicle, or utilize the gasoline engine to give the car greater performance.

Aerial view of BMW Leipzig Plant: Courtesy BMW USA

In addition to creating a greater range of potential customers, BMW Group is also expecting BMW i to allow the manufacturer to expand on its current selection of technological components it puts into its vehicles. Already existing options such as BMW ConnectDrive will be expanded to be compatible with the growing array of mobile devices being used in today’s globally connected society. BMW Group has already starting arranging business partnerships with U.S. based companies in order to make this vision possible. New York-based company “My City Way” will offer a mobile application that gives drivers of BMW i vehicle detailed information of things like available parking spaces in their direct vicinity and intelligent navigation systems.

The BMW i3 and i8 will be manufactured at BMW’s Leipzig, Germany plant. BMW expects the sub-brand to generate 800 new jobs, due to expansions and improvements that need to be made at the plant before the i3 and i8’s launch in 2013.

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