The car industry is in the midst of a 'pivotal shift' that individual companies must respond to or face extinction, according to BMW’s head of sales and marketing Ian Robertson.
Referencing the challenges of autonomy, electrification, connectivity and changing consumer behaviour, Robertson said that he believed technical knowhow about the industry today would not be enough to succeed in the future.
“We know the technical requirements and must continue to drive those forward, but what is coming is a pivotal shift that will require us to accelerate what we do and to take a proactive as well as reactive approach,” said Robertson. “That doesn’t mean investment in new areas, it means a cultural change too.”
Highlighting BMW’s investment in the Here mapping company, which it co-owns with Mercedes and the Volkswagen Group, plus its work with Intel and Mobileye as examples of BMW sharing expertise and working in new ways, Robertson said that he believes existing car companies have a greater chance of success of succeeding in the future car business than technology companies.
“I would say it of course, but I believe the established leaders who are taking the right steps have a greater chance of success,” he said. “We have the knowhow and understanding that comes with having been in the industry, and we can be just as agile in our thinking if we seize the opportunity.
“Do we know all of the answers? No, we don’t. Will we have to change course from the one we have mapped out today? Yes, of course we will. But we are setting out our plans and challenging them constantly to get better answers. We are in a good place to succeed.”