This morning’s BMW press conference - right next door to the Department for Transport - revealed something rather more important than the make-up of the 2012 Olympic vehicle fleet.
A sneak preview of a new folding electrically-assisted Pedelec pedal bike and a spy shot of the upcoming BMW electric scooter showed just how quickly BMW is transforming itself from a company that builds premium cars to a company that wants to be in the business of virtually all kinds of wheeled transport.
By the end of next year BMW will be in the business of supplying everything from bicycles (it already sells 37,000 pedal bikes each year through its dealer network) to a Rolls Royce Phantom. In between those extremes will be everything from a super-frugal three-cylinder Mini to a high-performance motorcycle to a premium-priced carbon-bodied battery powered car.
BMW is also determined to be involved in the information exchange that will be needed for traveling across the Mega cities in which the majority of the world’s population will soon be living. So it also announced this morning that it had invested in an online company called ParkatmyHouse - which uses the web to allow householders to sell their spare parking spaces online, via a Smart phone app.