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BMW plans to "think like a startup"...

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by malcolm, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    ..."and deliver like a grown-up"

    Autoblog article

    Apparently it's all part of their "Strategy Number One Next"

    Unfortunately their new EV "looks like a balls-up"
     
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  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    It is fundamentally impossible for a 100 year old company in a traditional business like automobile manufacturing to "think like a startup".

    The rear end of the concept car shown in that article is an impractical mess. The bizarrely shaped lights/reflectors integrated into the rear corners of the car are placed so low that they will be frequently damaged. BMW seems to have forgotten what the concept of a "bumper" is. Hint: it's so that when the car is "bumped" and damaged the owner only has to replace the bumper and not a bunch of other parts.
     
  3. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    IBM (dunno if it qualifies as "a traditional business like automobile manufacturing"?) did with the PC. The division that was created, and behaved like a startup, was subjected to a lot of resistance from elsewhere inside IBM, but much love & support from the Boss, as I recall, which was what made the difference ...

    ... but history is littered with companies that failed to adapt at a time of a quantum-leap change
     
  4. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    Yes, but IBM soon lost its lead to clone makers and Microsoft bailed out of the OS/2 project to launch Windows. So, even though the PC was conceived by a nimble startup-like group in Boca Raton, it was a assimilated into the corporate culture with its bureaucracy, play-it-safe mentality and inability to keep up with, let alone lead, the changing marketplace.

    That's the same concern I have with the Bolt EV. First off the block with a lower cost 200+ mile BEV, but how will it fare under the yoke of GM over time?
     
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  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    GM, the company that started the Saturn brand with great fanfare and then mismanaged and ultimately killed it as it cannabalized GM sales (one point of view).
     
  6. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    What's needed are talented engineers and designers. People with little industry experience who do not have preconceived notions of the impossible.
    Create an EV that you'd actually WANT to drive, then use seasoned engineers to help make it a reality. The i8 is a good start but the i3 is awful (in my opinion). Deliver the i8 for i3 prices and you'd have a wildly successful car on your hands.

    Design a sexy, intelligent, well engineered, high performance, electric car for affordable prices and the demand will be off the charts.
     
  7. callmesam

    callmesam Member

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    BMW needs a "skunkworks" style group that's answerable to the CEO only. Let's see if they can execute.
     
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  8. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    BMW CFO downbeat about electric cars and their ability to generate profit

    This quote is telling:
    -----------------
    BMW chief financial officer Friedrich Eichiner was downbeat about electric cars when he spoke to reporters in Lisbon last week. “We’ve learned that people aren’t prepared to pay a higher price for an electric vehicle. I don’t see some kind of disruptive element coming from electric cars that would prompt sales to go up quickly in the next five to six years.”
    -----------------

    Obviously the brief history of Tesla shows that the statement "people aren’t prepared to pay a higher price for an electric vehicle" is demonstrably incorrect. In fact people will pay much more for an electric car compared to an ICE of the same size if it is a tremendously compelling vehicle that was designed from the ground up to be an EV and takes full advantage of the inherent characteristics of powering a car with electricity provided by a properly designed battery pack, and can use a properly designed high speed charging network.

    How can Herr Eichiner and every other top auto executive not see that reality? Model S sales have greatly exceeded expectations and X sales are on a trajectory to equal S sales next year.

    But the most powerful evidence contradicting his point of view is that nearly 400,000 people have placed a $1,000 Model 3 deposit. No one on the planet has even seen a validation prototype of a Model 3 because as far as we know they don't exist yet. All they have seen is a mockup and two alpha prototypes with an incomplete user interface, and almost none of the reservation holders have even sat in an alpha prototype let alone driven it.

    So BMW has produced a BEV weirdmobile i3, a compact car for over $40K, sales have been disappointing, and now BMW thinks BEVs are a not going to sell.

    The corporate culture of a century old car company, whether it is BMW or GM, is not capable of thinking "like a startup".
     
  9. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    Agreed. And that seems like what Toyota (finally) is doing with their new EV division to be headed by Akio Toyoda.
     
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  10. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    I think the bigger problem is with the corporate leadership that's not fully committed to ensuring their product, even if it's a compelling one, will succeed in the marketplace. They can't have executives sending out mixed messages such as "think like a startup" on the one hand and "walk through the valley of tears" (in regard to the cost of electrification) on the other.
     
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  11. voyager

    voyager Member

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    #11 voyager, Dec 10, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
    I agree. A 'skunkworks' that brings back the old Isetta.
    Since other iconic small cars already have been (Fiat 500, Beetle, Mini).
    Plus it's getting pretty crowded in the higher segment EVs with newcomers such as Lucid Motors, LeEco and NextEV.

    [​IMG]

    Motto: you don't need a metal box that outweighs the driver 25-30 to one, particularly when the driver is the only occupant 95% of the time. Both Isetta's in the picture carry three btw.
     

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