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Global auto industry to witness five major trends, says BMW China’s Olaf Kastner

SHANGHAI – The global automotive industry is in great transformations in recent years and a brand new feature will emerge for the whole industry soon, according to Olaf Kastner, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China.

Kastner made the comments while speaking at the 14th Annual China Automotive Industry Forum 2016 organized by China Europe International Business School on October 29 in Shanghai.

Kastner predicted that there will be five major trends in the industry and the first one is sustainable production.

Man has made it possible for machines to perceive, think, communicate and take action. More and more Industry 4.0 elements have been integrated to have higher efficiency and better quality. People can simulate production process in totally digitalized plant and there will be more sensors to further optimize production. The new production mode directly connected to consumers and suppliers will be a part of the complicated data system and internet of things.

Sustainable production not only focuses on machine itself, but highly-talented labors to operate them.

Secondly, automobile digitalization brings a new form of interaction between automakers and consumers and also expands automotive value chain from hardware to software as well as customer services. New players in the industry will provide services based on internet platform, for example, most of the car-sharing providers. IT portals and movable ecological system will be seen in all aspects of people’s lives.

The third trend is car-sharing and rental services. By 2025, young customers, the post 90s, will account for 45 percent of the market share. Apart from products, this new group of customers also need personalized services as well. BMW is currently testing the open movable cloud platform which can connect personal data, physical equipment and digitalized services together to meet users’ diversified needs. Just imagine, your car is capable of storing various data and can help make out a considerate travel plan for you according to your personal references.  

The fourth is autonomous driving. A digitalized infrastructure facility needs to be built to manage the enormous amount of data for autonomous driving. Drivers can decide for themselves when to drive and when to relax. Moreover, there should be new regulations to guide the smooth development of driverless vehicles. 

BMW’s new flagship models and the new 7 Series models have already used some of the driverless technologies.

The last one is new energy vehicles. By 2021, BMW will launch the iNext model which will be equipped with autonomous driving technology. Following the i3, BMW will launch more NEV products in the future.

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