How technology can be helping transform BMW’s business style

German auto giant BMW can trace its roots all the way back to 1916. A lot has changed inside industry since then, of course, although the importance of innovation has remained a constant.

While technological advances such as autonomous driving may be changing BMW vehicles, the company’s business style can be also being reshaped.

“inside past we had quite a vertical integration,” Jens Monsees, BMW Group’s vice president of strategy digitalization, told CNBC. This kind of revolved around the customer, the dealer, then a producer like BMW as well as tier one suppliers who provided parts. This kind of value chain, Monsees said, was right now becoming a more horizontal network with various other partners involved.

As digital technology becomes increasingly advanced as well as ubiquitous, as well as devices become more integrated as well as interdependent, collaboration can be becoming more important.

Monsees cited the example of BMW, Daimler as well as Audi acquiring digital mapping as well as location services business HERE. which deal was announced in 2015; at the time, BMW described HERE as a “leading provider of technology” for the digitized world of mobility.

HERE offered services which the business needed for both autonomous driving as well as location-based services, Monsees told CNBC. Data, such as where exactly windscreen wipers are being used, can be entered into the system as well as shared. “Why not (share with)… Audi or Daimler This kind of data, because we don’t want car accidents, whatever the competition,” he said.

Monsees sought to emphasize the bigger picture when the item comes to sharing information, citing examples through the U.S.

“We can learn through… (Silicon) Valley which… Google as well as Apple as well as maybe Amazon, they are competing on one hand… On the various other side, they are helping as well as supporting each various other in a bigger sense.” This kind of, Monsees said, was a “frienemy” concept, where an Apple phone could have Google Maps as well as vice versa.

Technology was also transforming BMW’s production processes, he said. “We use, more as well as more, technology as well as robots to support our people as well as employees inside factories to do heavy lifting, to sort out things, to transport things.”

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