[Photo by BMW Group]
Global luxury car-making giant BMW Group promised commitment to the Korean market, keeping up near $2 billion purchase of auto parts from Korea next year as well.
“The BMW Group recognizes Korea is one of the world’s power houses of high-end technology. It represents innovative thinking, technological progress and tremendous openness to new developments,” said Dr. Nicolas Peter, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG Finance., in a press conference held Wednesday at BWM Korea Driving Center in Incheon.
As a sign of its commitment to Korea, Peter vowed to strengthen and expand R&D activities in Korea in a number of areas - battery cell technology and material research activities, local prototyping activities in tech office and charging technology activities for electrified vehicles.
The BMW Group signed a contract with SK Telecom, Korea’s largest telecommunications company in segment for navigation apps. Peter noted that it will improve the navigation quality and deliver the best experience to Korean customers.
“Our goal is to offer Connected Drive in Korea with market specific applications. And our vision is to serve the customer needs by bringing the Korean digital eco-system into the car,” he added.
SK Telecom already provides online POI data and real time traffic information for the BMW vehicles in Korea. With the latest contract, it is planning to finish the development for the next five years to apply the next-gen navigation to BMW cars.
The German auto conglomerate spent 1.5 billion euros ($1.65 billion) on purchasing in Korea this year and is planning to spend more than 2 billion euros next year, he said.
Currently, BMW reportedly has 30 local firms contracted as its first-tier suppliers in Korea.
[Photo by BMW Group]
The BMW Group will strengthen and expand its R&D Center in Korea. A new location and an additional 13 employees will provide extended test facilities for product development as well as for test and validation activities, it said in its press release.
Cooperation with universities will also be added beyond existing partners of Seoul National University, Yonsei University and Hanyang University, according to Peter.
On the same day, BMW also hinted it would have the new BMW 5 Series world premiere at the upcoming Busan International Motor Show next year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of BMW Group Korea.
“This is a further sign of the BMW Group’s commitment to Korea. As one of our biggest 5 Series markets, we wish to show our respect for our customers and colleagues here, as well as the broader Korean society,” said Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG Customer, Brands, Sales, during the event.
By Park Yun-gu and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]