BMW Unveils "Comprehensive Realignment" For EV Future
We've written a lot lately about the constant news coming from the automobile sector, where automakers are laying out their plans for an all-electric future on an almost daily basis.
Iconic automaker BMW Group laid out its framework for a "comprehensive realignment" at its Annual Conference yesterday as the company will work towards fully electric future in three phases.
The first phase began as far back as 2014 when BMW introduced the option to book and pay for services online from your vehicle. More importantly, the first phase introduced BMW's e-mobility venture with Project i, which has given the automaker the "electric know-how" to transfer to series production.
The second phase, which is expected to reach its peak in 2025, will see deliveries of fully electric models grow more than tenfold compared to 2020. BMW Group predicts it will have delivered around two million fully electric vehicles to customers worldwide by the end of 2025.
BMW will begin installing BMW Operating System 8 this year and predicts that by the end of next year it will have the world's largest fleet of vehicles that can install new or upgrade existing functions over the air. BMW Group expects to have about a dozen fully electric models on roads across the world by 2023, with at least one fully electric model on the road in approximately 90% of its current market segments.
"The BMW Group has ambitious plans for 2021. We have started the new year with strong momentum and are aiming to return to pre-crisis levels as swiftly as possible – and go even further," BMW AG Chairman of the Board of Management Oliver Zipse said. "We have a clear roadmap for making the transformation of our industry a real competitive advantage for BMW in the coming years: uncompromisingly electric, digital and circular."
Beginning in 2025, the third phase will see BMW Group's product range realigned on the basis of the "Neue Klasse" with a focus on redefined IT and software architecture, electric drivetrains and batteries, and sustainability across the entire vehicle life cycle. Saying it will maintain the "characteristic flair of a typical BMW," BMW Group says the third phase focuses on an overall vehicle architecture optimized for electric drivetrains.
"The BMW Group is never satisfied with what it has achieved so far – that's what sets it apart from the rest of the field," Zipse said. "This spirit will characterize the Neue Klasse: high tech on four wheels for customers intent on experiencing in just five years' time how mobility will feel in 2030."
BMW Group expects deliveries of fully electric vehicles to grow by an average of more than 20% annually between 2025 and 2030. Additionally, the automaker forecasts fully electric vehicles will account for at least 50% of BMW Group's deliveries to customers by 2030.
As automakers around the world unveil their plans to transition to all-electric vehicles, BMW Group is focused on making sure it remains a premium luxury brand as the transition unfolds.
Last week, you might have heard that the art market went—as they say in business school—absolutely bonkers. Christie’s cashed in on the mania, setting a new record of $69.3 million for a jpeg, er, digital artwork. The takeaway? Art investing has hit the mainstream. But if you’re anything like us, putting your money in real, tangible art by blue-chip artists makes a lot more sense.
For one thing, contemporary art prices have outperformed the S&P by 152% from 1995–2020 according to data from Masterworks. They were the first platform to let you invest in paintings by the likes of Basquiat, Kaws, and Haring. But what about returns? They’ve got that too: they recently sold their first painting, a Banksy work, for a cool 32% annualized return to investors.
With results like that, it’s no wonder there’s over 25,000 people on the waitlist. Just use our special link, tell them we sent you, and you’ll be good to go.
*See important info
Mortgage refinances continue to drop. With the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hitting its highest level since June, rising to 3.28% from 3.26%, mortgage refinance demand fell by 4% last week and is now 39% lower than a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index. Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose slightly, increasing by 2% for the week and now stand 5% higher than a year ago. "After reaching a recent high in the last week of January, the refinance index has since fallen 26 percent to its lowest level since September 2020," MBA economist Joel Kan said. "Rates have jumped 36 basis points since the end of January, and last week refinance activity fell across all loan types."
Layoffs hit Activision Blizzard's esports business. Activision Blizzard reportedly laid off less than 190 employees, or about 2% of its global workforce, as the company let go 50 employees working with e-sports programming and other live events. "Players are increasingly choosing to connect with our games digitally and the e-sports team, much like traditional sports, entertainment and broadcasting industries, has had to adapt its business due to the impact the pandemic has had on live events," an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said. Activision Blizzard said last month that it plans on hiring 3,000 employees this year after giving an optimistic outlook.
Morgan Stanley to offer clients bitcoin funds. CNBC reported yesterday that Morgan Stanley will offer its wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds, becoming the first U.S. bank to do so. Morgan Stanley reportedly made the decision after facing pressure from clients who wanted exposure to bitcoin. Clients who have "an aggressive risk tolerance" and at least $2 million in assets with the bank will be able to invest in the funds. Two of the funds that will be offered are from Galaxy Digital, while the third is a fund from FS Investments and NYDIG.
Amazon announces launch of Amazon Care. Amazon announced its Amazon Care medical care service will be available to companies across the U.S. starting this summer. The announcement follows a successful test of the service by Amazon employees, who have been using Amazon Care since September 2019. "Amazon Care enables employers to provide access to high quality medical care within 60 seconds for employees, including options for care around the clock through messaging or video," Amazon said. "Amazon Care gives instant access to a range of urgent and primary care services, including COVID-19 and flu testing, vaccinations, treatment of illnesses and injuries, preventive care, sexual health, prescription requests, refills, and delivery, and much more."
Apple Maps adds vaccination locations. Apple announced COVID-19 vaccination locations will now be displayed on Apple Maps through an update utilizing VaccineFinder's vaccine availability data. The initial rollout will show information from 20,000 locations such as operating hours, address, phone numbers and a link to the provider's website. Users can find the locations in Apple Maps by selecting COVID-19 Vaccines in the Find Nearby menu or by asking Siri, "Where can I get a COVID vaccination?"