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BMW's Digital Reboot

Harald Krueger Bloomberg
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  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    BMW has lost ground in automotive engineering and innovation compared with that of the competition in recent years, so the company needs to make up for lost time.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The Bavaria-based company’s 100-year anniversary celebration is set for Monday in Munich’s Olympic Center.
    • Harald Krüger is expected to unveil a strategy for the coming decade that would turn BMWs into a fully integrated computers on wheels.
    • Mr. Krüger, 50, recently named former Google automotive director Jens Monsees, 45, as BMW’s new vice president for digital strategy.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Harald Krüger, BMW’s chief executive since last May, will celebrate the carmaker’s 100th anniversary on Monday, but the truly important event will take place a week later.

The 50-year engineer will next week present the luxury carmaker’s strategy until 2025 and the main focus will be digitalization, business weekly WirtschaftsWoche, a sister publication of Handelsblatt, has learned.

“The subject of digitalization cuts across every area of the company,” Mr. Krüger told WirtschaftsWoche. “That must be optimized.”

BMW is still the world’s largest maker of luxury cars, but it is seen as a laggard in developing a successful electrically-powered car as Silicon Valley-based Tesla Motors has done. There are also fears that Google, Apple and ride-sharing firm Uber might overtake the Munich-based firm when it comes to connecting the car to the Internet.

To boost BMW’s digital operations, the carmaker has recently named former Google manager Jens Monsees as its vice president for digital strategy, the highest-ranking digitalization post at BMW, WirtschaftsWoche has learned.

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