BMW Ranked Most Sustainable Automaker

source site – BMW Ranked Most Sustainable Automaker | Green Blog & Discussion at Automobile Magazine and BMW Group is once again most sustainable automotive company

The BMW Group is the only company in its industry to have been listed in this important collection of corporate sustainability indexes every year since they were established in 1999. The BMW Group’s Board of Management defined sustainability as a key corporate principle back in 2000. Sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and consistent conservation of resources are firmly anchored in the company’s processes. The BMW Group is using its strategy for sustainable mobility – which encompasses efficiency increases and further electrification of the power train through to the long-term use of hydrogen – to reduce the CO2 emissions of its entire vehicle fleet. Production sites are minimising their environmental impact and conserving resources. High social standards for the employees of the BMW Group have also been implemented at all locations for decades. More detailed information is available at www.bmwgroup.com/responsibility.

well done to BMW for their work in sustainable development.

BMW: most improved environmental performance

With the launch of the BMW Hydrogen 7, the exciting X6 Efficient Dynamics Active Hybrid and the brace of clean diesels and efficient dynamics technology in the regular BMW model line up, BMW is fast becoming the example for the right combination of performance, efficiency, practicality and environmental responsibility.

In terms of performance, the current BMW diesels are matching their petrol drinking siblings. But in terms of efficiency & environmental responsibility they far outperform the petrol set, and even some hybrids. And diesels are much more practical compared to the hybrids.

BMW to buy Volvo from Ford?

A particularly interesting piece of news circulating the automotive business world at the moment is the stories that BMW is eying an acquisition of the Volvo brand from Ford.

My thoughts is more of a cautious one. BMW failed in its turnaround of the “english patient” Rover when BMW bought the Rover Car Group in the 90s. With the failure went two of its top leaders. Rover was an expensive lesson for BMW in a sense that sometimes some brands and corporate culture do not gel well with the BMW brand & culture.

Rover had a bad brand perception even in England. After all, Rover is a name for a dog. The culture at Rover was also at odds with the BMW culture of efficiency and performance. Rover was a product of an age when labour unions ruled business decisions.

Still, BMW has had some success with its non-BMW brands such as the MINI and Rolls Royce. Both these brands fit nicely within the overall BMW brand strategy. The RR brand slotted nicely in the upmarket (read: royal) segment beyond any luxury brand that BMW, Merc or Jaguar produces today. The MINI was positioned as a fun driving vehicle. An engineering skill that BMW knows very well. After all, BMW is renown as the Ultimate Driving Machine.

But what about Volvo? BMW is keen on driving further growth in its business. Expanding the BMW brand further with more an more variations could risk diluting its brand essense. Many industry observers believe that the BMW brand should remain focussed on its true identity of sporting luxury vehicles. The introduction of MPVs, SUVs and others could tarnish this identity, I believe.

But would the introduction of a brand below this help? BMW thought they could do that with Rover. Volvo in theory could serve as a mass and more family orientated brand… but could BMW pull it off?

YouTube and the dilemma of its business model

Internet ventures have long been a phenomena that is very difficult to understand. On one hand, the internet or the web has been wildly successful that there is a wealth of information (and disinformation) at the click of a mouse button.

Yet, on the other hand there have only been very few successful businesses. The successful ones are the likes of Google, Yahoo etc, but very few others.

So what drives venture capital funds to the web?

The dotcom bust in the early 2000s brought things back to reality. Yet, now we see the second wave of the web… called web 2.0.

Web 2.0 is primarily used to describe the second wave of web ventures which draw primarily from the internet community itself. Sites like mySpace and YouTube are the recent prime examples of community based sites achieving wild success (at least in terms of eyeballs).

The question now for the likes of YouTube – is this sustainable? What do you think? Is the free-for-user-and-hope-to-get-advertising-revenue model workable?