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AIMS: BMW ‘builds brand, tells story’

AIMS: The plug-in hybrid BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car will make its only Australian appearance in Melbourne.

No production models on BMW stand at Melbourne as Bavarian brand pushes eco agenda

BMW logo28 Jun 2011

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

NOT a single production vehicle will feature on BMW’s relatively small 264 square-metre display at this year’s Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne.

Instead, the Bavarian manufacturer will use the event to fly the green flag and showcase its progress in the field of sustainable mobility, including its fuel-saving EfficientDynamics technologies, plus the philosophy behind the eco-friendly i-brand cars that will be officially unveiled in Germany at the end of next month.

Embodying both EfficientDynamics and the i-brand – which was announced in February – is the plug-in hybrid Vision EfficientDynamics concept car, which will make its only Australian appearance in Melbourne.

The eco-sportscar concept – which combines a three-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with an electric motor to produce a combined 241kW for claimed 0-100km/h performance of 4.8 seconds – made its world debut at the 2009 Frankfurt show.

The concept, said to have an EV range of 50 kilometres, consumes an average 3.76 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres and emits a low 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre. It will eventually morph into the production i8 hybrid sportscar that is mooted to offer the combination of M3-style performance and Prius-beating fuel economy.

The Munich marque’s Australian division believes that other forms of marketing provide a better return on investment, so it has decided to use the Melbourne show to “develop its brand and tell a story” rather than display its production car line-up.

BMW Group Australia managing director Phil Horton said: “We’re right across the road from BMW Melbourne if people want to see our full range.” Mr Horton implied that BMW’s attendance at Australian motor shows is not guaranteed and depends on “what products we’ve got to show and tell and the lifecycle of the products”.

The Bavarian brand, along with other luxury carmakers, previously boycotted Australian shows on the grounds of cost, leading to the creation of the current annual format that alternates between Melbourne and Sydney.

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