Helmut Schramm, Head of BMW Group Plant Berlin
1. Why are you committed to the Berlin Partner Network?
Because I think in terms of cooperation and always use partnerships for further development and growth. A metropolis like Berlin needs industrial value creation. We rely on functioning structures and resilient networks. Above all, it is much easier to set the course for successful economic and industrial policy together. Together, we can make a much stronger impression on and promote Berlin as an industrial location and provide the necessary impetus. With this partnership, the BMW Group Plant Berlin strengthens its presence as a Berlin industrial company, as an economic partner and employer in the region.
2. The world is changing. How is your world changing?
Very fast. Our internal world is changing at least as fast as the outside. Growth, innovation, digitalisation, complexity, individuality - the constant change of our customers and employees with their expectations and demands on our products and processes is reflected in our internal organisation, in the inner change, in our attitude. If we are good, and this is our claim, we are always one step ahead. We must always develop further with the help of innovations in terms of processes in order to maintain our good market position and the future viability of the site. In the long term, these developments will also change the role of people in production. In the future, they will be even more than today's designers and enablers of processes. The working world will thus be further modernised. And the reduction of physically strenuous activities is also a gain against the background of demographic change.
3. What is "typical Berlin" for you?
BMW motorcycles are typical Berlin for me, because we have been producing them in Berlin for exactly 50 years, only now several more than back in 1969. We benefit greatly from the location and are proud that our motorcycles have Berlin air in their tyres. Furthermore, two-wheel mobility and Berlin, as the largest metropolis in Germany, go well together. This is precisely where answers to the challenges of urban space are to be found, where people individualize their mobility according to their own needs in a very confined space. In recent years, a very innovative climate has developed in Berlin, with many start-ups, complemented by the proximity to scientific and research institutions. This also makes Berlin very attractive from a production perspective. Last but not least, I also experience the city as a citizen, sometimes with a smile and sometimes with a shake of the head. In Berlin, chaos and beauty are very close together, vision and tradition, speed and cosiness [laughs], innovation and improvisation. This city is wonderfully international and diverse, colourful and rich, beautifully green and last but not least the home of many of our employees. We would like to keep it that way.
4. What kind of artificial intelligence can you expect from BMW motorcycles?
The keyword is connectivity, i.e. the connection between motorcycle, driver and environment. And we do a lot to achieve this. As proof of the BMW Group's high level of expertise in the field of automated driving, we recently presented a spectacular test and research vehicle at CES 2019. The self-propelled BMW R 1200 GS is capable of starting up, accelerating, performing winding manoeuvres and then braking to a standstill. The development of the test vehicle aims to use the knowledge gained about driving dynamics processes to support the driver in future in recognising dangerous situations and mastering demanding driving manoeuvres. Thus, the self-propelled motorcycle, with its comprehensive knowledge of the ideal line and perfect lean angle in bends, the correct braking point and traction-optimised acceleration, can help the rider to constantly improve his or her skills. Our VISION NEXT 100 vision vehicle also uses the possibilities of the digital world to take the analogue riding experience on a motorcycle to a new level. Here too, the basis for the special experience of freedom is intelligent networking. All this is incorporated into the development of our series products, which are now equivalent to intelligent computers.
Photocredit: © BMW AG, Peer Schröder Hardcopy