Mar 15, 2016 | By Kira

This May, BMW will be celebrating its first century of luxury car manufacturing, but it is already hard at work ensuring it can successfully survive a second. As part of its Vision Next 100 plan, and in order to keep pace with the demand for the next generation of digitally optimized, constantly-connected smart cars, the German carmaker will be implementing an entirely re-focused digital strategy, and has hired former Google manager Jens Monsees to lead the charge.

As Vice President of Digital Strategy—a newly created position—Monsees will be given nearly free rein over a host of digital initiatives, including boosting internet sales, harnessing big data, and employing 3D printing technology to manufacture advanced car parts.

Jens Monsees, BMW's new Vice President of Digital Strategy

Monsees actually began his career at BMW before taking the role of automotive director at Google seven years ago. In that position, Monsees developed digital marketing strategies for all major German automobile companies. He has also served on the executive board of Arvato, where he restructured sales and IT for the marketing subsidiary of Germany’s largest media group. Even in his earliest days at BMW, however, Monsees showed great promise in the field of digital innovation by developing the award-winning site for BMWTV.

Given this range of proven experience, BWM CEO Harald Krueger personally chose Monsees to lead BMW’s ‘digital revolution’ as head of the newly-created Digital Strategy department. His first order of business will be to bring together the digitalization and IT departments, building a team of roughly 20 digital innovators and specialists. He will then be tasked with developing and leading a range of digital projects, including devising new online sales models and applying 3D printing technology throughout BMW’s production process. Monsees will report directly to BMW head of strategy, Markus Schramm.

BMW's Vision Next 100 proposed a 4D printed car and novel manufacturing materials

Though BMW is currently the world’s largest maker of luxury cars, that title is being threatened by global competitors, who have been quicker to adopt digitalization in their automobile design, manufacturing, and sales. Volkswagen, Mercedez-Benz, and of course Tesla are feeding the demand for connected, self-driving, and electronic cars. Meanwhile, Audi, Ford, and even Buick have turned to 3D printing to manufacture everything from prototypes to metal parts to carbon fiber interior details.

BMW has, until now, prided itself on state-of-the-art mechanical engineering, but clearly understands that to make it into the next decade, never mind the next century, adopting digitalization and digital manufacturing is an absolute must.

In addition to appointing Monsees as VP of Digital Strategy, BMW has announced a partnership with Loxone Electronics to create more intelligent and connected e-car charging solutions, proving their commitment to adopt digitalization well before their next centennial arrives.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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