BMW's I Division Believes the Future of Luxury is Green

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

What is luxury? According to the team that runs BMW‘s new i division, it’s not what it used to be.

While some automakers are working to make more affordable luxury cars and others are striving to make even more lavish ones, BMW’s i division is committed to the concept that luxury equals sustainability.

“We really feel that in the future people are defining premium by a company’s commitment to sustainability,” said Jose Guerrero, product manager and U.S. product planning and strategy for BMW i of North America. Speaking with AutoGuide he said, “lavish ostrich skin seats or elephant tusk shift knobs” are “no longer the currency,” when it comes to premium cars. “That’s like the old economy,” he said.

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And it’s about more than just the cars said Jacob Harb, the brand’s North American Head of Electric Vehicle Sales and Strategy; from the powertrains to the materials inside the car to the way the vehicle is actually made.

He describes how the BMW i division does everything green, from using 40 percent less paint on its cars to using wood from sustainably managed forests. And those are only the basics. BMW i’s production facility uses lights that are powered from on-site wind turbines and even the carbon fiber used to underpin the cars is created using hydroelectric power.

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“Sustainability is the new premium,” he said.

“We’re confident that as a premium EV car manufacturer our position and commitment to sustainability is a key differentiator.” While numerous automakers are committed to the same principles of sustainability, Harb says BMW is doing more. “We’re living it,” he said.

From left: VP of Sales Andy Jacobson and Editorial Director Colum Wood deliver the AutoGuide Reader's Choice Green Car of the Year Award to BMW's Jose Guerrero and Jacob Harb for the i8.

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Colum Wood
Colum Wood

With AutoGuide from its launch, Colum previously acted as Editor-in-Chief of Modified Luxury & Exotics magazine where he became a certifiable car snob driving supercars like the Koenigsegg CCX and racing down the autobahn in anything over 500 hp. Find Colum on <a href="">Twitter.</a>

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