German auto giant BMW announced that it will look to increase its research and development spending in the areas of electric vehicles and autonomous driving vehicles as well. Current estimates peg this investment to be in the $8 Billion dollar range as the company looks to make good on its plan to try and have over 20 new electric vehicle models in the market before 2025. The R & D ratio figure is anticipated to equal approximately 7% of overall sales for the company in the coming year.
The company is also looking to mitigate potential risks that are currently swirling in the global theatre including Brexit and potential increased US tariffs on US imports. The company sees this new investment as a way to help drive its dominant position in markets it sees as the future in both Europe and abroad. The high end luxury car market is also something that the company sees as a crucial opportunity for it to maintain its leadership position with sales in China and the United States leading the way.
The company did note that it was feeling the effect of the diesel bans that are going on across Europe as the used vehicle market did take a significant dip over the course of the last year and it does see this trend continuing for at least the next few quarters. Many European automakers have been pushing national and local governments to lessen their stances on the use of diesel.
Even with the recent events in the United States, where a pedestrian was hit and killed by an Uber autonomous driving vehicle, the company will continue with its pursuit of the self driving car segment and continue to run more test, the company however did not comment on where and how many autonomous driving vehicles they currently have out in real world testing environments.