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Elon Musk Is Being Used To Scare BMW Employees

Technology / 8 Comments

They need to get on the EV bandwagon somehow.

A few years ago, BMW was one of the first automakers to get an EV to market. That was in 2013 and the vehicle was the i3. Since that time, the Tesla Model S has become a smash hit, and its affordable Model 3 is only months away. Non-luxury brands, such as Chevrolet, have launched EVs of their own, while BMW focused back towards its conventional lineup, such as the redesigns of the 5 and 7 Series. But this has to change. Bloomberg reports that BMW CEO Harald Krueger is pushing a new company training effort aimed to get employees on the EV bandwagon.

It literally uses the fear factor of failing against the competition to get employees motivated for battle. For example, BMW recently held an event in Munich, Germany, with a number of its employees in attendance. In this auditorium, there was a large screen showing a Mercedes sedan, Porsche and Jaguar SUVs, and even the face of Elon Musk. The video presentation's tagline is, more or less, "We're in the midst of an electric assault...and this must be taken very seriously." The bottom line is that BMW has fallen behind when it comes to EVs, and its investors are fully aware of that, hence the reason BMW has already sent nearly 10 percent of its workforce to these day-long motivational/fear seminars.

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To help them further get into the mindset of where BMW needs to be, executives have placed the self-driving iNext concept, a Rolls-Royce "whose roof and sides swing open to allow a comfortable exit," and even a Mini concept designed for ride sharing with an interior that changes colors to suit the driver's mood. BMW knows it needs to become an innovator again, but it can only do that if its employees understand future challenges and industry-wide changes. Fear of failing as a motivator is certainly an interesting, if not unconventional, tactic.