BMW celebrates its centenary in London, unveiling two visions of the future cars for Rolls-Royce and MINI. Grace Pascoe reports.
The BMW group has been making cars for 100 years. And they're planning for the next 100. This is Rolls-Royce's vision vehicle - it's fully autonomous and comes complete with artificial intelligence "Hi I'm Eleanor" She'll be built to her super wealthy owner's requirements and is emission free. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROLLS-ROYCE MOTORS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, TORSTEN MULLER OTVOS, SAYING: "I am a true believer that we will see in the future cars which are very different and special. From talks I have today with our customers, they are searching for something which will be a different kind of transportation." There are "big" plans for the smaller cars too. The Vision MINI is also autonomous, with no component panel and an "inspire me" feature - touch a button and it will take you anywhere. Out of Britain perhaps? BMW builds Minis and Rolls-Royces in England - so is the Brexit vote a worry? (SOUNDBITE) (English) IAN ROBERTSON, MANAGEMENT BOARD MEMBER, BMW, SAYING: "We have manufacturing plants for all three brands here. We have 8,000 direct employees, 50,000 on the indirect side. So it is a very important market for us. We think there are a lot of advantages to being in the EU, we think that the free movement of components, and cars and people is a distinct advantage." It could be 25 years before these vehicles are tearing up the tarmac. Europe could be a very different place by then.