BMW insists that diesel remains key to hitting tougher fleet average CO2 targets

BMW insists that diesel remains key to hitting tougher fleet average CO2 targets

As the Munich prosecuters descended on BMW's four-cylinder headquarter building BMW chairman Harald Kruger launched a spirited defence of the company' diesel engines.

He told the annual accounts press conference: "Our diesels are among the best in the world. That has been confirmed by independent tests worldwide. Diesel, is important for meeting CO2 targets and we believe banning diesels is the wrong approach.

"We stand by our commitments from the Diesel Summit. We have promised our leasing customers in Germany that we will take back our BMW diesels if bans are introduced. Through this, we want to strengthen people's trust in our diesels. It would also be helpful if the discussion about nitrogen oxides and particulate matter were based more on reality and facts."

Kruger also told the conference that sustainable mobility and autonomous go hand in hand for the company. "We will be launching autonomous driving in the iNext in 2021. That means we will technically master levels three to five.

"The system will be fully integrated and safe. Our test fleet for levels four and five will take to the roads at the same time as the iNext. When it comes to autonomous driving, safety is our absolute priority."

He added that this year BMW will double the size of its autonomous fleet this year to around 80 vehicles.