CAM: ‘BMW tops world’s most innovative carmaker ranking’

German premium car manufacturer BMW is the world’s most innovative carmaker, but the Chinese are breathing down its neck. Geely and SAIC are closing in as second and third. Toyota ranks fourth – ahead of Mercedes-Benz and VW Group. However, five Chinese manufacturers show a clear lead when looking at innovations in electric mobility (BEVs).

The ranking is published by the German Center of Automotive Management (CAM), which has been studying manufacturers and suppliers in Europe, China, Korea, Japan, and the US since 2005 to identify outstanding innovation achievements in the automotive industry. It uses data from its database of 18,000 vehicle technology innovations and automotive companies’ future trends since the start.

27 world first for BMW

“In the latest innovation study, the BMW Group achieved the highest level of innovation among 30 automotive groups based on 70 series innovations (including 27 world firsts) and thus won the AutomotiveINNOVATIONS Award for the most innovative automotive groups for the first time,” CAM says. BMW scored 151 points ahead of Geely (149.4) and SAIC (136.8).

CAM says that for 2023/24, it analyzed the innovations of 30 global automobile manufacturers and newcomers with around 100 automobile brands. A total of 709 individual OEM innovations available in series production in the technology fields of electric drive, autonomous driving & ADAS, and infotainment & connectivity were evaluated.

“Among these are almost 200 – highly rated – world firsts. Criteria such as degree of maturity, originality, customer benefit, and degree of innovation were included in the scientific evaluation. In addition, around 300 further pre-series innovations or studies indicate the development trends of automobile manufacturers in the subsequent period.

Chinese have a clear edge in BEVs

For the first time, BMW has topped the overall group ranking, but the Chinese have a clear edge when looking specifically at EVs. According to CAM, Geely (second), SAIC (third), Xpeng (7th place in the general ranking), and BYD (8th place) are showing very strong innovation performance in the technology fields of electric mobility (BEV), advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and interfaces (operating/display concepts), in which they are presenting over 80 world firsts.

That was already clear in 2023, when China showed the most progress, with 75 BEV innovations, compared to 55 for German manufacturers and 22 for other EU carmakers, only 28 for the US and 16 for Japan.

Toyota shows signs of pulling itself together in that field, climbing to fourth place. However, US carmakers like General Motors and Ford fell to 15th and 16th place from 5th and 6th the year before.




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