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BMW: 'The next 100 years'

BMW has marked its 100th anniversary by risking a look ahead. At a ceremony, the iconic German auto maker spoke about its vision for the mobility of the future, saying it would work on a futuristic supercar.

The world's leading luxury carmaker marked its anniversary Monday by unveiling a model of a futuristic supercar. The company said its vision for future mobility was a vehicle drawing on innovation and consumer expectations and including a self-driving capacity plus a digital companion designed to anticipate the driver's thoughts.

The yet unnamed car of the future could begin rolling off BMW's conveyer belts in the next 20 or 30 years, BMW CEO Harald Krüger said.

Looking back at the carmaker's history, Krüger said the company had reinvented itself a couple of times, pointing to BMW's ability to adapt to changes in markets and societies.

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BMW: Riding in style

Driver of economic growth

The carmaker marked its anniversary with a pause in production at its 30 plants around the world to allow its 120.000 employees to join in the festivities.

Chancellor Angela Merkel sent a video message after she was forced to cancel her attendance at the events in Munich because of an emergency migration summit in Brussels.

Following a number of ups and downs in its history, BMW is now an icon of German entrepreneurship and innovation, enjoying a good image at home and farther afield.

In 2005, the Munich-based company overtook Mercedes-Benz as the world's leading luxury brand, generating 80 billion euros ($88 billion) a year in sales globally.

It looks well positioned to ride out temporary economic slowdowns in China and other emerging economies and prove its mettle amid tougher competition in the global auto industry.

hg/hch (dpa, Reuters)

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