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BMW combines with John Deere to grow global farm, construction vehicle marketplace

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 08:00
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BMW is more closely associated with cars, motorcycles and the back stretch at Nürburgring than a farmer’s back forty – but BMW’s Designworks subsidiary is collaborating with John Deere to reap the latest in vehicle engineering innovations and apply them to Deere’s lines of agricultural and construction equipment.

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Other manufacturers in this field also are sowing technological advances. In September the London-based CNH Industrial, with operations in 180 nations, unveiled a New Holland-branded concept tractor that runs on biomethane gas. When production of the engine system eventually comes to fruition farms could be fully self-sustaining and energy-independent for their vehicle fueling needs as the gas can be rendered onsite from animal waste and post-harvest discarded vegetation.

With locations in Munich, Shanghai and California, Designworks’ longstanding partnership with Deere has recently resulted in the rollout of what they are calling the “Fixstern Backhoe of the Future,” estimated to be a decade or so away from coming to market.

“Fixstern” means “fixed star” in German, reflecting a united identity based on perfecting a holistic, visionary and pioneering approach to engineering and design.

“Along the way, as we continue to solve problems, identify new processes/new technologies, we can pick those and pull them back into the present and possibly implement them on existing products today,” explains Deere engineering manager Robert Moore.

“BMW is continuously working on innovations to headline the radical change in our future mobility,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW’s senior vice president of design. “Through Designworks we are able to share knowledge and inspire change and transformation in other industries, which is important not only with regards to product design or connectivity, but especially when it comes to sustainable solutions for the future.”

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“Designing highly complex machinery requires a deep technological understanding,” concurs Designworks President Oliver Heilmer. “Ever since we conducted our first H Crawler project for John Deere in 1996, the foundation for success between our companies has been the continuous sharing of knowledge and experiences, along with a constant fostering of a shared design culture.”

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