Last week Boris Johnson, the UK foreign secretary and Brexit campaigner, upset some people. That’s nothing new, but he upset the British car industry by saying that Brexit would not affect the industry in the UK because "traditional car companies will vanish" in the next 20 years to be replaced by automated cars. As many pointed out to good old Boris, automated cars are still cars and they still need to be manufactured. There are a number of other reasons to dispute his claim, but there is no denying that the global car industry is embarking on a revolutionary period of change. Which is why BMW is saying its future is not as a car company, the proponent of sheer driving pleasure, but as a mobility provider. That sounds less automotive-speak and more Google talk, but in 2016 the company, which started out as a manufacturer of aircraft engines more than a century ago, outlined its predictions for itself over the next 100 years.

One of the key people overseeing this change is Hil...

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