BMW CEO: “We will not go on a business contraction course”
Oliver Zipse, CEO of the BMW Group, is defending his strategy to sell only half of its cars with all-electric drive in 2030. Compared to what competitors (like Audi) are putting forward, BMW’s strategy has been categorized as ‘unambitious”.
In an interview with the German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Zipse comments: “If a manufacturer no longer has an internal combustion offering in 2030, half the market volume will be lost to them setting them on a business contraction course.”
And he continues: “The real decision-makers in our industry are the customers. And you can’t afford to neglect them. Of course, there will be cities, regions, or even countries completing the whole transition in the next 15 years. But that won’t be the case for many of the 140 worldwide markets BMW is trading on.”
Car manufacturers have been stumbling over each other lately in announcing when they will switch (completely) to electric vehicles and how long the electrification process will take.
Jaguar foresees it already in 2025, Volvo takes 2030 for granted, Audi doesn’t want to sell ICE engines anymore as of 2033, and Daimler CEO Ola Källenius wants the entire new car fleet of his company CO2 neutral by 2039 and go quicker in its electrification process.
At its annual general meeting last March, the BMW Group announced its intention to avoid more than 200 million tons of C02 by 2030. BMW, therefore, expects that 50% of its global sales will be EVs.
As a result of this, BMW wants to offer only what is still really in demand regarding ICE vehicles. Zipse expects that half of today’s drive variants will no longer exist by 2025. But, apparently, BMW refuses to give an end date to when it will completely abandon the internal combustion engine.
It (rightfully) assumes that by 2030 there will still be a lot of (developing) countries that aren’t ready for (pure) electric driving at that moment. That’s also the reason why BMW has a seriously developed portfolio of plug-in hybrids.
Instead of engaging its biggest brand entirely in this bidding war, BMW sends out Mini as his scout. The daughter company within the BMW Group has already announced that it will be ‘half electric’ by 2027 and completely electric by 2030. With a niche brand like this, such a strategy is less perilous.
By doing so, the BMW Group is closer in its views to manufacturers like Toyota, the world’s number one again, which are more prudent to abandon ICE completely and are also trying to explore different routes to sustainability.