Sales of electric BMWs rise where competitors drop

In a tough market, sales of all-electric BMWs have grown significantly. During the first three months of the year, the Bavarian automaker witnessed a global growth of 27.8%, while competitors like Mercedes and Tesla faced substantial drops.

BMW’s solid performance was epitomized by the delivery of its one-millionth electric car. It took the automaker roughly a decade, as the first battery-powered car from the German automaker was the i3, which hit the market in 2013 and was abandoned only last year. The identity of the anniversary model remained undisclosed.

Fierce China

During the first quarter of this year, sales of electric BMWs reached 82,700 units, a significant rise of 27.8% compared to the year before. The share is now 13.9%, up from 11% in 2023. Expectations are that this will grow to 20% over the course of the year. These numbers include the brands Mini and Rolls-Royce. The performance excels as Mercedes witnessed a drop of 8% and Tesla 9% during the first quarter compared to the year before.

BMW says it has noticed this “significant growth” across all markets, although the company isn’t immune to the fierce price war in China. While no separate BEV figures are publicly available for that region, overall BMW deliveries in the People’s Republic have dwindled by 8%.

Also, the figures don’t match the results from the last quarter of 2023, when BMW sold a record 129,316 units of its all-electric range, a considerable 56.3% more. Still, BMW manages to surface where others are losing ground.

“Effective strategy”

It helps that the company is in an upward model cycle, with newcomers like the iX2 and i5—also available as Touring—being well-received. For instance, Mercedes points to the production end of the Smart Fortwo influencing lower BEV deliveries, as it accounted for roughly a 30% share. In unison with Tesla, the compatriot rival to BMW, the company also points to supply chain shortages.

The BEV growth at the BMW Group is mainly driven by the brand itself, which accounted for 78,691 units during the first quarter. This translates into a share of 14.8% for BEV models.

About the brand’s success in an adverse market, BMW member Jochen Goller said: “By providing a choice of drive train technologies and thanks to our high level of flexibility, the BMW Group is well-positioned to meet changing customer requirements. This strategy is now proving particularly effective in a dynamic market environment.”


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