BMW to trim petrol, diesel variants by 50% from 2021
The electric revolution will shift into a new gear at BMW next year, as the company confirmed it will be trimming up to 50% of “traditional drivetrain variants” across the entire group – including its MINI and Rolls-Royce subsidiaries – in favour of electrified drivetrains. The move, Munich says, is in line with its move of creating enhanced, intelligent vehicle architectures.
It has already streamlined its engine lineup with a modular family of three-, four- and six-cylinder turbocharged mills, and has recently introduced a 48-volt mild hybrid system for diesel engines. It also said it will be regularly assessing its model portfolio to find potential ways of reducing complexity.
In place of those axed variants, the company will be introducing a number of electrified models. While the i8 is being put to pasture next month, the fully-electric i3 will soldier on as demand increases for the sixth year running. The MINI Cooper SE has been in production since the end of last year, and it will be joined this year by the iX3, and the iNEXT and i4 in 2021.
Eventually, BMW aims to have 25 electrified models by 2023, more than half of them all-electric. This is to support the growing demand for electrified vehicles, which is set to double next year compared to 2019; BMW intends to have sold more than a million pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by that time. The group expects the market growth curve to be steep up to 2025, with sales of electrified vehicles projected to increase by an average of more than 30% per annum.
The news of variant culling comes as the BMW Group posted record sales in 2019, totalling 2,538,367 units worldwide. It also set a record in revenues for the fourth quarter and increased profits in the second half of last year to €4.3 billion (RM20.5 billion), up 18.8% from the same period in 2018. However, a €1.4 billion (RM6.7 billion) provision related to a European antitrust lawsuit, as well as investments into research and development, have significantly curtailed the group’s profitability for the entire year.
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