BMW Chief Financial Officer Nicolas Peter is looking forward to a strong first quarter in 2021 despite the obvious pandemic-related issues. In a statement issued this week, Peter says that BMW is looking to also increase their operating margins from 8 to 10 percent. The company will publish its 2021 margin target in March. At the same time, BMW will increase its share in the BMW Brilliance joint venture in China, from 50 to 75 percent in 2022. Car sales in China saw a boost in 2020 – for all premium automakers – and BMW is targeting there a 2 to 3 percent margin.
To achieve most of these targets, BMW is doubling down on electrified vehicles. In the next few years, the Bavarians will convert some of their diesel and petrol-powered models to electric and/or plug-in hybrid vehicles. The move will allow BMW to meet the ever changing emission targets in the China and Europe. In 2020, BMW’s global sales of electrified vehicles increased by 31.8 percent compared to a year before.
Peter makes another interesting point for Reuters. When asked about its competitors in the EV space, Peter says that not only Tesla is on his radar, but also Chinese companies like NIO. The BMW CFO mentions Chinese consumers who are more inclined to purchase a car due to its better digital experience. So that customer base is their focus also in Munich.
BMWis also looking to improve their margins by improving the economics of battery pack and cells. And by also removing the complexity in production – reducing engine variants and options for different vehicles.