Judging solely by the reaction of many people commenting on the Internet, some would be tempted to say the i4 and iX are prone to failure due to their questionable designs. However, BMW is happy to report it will add 6,000 jobs in 2022 to meet the strong customer demand its latest electric vehicles are enjoying. Both models are sold out for months, prompting the company to create extra shifts to clear out the backlog.
The disclosure was made by company CEO Oliver Zipse in an extended interview with Münchner Merkur, a daily Bavarian newspaper. BMW’s head honcho says the factory in Munich where the all-electric 4 Series Gran Coupe is made is flexible enough to support extra production. It’s the same story with the plant in Dingolfing where the zero-emissions SUV is being put together.
The 57-year-old executive admits adjusting production output on such short notice is a real challenge, but it will be achievable once the necessary extra workforce (+5%) will be available at some point next year. The news comes only a few days after a report emerged about a potential Saturday shift at the Munich facility to assemble more i4s.
Aside from strong demand, the microchip shortage is also taking its toll on how much customers must wait to get their new cars. Oliver Zipse projects the purely electric derivative of the next-generation 7 Series will be just as popular as the i4 and iX once it will be officially revealed in 2022. He went on to say demand for EVs is “growing rapidly,” but it could be hampered by an underdeveloped charging infrastructure in some parts of the world.
A few weeks ago, the company celebrated the delivery of its one-millionth electrified vehicle, an iX in the xDrive40 specification. The BMW Group (including MINI and Rolls-Royce) expects at least half of its global sales to be represented by cars without a combustion engine by the end of the decade. Speaking of the two British brands under the same corporate umbrella, both will go purely electric by 2030.