Arriving in 2025, the Neue Klasse platform will gradually become the backbone of BMW’s lineup. All models from the 3 Series and up are going to use the underpinnings sooner or later. Aside from bringing benefits to customers like an extended range and quicker charging, the dedicated platform will also cut costs for the manufacturer.
So much so that BMW believes vehicles based on the Neue Klasse will be just as profitable as combustion-engined models. The projection was made by CEO Oliver Zipse during the 102nd Annual General Meeting this week. As we reported yesterday, NE-based electric cars will switch from cylindrical to round battery cells to slash battery-related costs by 30%.
With batteries being by far the most expensive component of an EV, we’re not entirely taken by surprise Neue Klasse will bring in the money just like a CLAR-based car. On June 1, BMW will lay the foundation stone for the new factory in Debrecen, Hungary where NE-based vehicles are going to be assembled. Pre-production is scheduled to commence in 26 months, so in July 2024.
As previously announced, the Munich plant will be the next in line to build Neue Klasse models as BMW has already announced it will commence production of EVs on the new architecture in 2026. It’s unclear which model will be built first in Germany, but we do know the one arriving in 2025 from Debrecen will be in the 3 Series segment. Whether it will be a sedan or a crossover to replace the current iX3 is unknown for the time being.
The 3 Series Sedan has already been transformed into an EV, but only in China where it’s produced. The i3 eDrive35L takes the long-wheelbase combustion-engined car and yanks out the oily bits. It adds an electric motor at the back where the engineers have also fitted an air suspension – a first for a 3er.
Speaking of profitability, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said during today’s annual shareholder meeting he expects EVs to make as much money as ICEs sooner than originally planned, which was in about 2-3 years.