The landscape of the electric vehicle market is evolving, and BMW of North America’s CEO and President, Sebastian Mackensen, recently shared insights into the company’s perspective on the industry’s trajectory. For Bloomberg, Mackensen acknowledged the unequivocal growth in the EV market, affirming, “Is there a growing market for electric vehicles? 100% yes.” However, he tempered expectations, stating, “Is the growth on the exact same level as maybe some experts have estimated a year ago or six months ago? Maybe not.”
Despite the nuanced outlook, Mackensen revealed BMW’s commitment to the electric future. The company anticipates manufacturing six fully electric vehicle models in its Spartanburg, South Carolina plant by 2030. Mackensen wouldn’t outline the exact models, but we expect to see a BMW iX5, iX6 and iX7. The other three could be either variants of these, or simply new models. In October 2022, the BMW Group announced plans to spend $1.7 billion to build EVs and batteries in the United States. Of the total investment, $700 million is reserved for a new high-voltage battery assembly plant situated in Woodruff, South Carolina. The battery packs will go into purely electric X models that will be produced nearby at the Spartanburg factory where the BMW Group is investing $1 billion.
Addressing the challenges of pricing in the EV market, Mackensen highlighted BMW’s approach of offering lease credits to retail customers. By leveraging federal subsidies through this incentive program, BMW aims to make its electric lineup more accessible to consumers. Mackensen emphasized, “The consumer doesn’t seem to be open to pay a real price premium for a different propulsion technology.”
BMW’s perspective on the EV market extends beyond the technical aspects, as the company closely observes market dynamics. In response to Tesla’s position as the market leader for fully electric vehicles, BMW sees the American automaker as a reliable benchmark for gauging interest in EVs. Currently, inventory levels are almost back to pre-COVID levels and the overall demand for vehicles slowed down. BMW’s EVs have also been heavily incetivized recently with the iX having credits as high as $9500 and with dealers discounting more than 10 percent on average.