Electric vehicles are expensive to develop and build but BMW is striving for profit parity in roughly two years. Chief financial officer, Walter Mertl, made the projection in a media roundtable, telling journalists EVs won’t be as profitable as ICE cars until 2026 at the earliest. By the end of the decade when more than half of annual sales will comprise of EVs, the German luxury brand wants an 8-10% profit margin.
Back in September 2023 at the IAA Mobility in Munich, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said the EVs on the Neue Klasse platform would be just as profitable as the current electric models. In the meantime, BMW has adapted its UKL2 and CLAR platforms for zero-emission duty, varying from cars as small as the iX1 compact crossover to the mighty i7 fullsize sedan.
In 2023, BMW saw its EV sales spike by 92.2% to 330,596 units. The volume was large enough to hit the company’s target of electric vehicles accounting for 15% of total shipments. The objectives are even more ambitious for the following years since EVs are projected to represent 20% of annual deliveries in 2024 and 25% in 2025.
Next year, the first EV on the Neue Klasse platform will begin to roll off the assembly line at the new Debrecen plant in Hungary. It’ll be an iX3-like crossover, with an electric 3 Series Sedan to go into production from 2026 at the Munich plant. BMW will have eight Neue Klasse EVs on sale by 2028. In addition, at least six electric SUVs will be built in Spartanburg by 2030, although it’s unclear how many (if any) will use Neue Klasse.
BMW has also confirmed plans to make Neue Klasse vehicles in China from 2026 and in Mexico from 2027. However, not all future EVs will use the dedicated underpinnings since the i5 Touring coming this year will stick to CLAR. Rumor has it the next-generation X5 and X6 are going to receive fully electric derivatives using the same bones as the versions equipped with combustion engines.
Meanwhile, sales of conventionally powered vehicles have peaked, and following a plateau, BMW reckons they’ll gradually go down.