You read that right.
The auto industry technologies are advancing at a pace like never before as traditional internal combustion engines are being replaced with plug-in hybrid and all-electric powertrains. Although ICE vehicles won't completely disappear from the scene, it's all but guaranteed they'll all soon feature hybrid battery assist for improved fuel efficiency and, in some cases, improved performance. BMW, without question one of the best engine builders in the business, has just announced its financial report for the fourth quarter of 2019 and, buried deep in there, was the following statement:
"On the product side, up to 50 percent of traditional drivetrain variants will be eliminated from 2021 onwards in the transition to creating enhanced, intelligent vehicle architectures - in favor of additional electrified drivetrains."
It means exactly what it says, but the question remains which ICE engines will live and which shall die. To clarify, this does not mean half of BMW's current models will be discontinued in the coming years. Highly popular and halo-like models, including the BMW M3, aren't going anywhere. They'll just receive electrified or partially electrified powertrains.
In the meantime, BMW is getting ready to launch its first all-electric vehicle, the i4 four-door coupe, which will compete directly against the Tesla Model 3. The BMW i3 was initially launched with either plug-in hybrid or all-electric powertrain. Following its mid-life refresh, it's only a battery electric vehicle and will likely remain on sale through 2024.
The BMW iX3 SUV will go on sale in Europe next year but not in the US due to expected low demand. The production version of the iNext SUV concept is also due in the near future and, more than likely, will be sold in North America.
BMW's final 2019 financial report also revealed some excellent news: revenues for the BMW Group, consisting of the BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce brands as well as its motorcycle division, exceeded 100 billion euros for the first time ever. With sales doing this well, BMW will continue pumping money right back into R&D, leading to even more electrified vehicles.