Thought the company was behind on EVs? Think again.
Former BMW CEO Harald Krueger lost his job over the matter and his successor, Oliver Zipse, is taking no prisoners regarding the German automaker's full-scale push into electric vehicles. Krueger faced criticism for not being more aggressive in developing BMW's i-branded models, falling behind rivals such as Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz. The just-revealed BMW i4 and iX are proof Zipse understands what needs to be done.
He told Reuters, however, that the perception BMW is behind on electrification is false and could, in fact, get its stock price to compete with Tesla's. "There is a perception that we took a break, but we actually didn't take a break," Zipse said. "We waited for the moment when electromobility is really getting into higher volumes."
By 2030, BMW expects that at least half of all new vehicle sales will be purely battery-electric models. It still remains committed to internal combustion. Some say this is a conservative figure, especially compared to VW's extremely aggressive EV strategy. Sometimes it doesn't hurt to be conservative.
Also unlike VW, BMW has yet to launch a dedicated EV platform. The i4 and iX ride on a heavily modified version of the modular CLAR architecture, the basis for 3, 5, and 7 Series sedans, and X3, X4, and X5 SUVs. Sharing a common platform may sound like smart business, but critics say this hurts EV performance and general capabilities.
BMW's first EV-only setup will arrive in 2025. Zipse's narrative is basically this: BMW never stopped electric mobility R&D and it's also hugely undervalued. Its market cap of 55 billion euros ($64.7 billion) is actually lower than its total assets of around 60 billion euros. "Something is wrong there," he said. "That would assume that you don't have a future. The equity story is not finished for BMW. We have a great future, we will grow."
Zipse is confident BMW can become a story stock like Tesla, meaning its shares will hopefully soon reflect predicted financial performance and innovation expectations.