Or, in corporate-speak, "an electric urban mobility company."
Compared to its VW and Daimler domestic rivals, BMW is behind in the race to electrification. Its recently installed CEO admitted as much, and so it’s time to play catch up. Fast. One thing being considered, according to Reuters, is to turn its Mini brand into an all-electric one in the US. Reuters learned this from a senior BMW executive, and it’s really not a half bad idea. Remember, Mini will launch an all-electric model in 2019, recently previewed by the Mini Electric Concept.
This BMW executive also hinted Mini could shift its main buyer focus to urban consumers, people who are often early adapters to new technologies. Coincidently or not, Chinese automaker Great Wall revealed last month that it was in discussions with BMW about a possible joint venture to build Minis in China. This is interesting because BMW would thus be able to share the production costs with someone else. BMW is also working with another automaker, Toyota, with the development of its new sports car platform that’ll become the new Z4 and Supra. BMW will also be watching how Daimler’s Smart brand will fair in America now that it’s EV only.
So why is BMW even considering making Mini all-electric in the US? Because of declining sales. For example, Mini sales fell last October by 10 percent. The long term solution, therefore, could be turning Mini into an “electric urban mobility company.” A final decision probably won't be made just yet because BMW wants to see if the Mini EV is a sales success or not.