Car buyers’ love of SUVs continues to grow. Every third BMW car built last year was an SUV, and the market is growing so fast that the company is increasing production capacity and adding an X2 and an X7 to its lineup in 2018.
With a certain poetic justice, the German automaker says it plans to keep on cranking out the profitable behemoths, and use part of the profits to fund the rollout of a mass production system for EVs.
BMW expects demand for hybrids and EVs to rise to 15-25 percent of sales by 2025, up from 2.6 percent today, forcing it to overhaul production lines and vehicle platforms (rival Mercedes has made a similar forecast).
“The fully electric drivetrain will be integrated into our core brands,” CEO Harald Krueger said at a news conference at BMW’s Munich headquarters. EV production will be merged into BMW’s main production system – it currently relies on a separate, low-volume factory in the eastern German city of Leipzig.
Local production in China is also being reorganized to make batteries and electric powertrains, BMW said, adding that the level of production would be decided once the government’s EV policy has been clarified.