BMW CEO: i Sub Brand Could Eventually Account For 15% of BMW’s Total Global Sales

FEB 2 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 6

BMW i3 Live in Detroit

BMW i3 Live in Detroit

Ludwig Willisch, president and chief executive of BMW of North America, shot out an estimate last week at a J.D. Power & Associates event.

BMW i8 Live in Detroit

BMW i8 Live in Detroit

The estimate was that BMW’s i sub brand could someday account for 10% to 15% of BMW’s total global sales.

Willisch gave no time frame for when this might occur, but to put that figure into perspective, we did some digging to find that BMW sold 1.66 million vehicles worldwide in 2013.

  • 10% of 1.66 million = 166,000
  • 15% of 1.66 million = 249,000

BMW’s total global sales have risen slightly over the last few years, so the numbers above are just reference.

Willisch stated:

“It’s really a guessing game.  Still the internal combustion engine will still be the major drivetrain, even 10 years from now.”

In 2013, sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles accounted for under 3% of total global automotive sales.

Source: Detroit News

Categories: BMW

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6 Comments on "BMW CEO: i Sub Brand Could Eventually Account For 15% of BMW’s Total Global Sales"

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10 years is an awfull lot of time. I think I remember that 100% of mobile phones had numeric buttons and very small screens 10 years ago…

True, but I think that is just a blink when referring to cars. What’s the lifetime on a mobile phone, 2 years? Lifetimes on cars can be 20 years.

It is however an accelerating trend. The fact that it will take decades is both logical and reasonable, though somewhat frustrating. Fundamental infrastructure changes take a long time, relative to other types of innovation. Relate it to things like the changeover to wind/solar from traditional power generators.

An important point, a 2 tonne EV is not a mobile phone or a bit of software. The growth in the wind and solar industry is a good comparison. We have seen bonkers levels of growth in EV’s (and solar and wind for that matter) but as a fraction it is still nothing compared to the existing technology.

If we maintain 40% growth year on year there will be 8 million EV in the US with 0.5 million selling every year. That sounds doable but it is an insane amount of hardware to manufacture and put on the road.

I give them respect for setting up a realistic goal of 10% to 15%. As of now Nissan is at 5% sales with their EV.

It will happen much faster if you make better looking ones.