Originally published on CleanTechnica.
Despite the imminent threat that Tesla and others seem to be posing to the company, BMW apparently won’t be releasing its own long-range all-electric vehicles until 2021, going by comments made at the company’s annual shareholders meeting.
If true, this means that BMW will also be lagging well behind Mercedes, and even probably Audi, with regard to long-range electric vehicles. And then of course, there’s Tesla — and possibly Apple and Google as well.
You have to wonder a bit what company execs are thinking. A question that some shareholders in BMW are apparently asking as well.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t bode well for Tom Moloughney’s plans for the BMW i5, which several of us were eager to see BMW try to implement.
The vice chair of the German shareholder protection association DSW, Daniela Bergdolt, even asked the company’s CEO at the recent meeting: “Can you afford to wait until 2021 to unveil the BMW iNext and still be competitive? I sense you used to be early when it comes to e-mobility, and now there’s a sense you’re somewhat discouraged.”
Bloomberg provides more:
With Tesla planning to enter the mainstream of the luxury-car market with the Model 3 next year, BMW is bringing out the iNext, which will supplant the 7-Series sedan as the brand’s flagship model. The vehicle will come eight years after introducing the squat electric-powered i3 city car in 2013.
The iNext will be “our new innovation driver, with autonomous driving, digital connectivity, intelligent lightweight design, a totally new interior and ultimately bringing the next generation of electro-mobility to the road,” CEO Harald Krueger said Thursday at the annual shareholders meeting of the 100-year-old company. “We have always stressed that our centenary is a springboard to the future.”
All well and good. But that all seems like it’ll be a bit late by 2021, doesn’t it?
Interestingly, BMW appears set to lose its position as the top luxury-car brand in the world this year (for the first time since 2005), as Mercedes has taken a notable sales lead this year so far.