Eyeing profitable growth in a persistently challenging business environment, combined with a very dynamic increase in sales of electric vehicles, the BMW Group is looking ahead to the financial year 2023, with tailwinds from last year's success, based on attractive and technological products.
A press release from the BMW Group noted that the main growth drivers in 2023 will be fully-electric (BEV) vehicles and models from the high-end premium segment, such as the new BMW 7 Series, the updated BMW X7 and the Rolls-Royce model family.
Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said, 'With our strong BEV growth, we are leaving established competitors far behind. Our BEVs also make a vital contribution to achieving further, tangible reductions in the CO2 emissions of our EU new vehicle fleet. At 105.0 grams of CO2 per kilometre in the WLTP cycle, we even outperformed the EU27+2 fleet target by 22.5 grams per kilometre by the end of 2022. '
In this upper segment, the group expects growth in the mid-double-digit percentage range for the current financial year, with BEV models even likely to grow in the high double-digit percentage range. Overall, it expects its deliveries to customers worldwide to increase slightly in the automotive segment in 2023.
Interestingly, in the past year, the group more than doubled its BEV sales to over 215,000 units, better than its direct European competitors and significantly more than most Asian and US new entry players.
In the first two months of the year, it was able to more than double its sales of fully-electric vehicles compared to the same period of the previous year. Growth was disproportionately strong in China, where the company's BEV sales more than tripled in the year to the end of February.
Regarding sales growth for fully-electric vehicles, the group noted that not only are the company’s existing customers switching to vehicles with fully-electric drive trains, but customers from other brands, in particular, are also opting for its BEV models. In this way, the company intends to continue to gain market share.
With the launch of the new 5 Series and the fully-electric i5 this year, the group will have a BEV offering in virtually every major segment of its business. The range will be rounded out at the end of the year by the fully-electric iX2 and an absolute first next year when the very first fully-electric touring model will make its debut in the 5 Series.
The Mini brand is on its way to a fully electric future from the beginning of the 2030s. The first electric vehicles in the new Mini family are due to be launched on the market this year. Production of the new Countryman will also begin in 2023 at its plant in Leipzig.
In 2030, the Rolls-Royce brand will also have an exclusively all-electric offering – starting with the first all-electric Spectre, which celebrated its world premiere in 2022, with the first vehicles delivered to customers this year.
With its range of around a dozen fully electric models already on offer, the group anticipates a steep growth trajectory in the coming years. In 2024, at least one in five of the company’s new cars will have a fully-electric drive train, while by 2025, every fourth new vehicle delivered should be a BEV and, by 2026, around one in three.
BMW Motorrad already relies solely on e-drives in urban settings. Following the CE 04, the CE 02 is mainly designed to appeal to young people living in the city. Today's perfect customer experience also entails personalised communication with customers in the worlds they live in, he said.
The group aims to exceed 10 million fully-electric vehicles delivered to customers by 2030. An important milestone on this journey is expected in 2025 when the milestone of two million fully electric vehicles is likely to be passed.
Interestingly, R&D costs in accordance with IFRS totalled € 6,624 million, which is 5.2% YoY up, mainly driven by new models, the NEUE KLASSE and the associated development of the sixth generation of electric drive trains.
Beyond Electric Mobility
As all markets worldwide will not have the necessary framework conditions for all customers to switch to pure electro-mobility in the next decade, a growing percentage of the drive train mix is also likely to be provided by hydrogen fuel cells from the second half of this decade.
In the first quarter of 2023, a pilot series of the iX5 Hydrogen was presented for the first time, and the fleet is now being used internationally for demonstration and testing purposes for various target groups.
Interestingly, the hydrogen required to supply the fuel cell in the iX5 Hydrogen is stored in two 700-bar tanks made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). Together, they contain six kilograms of hydrogen, which gives the vehicle a claimed range of 504 km in the WLTP cycle. It only takes three to four minutes to fill up the hydrogen tanks.
Zipse believes that BMW iFACTORY is the future for its global production network. The group has been expanding this concept in all major regions of the world; it completed two key projects in China last year.
'In 2023, our strategic approach will once again keep us on track for success. We will meet current requirements with our fresh, technologically broad product line-up and with our operational excellence. At the same time, we will remain focused on our course for the future,' Zipse added.