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BMW shifts up a gear in electric ambitions

‘We can do what Wolfsburg can do’, they must have thought in Munich. And so BMW is applauded by investors with an ambitious electric strategy, just like Volkswagen earlier this week.

On the Frankfurt stock exchange, the BMW share sped more than 5 percent higher on Wednesday, to around 85 euros, the highest level since September 2018. The reason is the same as at Volkswagen earlier this week with its enthusiastically received Power Day, the famous e-word: electric.

The South German car manufacturer announced on Wednesday at the presentation of the new electric model i4 to gear up its electric ambitions. Of the 2.3 million cars that BMW sold in the corona year 2020, 8.3 percent were electric. CEO Oliver Zipse argues that 50 percent of all cars sold by the Bavarian carmaker by 2030 will be fully electric. This will already be the full range for subsidiary brand Mini.

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess promised earlier this week that 70 percent of all Volkswagen vehicles sold in Europe will be electric by 2030. To meet the expected increased sales of electric cars, Volkswagen is going to build six new battery factories in Europe.

Green cars

BMW hopes to be able to sell 10 million electric cars by 2030. That is five times more than the target sales of 2 million units in 2025. “If demand in certain markets turns completely to electric cars, we can accelerate our plans to meet the demand,” Zipse emphasizes.


The greenest electric car has to be a BMW.

BMW is also aiming for the greenest car by putting as many recyclable parts as possible in a car by 2025. “The greenest electric car must be a BMW,” says an ambitious Zipse.

BMW’s e-strategy is already catching on with analysts. “BMW is making good progress in e-mobility,” notes Bernstein analyst Arndt Ellinghorst. “But the car manufacturer clearly takes less risks than Volkswagen.”

Better results

BMW has now digested the pandemic well. The CEO expects the recovery that was already visible in the second half of the year, mainly thanks to China, to continue this year. “We have made a strong start to the new year and want to return to pre-crisis levels as soon as possible,” Zipse emphasizes.

That should be reflected in better results. Last year, BMW saw the profit margin drop from 4.9 percent in 2019 to 2.7 percent. For this year, the car manufacturer is counting on a margin of between 6 and 8 percent. That is higher than what analysts had expected, and BMW also trumps Volkswagen. The Wolfsburg group is counting on a margin of 5 to 6.5 percent for this year, and by 2025 that should increase to 7 to 8 percent.

Social media

Whether BMW will also trump its rival on the stock exchange is still a question mark. Because Volkswagen boss Diess has clearly taken a good look at their joint target Tesla, and at CEO Elon Musk. Just like Volkswagen itself, Diess has been cleverly playing the Power Day all week on social media. The result: 23 billion euros extra stock market value in three days, which means that Volkswagen now has a value of 130 billion euros.

BMW Group

Brands: BMW, Mini, Rolls-Royce.

Turnover: 5.2 billion euros (-26.6% compared to 2019).

Operating profit: EUR 4.83 billion (-34.8%).

Net profit: 3.26 billion euros (-23.2%).

Number of employees: 120,726.

Cars sold: 2.325 million (-8.4%).

Motorcycles sold: 169,272 (-3.4%).

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