Published on June 19th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Would you buy an Electric BMW ‘M’ Car?
It started with the retirement of the 8-cylinder ‘M’ engine. There was a lot of noise from the motoring media and die-hard ‘M’ car buyers. But eventually buyers got used to the new downsized engines and BMW sold a lot more of ‘M’ cars around the globe.
Now comes talk of full electric ‘M’ cars and this will soon also be accepted by buyers as the automotive landscape changes drastically in the next few years.
In the past five years, BMW has invested more than USD2 billion in its electric vehicle program. That effort produced two visually striking vehicles: the i3 electric car and i8 plug-in hybrid supercar. While recent statements from BMW executives have attempted to put an upbeat spin on the company’s plug-in efforts, the response from consumers has been mixed. For example, BMW sold 7,625 i3 cars in the US in 2016, down by 31% compared to 2015 sales. In Europe, 2016 sales of the i3 averaged about 1,000 units per month. So far in 2017 there has not been a better sales month to date.
In other words, bold and pricey BMW i cars which use carbon fiber, skinny low-resistance tires and advanced aerodynamics will likely be less important to the future of BMW vehicle electrification compared to plug-in hybrids across the company’s entire lineup.