German automaker BMW Group announced it plans to offer 25 electrified models by 2023 as part of its commitment to fight climate change and air pollution, while keeping the internal combustion engine as the method for powering hybrid vehicles.
BMW has seen EV sales grow at an average rate of 30% per year. Its total number of EVs on the road is expected to reach 1 million by the end of 2021 and 7 million by 2030. By 2030, BMW expects EV sales to represent half of its total sales in European markets.
"We are not giving up on the internal combustion engine, but will invest heavily in electric moving forward," Wieland Bruch, corporate communications manager for electromobility, said at a virtual press conference last week.
However, 2020 has been a brutal year for the German car brand, reporting US$787 million in losses worldwide in the second quarter primarily because of the pandemic and subsequent global financial crisis.
Its earnings before interest and tax margin for cars fell to -10.4% from 6.5% in the same quarter last year. However, BMW remained in the black for the first half of the year.
In Thailand, BMW recorded 12,954 BMW and Mini sales in 2019, a 1% decrease from 2018 sales of 13,087, but up drastically since 2011 when it sold only 4,243 cars.
Sales of Mini in Thailand achieved the highest growth rate across Mini's global network with 1,204 deliveries, growing 15% year-on-year.
BMW's luxury segment also enjoyed remarkable results from sales of the BMW 7 Series, 8 Series, BMW X7 and BMW i8, recording 39% growth year-on-year.
The BMW premium selection of certified used cars increased 16% year-on-year.
BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand, the local unit of the German luxury car maker, produces 717 models of BMWs at its Rayong plant, including the BMW 3 Series, 5 Series and 7 Series.
The group also assembles four BMW plug-in hybrid models: 330e, 530e, X5 xDrive45e and 745Le xDrive.
There are nine electric BMW models available in Thailand.
The imported cars carry a hefty price tag thanks to an 80% import tax, making an electric model like the BMW i3s cost 3.73 million baht.
BMW operates 141 ChargeNow charging stations at 63 locations in Thailand (91 public and 50 at BMW dealers) and plans to install nine more by the end of the year.
The company recently installed six charging stations at The Emporium mall in Bangkok and another six at The EmQuartier.
"We are committed to adding more charging stations in Thailand to build demand and accessibility for EVs," said Krisda Utamote, director of communications at BMW Group Thailand.