BMW Group plans to ax half its drivetrain variants by 2025

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The variety of drives offered by the BMW Group is among the most diverse in the industry, ranging from 3-cylinder to V-12 engines, including gasoline and diesel options, as well as hybrids and battery-electric cars.

That will change as the company, which controls the BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce brands, increases the number of electric vehicles sold. The BMW Group expects half of its sales to be in electric vehicles by 2030, which means that the demand for internal combustion engines will be much lower than it is now.

The BMW Group’s response will be to cut the current drive variants in half as early as 2025, CEO Oliver Zipse told investors last week at the company’s general meeting in Munich.

“We’re reducing complexity with fewer variants and fewer powertrains, and only keeping those that have real demand,” he said.

Oliver Zipse

Many of these drives will initially be cut out of the Mini, which will bring its last car equipped with an internal combustion engine to market in 2025. BMW will also lose many gas and diesel powered models when the brand starts introducing new electric vehicles. The tipping point, BMW says, will be in 2023, when 13 electric vehicles will be on the lineup.

The transition has already started. At the Annual General Meeting, Zipse announced that around 5,000 employees had left the company as part of a severance package and 4,000 new members had been hired for “future areas of activity”.

The company is also reducing its internal combustion engine production capacity. Last autumn, the production of engines in Germany is to be discontinued until 2024.

The good news for car fans who still have gasoline in their veins is that the BMW Group sees a long life for internal combustion engines, only that they will be supplemented by electrification such as mild and plug-in hybrid setups.

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