Is This Really a Big Deal? BMW Praises Itself for Selling 100,000 Electrified Cars

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
is this really a big deal bmw praises itself for selling 100 000 electrified cars

In a flagrant exercise of self-congratulation, BMW announced it met its sales goal of 100,000 electrified vehicles in 2017 “as promised.” Saying that this “underlines the company’s leadership role when it comes to electro-mobility,” BMW installed a battery-themed light installation on the side of its world headquarters in Munich, Germany, that announces “the future is electric.”

While this may be true, mainstream news outlets have muddled the brand’s message by framing the EV aspect all wrong — which is probably exactly what the automaker hoped for. We’re not going to slander the company’s achievement outright; the volume does represent a nearly 60-percent increase over last year. But these aren’t just battery-electric cars, they’re hybrids, mild-hybrids, and BEVs.

We probably wouldn’t have winced if BMW had just announced it had achieved its sales goal for the year, let media pick it up, and moved on. However, the undue pageantry accompanying the news rubs us the wrong way.

“We deliver on our promises,” stated Harald Krüger, chairman of the BMW Group’s Board of Management. “This 99-meter-high signal is lighting the way into the era of electro-mobility. Selling 100,000 electrified cars in one year is an important milestone, but this is just the beginning for us. Since the introduction of the BMW i3 2013, we’ve delivered over 200,000 electrified cars to our customers and by 2025, we will offer 25 electrified models to our customers. Our early focus on electro-mobility has made this success possible — and electro-mobility will continue to be my measure for our future success.”

That’s all well and good but Nissan surpassed the 100,000-unit mark with the all-electric Leaf in January of 2014. Nine years earlier, Toyota sold 107,897 examples of the Prius in the United States alone. These days, practically everyone is selling hybrids or BEVs and global plug-in volume has more than tripled since 2013.

For BMW, electrified vehicles make up about 7 percent of its total sales in Western Europe and the United States. While not bad, the brand’s most eco-friendly model, the i3, has seen its share of the market dwindle in North America every year since 2015.

Granted, Bavarian Motor Works isn’t the only company that conflates “electrified” with electric cars. This is a sin that almost everyone is guilty of. However, not everyone is building high-tech monuments to themselves as a result. Perhaps the manufacturer was simply trying to psych itself up for the future. In addition to making plans to implement mild-hybrid technology across its portfolio — which should only just barely qualify as an electric vehicle — BMW also intends to field 12 fully-electric models by 2025 with a ranges of up to 430 miles.

[Image: BMW Group]

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  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Dec 20, 2017

    Broke: The Ultimate Driving Machine. Woke: The Ultimate Washing Machine.

  • Vehic1 Vehic1 on Dec 20, 2017

    Predictable outcry from the 35% of dinosaurs still with the White House, as it attempts to provide coal-burning internal combustion automobiles to lead the USA into the future - and save the smidgen of the US economy allied with such horse-and-buggy industries.

  • FreedMike Always lusted after that first-gen 300 - particularly the "Heritage Edition," which had special 300 badging and a translucent plastic steering wheel (ala the '50s and '60s "letter cars").
  • Dave M. Although the effective takeover by Daimler is pooped upon, this is one they got right. I wasn't a fan of the LHs, mostly due to reported mechanical, NVH and build quality issues, but I though Chrysler hit it out of the park with the LXs. The other hyped release that year was the Ford Five Hundred, which, while a well-built car with superior interior space, couldn't hold a candle to the 300.
  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.
  • Cardave5150 I've had 2 different 300's - an '08 300SRT and an '18 300C. Loved them both a LOT, although, by the time I had the second one, I wasn't altogether thrilled with the image of 300's out on the street, as projected by the 3rd or 4th buyers of the cars.I always thought that the car looked a little stubby behind the rear wheels - something that an extra 3-4" in the trunk area would have greatly helped.When the 300 was first launched, there were invitation-only meet-and-greets at the dealerships, reminding me of the old days when new model-year launches were HUGE. At my local dealer, they were all in formalwear (tuxes and elegant dresses) with a nice spread of food. They gave out crystal medallions of the 300 in a sweet little velvet box (I've got mine around the house somewhere). I talked to a sales guy for about 5 minutes before I asked if we could take one of the cars out (a 300C with the 5.7 Hemi). He acted like he'd been waiting all evening for someone to ask that - we jumped in the car and went out - that thing, for the time, seemed to fly.Corey - when it comes time for it, don't forget to mention the slightly-stretched wheelbase 300 (I think it was the 300L??). I've never found one for sale (not that I've looked THAT hard), as they only built them for a couple of years.
  • Jkross22 "I’m doing more for the planet by continuing to drive my vehicle than buying a new one for strictly frivolous reasons."It's not possible to repeat this too much.