As BMW joins several other automakers in following Tesla into electric vehicles (EVs), one executive from the luxury automobile manufacturer has said he expects sales growth to come primarily from electrified models at this point—noting that combustion engines have largely plateaued.
In a recent statement during a media roundtable, BMW Chief Financial Officer Walter Mertl said he thinks the company reached a critical “tipping point” for combustion engines last year, as reported by Automotive News Europe. Pointing to upcoming gas vehicle bans, such as the 2035 ban agreed upon in European Union nations, Mertl says the majority of BMW’s sales growth is now coming from EVs, and the company has major plans in the emerging sector over the next few years.
“The tipping point for the combustion engine is already there,” Mertl said, noting that he thinks it was surpassed in 2023. “The current sales plateau for combustion cars will continue and then fall slightly.”
Like many automakers, BMW saw record EV sales last year, as battery-electric deliveries across all of the company’s brands reached a 15 percent sales share in 2023. By 2026, according to Mertl, BMW is looking to boost that figure to 33 percent as it debuts six EV models within its “Neue Klasse” battery-electric lineup.
BMW has also reiterated its goal of selling 3 million vehicles by 2030 within the 8 to 10 percent margin range, and CEO Oliver Zipse said in September that it will remain “at least as profitable” as a company upon selling its Neue Klasse EVs at volume.
As a brand, BMW alone nearly tripled its EV sales in the U.S. in 2023 over the prior year, according to the automaker’s full-year financial results for last year. The automaker also owns Rolls-Royce and MINI, the latter of which reported a similar increase in EV sales.
Earlier this month, BMW announced plans to end production of combustion engine vehicles at its plant in Münich, Germany, set to update the factory to begin producing the Neue Klasse EVs in 2026. The automaker has also touted its new cylindrical battery cells, set to debut in its EVs starting in 2025.