BMW CEO Oliver Zipse insisted the marque is not abandoning affordable vehicles as it moves towards a completely electric lineup. Speaking with Reuters, Zipse insisted the Bavarian manufacturer was not “leaving the lower market segment”. He also noted the importance of affordable vehicles, even for premium brands (via Reuters):
“Even if you consider yourself a premium manufacturer, it is wrong to leave the lower market segment – that will be the core of your business in the future.”
Zipse’s comments are certainly interesting. BMW doesn’t really sell affordable cars, especially in 2022. Its cheapest model currently on sale is the 2 Series Gran Coupe, which starts at $36,600. However, after dealership markups and sales tax it’s essentially a $40,000 car. Meanwhile, BMW’s cheapest EV is the $51,400 (MSRP) i4 eDrive35. Previously it was the i3, which used to retail at $44,450 before it was discontinued earlier this year.
Perhaps Zipse is referring to subsidiary brand Mini. Mini’s sole electric offering, the Cooper Electric, was a rather appealing proposition for the American consumer this time last year. When it was valid for the full $7,500 tax credit, and before a recent price hike, it was possible to pick up a Cooper Electric for just over $25,000. However, if you want to buy one today you’ll have to fork out at least $34,225 and you won’t get any tax credit as manufacturing takes place China.
Still, in reality Zipse was probably hinting at more Mini models. We know an electric Countryman is on the way, with Mini aiming for a fully electric lineup by 2030. That said, given the average price of a new car in America is just shy of $50,000 perhaps a $45,000 BMW will soon be considered “affordable”.
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