BMW Gas Car Sales Have Peaked, But The Manual Is Staying For Now


BMW‘s Chief Financial Officer, Walter Mertl, recently declared a significant shift in the company’s sales dynamics. Mertl says the tipping point for combustion engine vehicle sales has been surpassed and emphasized that electric cars now drive the majority of the brand’s sales growth.

According to Mertl, the plateau in combustion car sales is anticipated to persist and gradually decline. He attributed this trend to impending environmental regulations set to restrict the sales of traditional vehicles. With regulatory deadlines looming in regions from China and the European Union to certain US states, car manufacturers are facing increased pressure to accelerate the development and production of electric vehicles.

BMW, responding to these challenges, achieved a 15 percent all-electric sales share in the past year. Even more impressively, the i4 M50 was BMW M’s best-selling product for the second consecutive year. The company is ambitiously targeting a 33 percent share by 2026, unveiling six new models under its Neue Klasse EV lineup. The first one to arrive in 2025 is expected to be an X3-sized electric SUV.

However, Mertl acknowledged that BMW’s profit margins for combustion engine and all-electric cars won’t align until at least 2026. He pointed to the higher costs associated with incorporating new battery technologies in subsequent models. 

Despite the shift towards electric mobility, BMW remains committed to selling vehicles with manual transmissions. The company has confirmed that the M2, M3, and M4 will continue to offer manual gearboxes, at least for the current generation of cars. When questioned about the percentage of manual gearbox sales, BMW told TopGear that 15 to 20 percent of M3 and M4 models were sold with three-pedal gearboxes, and even more for the M2.

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