BMW employs scare tactics in pursuit of the electric throne it recently lost
BMW recently assembled a large group of of its BMW AG employees for a series of meetings at an abandoned airfield in Munich. During one such meeting, BMW held a presentation about the current state of the company.
“We’re in the midst of an electric assault,” a BMW spokesperson stated during the presentation. “This must be taken very seriously.”
As the dire words echoed throughout the auditorium, several images flashed up on the screen: a Mercedes sedan, a Porsche SUV, and finally an image of Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla.
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This meeting was not the first of its kind that BMW has hosted in recent months. In fact, these gloom-and-doom pep rallies have increased in numbers as BMW has fallen behind in the luxury vehicle game.
For years, BMW stood tall as the leader of innovation and sales in the luxury vehicle realm. However, chief rival Mercedes-Benz finally overtook BMW in sales last year.
The key source of frustration for BMW is its lack of progress in the realm of electric vehicles. “BMW is falling behind in electrics,” says Ingo Speich, a fund manager at Union Investment.
This trend is truly troublesome as BMW was one of the first automotive brands to really explore the idea of electric fleet models. When the BMW i3 was first introduced in 2013, it revolutionized the electric vehicle market.
However, BMW only has two new battery-powered cars lined up for the next three years. Furthermore, the next truly innovative BMW vehicle, the BMW iNext, isn’t due for release until 2021.
In the meantime, both Mercedes and Tesla are doing more than just introducing new electric models. If they stay on target, both brands will have autonomous driving systems in their vehicles by the end of the decade.
Of course, introducing a wide range of electric vehicles for your brand is no easy task, especially when the current market is craving crossovers, trucks, and SUVs. All the while, BMW Harald Krueger has been criticized by some for not addressing the modern-day War of the Currents.
In response, Krueger has organized these employee assemblies to help BMW workers and staff understand the importance of staying ahead in the electric vehicle race. Yet despite painting Musk as an electric-powered boogeyman and implementing VR tech during staff presentations, not a single worker in attendance had any questions about autonomous or electric vehicles when the meeting’s Q&A session rolled around.
Depending on how you look at it, that is either a very encouraging sign or a very troublesome sign for the future of BMW.
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News Source: Bloomberg