BMW AG has suffered a huge setback in the race for making some of the world’s best electric cars.
The German company seemed to come up with a great issue affecting the entire automotive industry – emissions. Many manufacturers have been forced to come out with hybrids or pure electric vehicles in a bid to lower their average emissions across the range. BMW went for an entirely separate division for hybrid vehicles and they came out with models like the i3 and i8.
The key personnel behind the development of these products, though, have now left BMW for a Chinese company. They have taken up key roles in the start-up that has been backed up by Tencent Holdings. The news could not have come at a much worse time for BMW, who have recently slipped to second spot in worldwide luxury car sales after being top for more than a decade. One of the reasons for their inability to compete nowadays may lie in the poor demand for the i products.
Reports claim that BMW are not entirely happy with the sales figures of the i3 and i8. BMW spokesman Wieland Bruch, though, denied the reports saying that the models like the i8 have been the most popular plug-ins sports cars. BMW has reported a 66% increase in the sales of the i models.
Carsten Breitfeld was a major figure in the development of the BMW i8. He has now become the chief executive of the Chinese company backed by Tencent Holdings. Since his departure, three more important personnel from his division have also joined the Chinese outfit.
The trio who followed Breitfeld to China were in charge of aspects like design, developing powertrains, and product management. BMW faces a major fight to retain its quality workforce ahead of growing popularity for electric cars.
BMW are reportedly planning a major revamp of the i3 and the latest development is a major stumbling block. The German company needs to come out with an improved version of the i3 soon in order to retain its advantage in the segment. Many plug-in hybrids and pure electric models are fearing for the future ahead of the Tesla Model 3 unveiling.
The Tesla model of pure electric hybrids have been a huge hit in the upper strata, but the Model 3 is expected to take the technology to the masses.