BMW: ICE cars on sale alongside EVs for "foreseeable future"

BMW NK BMW 3 Series
BMW NK BMW 3 Series

The strategy allows BMW to be adaptable to fluctuating global market conditions

While there will be an electric BMW 3 Series based on the Neue Klasse platform in 2025, combustion-engined and hybrid versions with the same look will remain – but they will be built on an updated version of the current mixed-energy rear-wheel-drive platform.

Product boss Bernd Körber said BMW will retain its natively front-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive platforms – and all powertrain options – in addition to the Neue Klasse architecture underpinning its new pure-electric cars.

The situation is similar at BMW-owned Mini, where the petrol and electric Cooper models are identically styled, yet one is built in China on a bespoke electric architecture and the other in Oxford on a traditional combustion-engined structure.


This strategy allows BMW to be adaptable to fluctuating global market conditions around the uptake of electric cars. “What plays out at the moment is our own strategy,” said Körber. “For us, it was always clear that development will be very volatile because it’s dependent on regulation and customer needs.

“For the foreseeable future, we’re into a technology-flexible approach, which is why we planned to build all drivetrains on one production line.

“If a market shifts in one direction, we don’t have to close a plant or reduce a shift. We just shift to another drivetrain.”

BMW sales boss Jochen Goller added that “two years ago, estimates on electric cars were too optimistic and now they’re too pessimistic” and the prevailing trend ahead is still “growth coming from electric cars”.

He said: “I think with more models coming with a longer range and a shorter charging time, some of the purchase barriers will be removed.”