BMW is on the brakes on its own cell production

BMW is on the brakes on its own cell production-production

Many manufacturers of electric cars are changing their strategic orientation towards expanding the value chain, especially in the areas of charging infrastructure and battery production. BMW, on the other hand, is stepping on the brakes: although the head of the works council, Manfred Schoch, has repeatedly called for BMW to have its own battery cell production at each production site, the management is still waiting. This means that the German car manufacturer is more hesitant than its domestic competition, even though it had a record year in 2021. For the first time, rival Daimler was dethroned as the world’s best-selling luxury brand: BMW sold 2.21 million vehicles in 2021, Daimler “only” 2.05 million.

BMW is currently buying the battery cells from CATL, Samsung and Northvolt. Nicolas Peter, Head of Finance at BMW, is convinced that he has “secured procurement for the next few years from the supplier partners”. It would therefore not be necessary to quickly scale up your own battery production. As a reason for the reluctance, Peter cites the uncertainty as to which technology will prevail in the next 10-15 years. It is better to invest the available resources in battery development, together with global partners. Peter points out, however, that at every production site they at least want to assemble the batteries themselves, even if the cells are supplied.

The competition is taking a different approach: Daimler already holds 33 percent of the Automotive Cells Company and is planning to set up eight gigafactories together with partners. Volkswagen, in turn, wants to set up six battery plants in Europe by the end of the decade, with partners such as the Chinese Gotion High-Tech and Northvolt, in which the group holds a 20 percent stake.

The transition to electrification has pushed BMW a lot: it went faster than expected two to three years ago. After rushing ahead with the i3, BMW took a long time with other competitive e-models. That has now been caught up: Sales of e-cars doubled last year and the order books are fuller than ever. They are even planning an extra shift on Saturday at the Munich plant to meet demand.

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2 thoughts on “BMW is on the brakes on its own cell production”

  1. Quote:
    “As a reason for the reluctance, Peter cites the uncertainty as to which technology will prevail in the next 10-15 years.”

    I think he ate lunch with “Kolben-Klaus” too often and for too long…
    If you have ears to hear and eyes to see, you should think a little longer instead of repeating.

  2. understandable decision.
    If completely different cells (solid cells) are in demand in 10+ years, you’ve wasted a lot of money. A relatively small automaker like BMW cannot afford that.

    Until then, enough cells can be obtained from suppliers, since the long-term supply contracts already exist.

    Much more important is that, unlike Mercedes, they have been developing the engines themselves for years.

    Didn’t make Tesla any different.


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