Could Amazon buy up BMW in push to electric?

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Yes, the headline is a bit of a tease and quite unthinkable, of course. Or maybe…?

The BMW i3 electric car. Source: BMW
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The Driven

Yes, the headline is a bit of a tease and quite unthinkable, of course. Or maybe…?

Here’s the problem:

BMW’s strategy is in a dark place of the past, based on some board-level shenanigans.

The evidence:

  1. They have announced that they are only planning for a maximum of 15% of their vehicles to be BEVs or PHEVs by 2030.
  2. They have potentially catastrophic under-investment in batteries: they only have forward contracts for USD$1.7 billion in batteries to supply electrified vehicles in the next few years (compared with VW’s USD$40 billion)
  3. They include PHEVs in their strategy. (Others will cease to manufacture PHEVs for most uses because the duplicated powertrains are expensive and redundant. Only BEVs will sell in volume.)
  4. Continuing commitment to a legacy dealer-sales model. Dealers are terribly expensive ways to sell stuff. Amazon is pretty good at selling stuff online, as is Tesla which usually has only one, fully-owned, showroom/test-drive-launchpad per city, typically in a shopping centre; Tesla encourages buyers to order online.

Is the power of franchised dealers a drag on BMW’s strategy/survival? In fact, is that a fundamental difference in philosophies between the old guard and the new world; i.e dealers selling to prospects v buyers buying online?

Read the full story on RenewEconomy’s electric vehicle-dedicated site, The Driven…

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