BMW announced today a 400 million euros investment into the production of its iNext electric vehicle, which the German automaker has positioned as a Tesla Model Y competitor.
The company unveiled the concept iNext vehicle a year ago.
Unfortunately, they didn’t confirm many details about the vehicle, but they have been teasing it for years and talked about its position in the market.
BMW’s head of sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, previously shared doubts about Tesla’s ability to produce Model 3 in volume at $35,000 and in the process, he said that the iNext would be a real competitor to the vehicle as a relatively affordable mass volume electric car.
But the iNext is actually a crossover and not a sedan like the Model 3, which leads us to believe that it will compete more directly with the Model Y, which Tesla hadn’t unveiled when BMW started talking about the iNext.
However, we don’t know just how much volume BMW is planning for the iNext, which is expected to go into production in 2021.
Today, BMW gave a hint of how big the vehicle program actually is when it announced “around 400 million euros” of new investments “in its Dingolfing vehicle plant for production of the BMW iNEXT.”
Dingolfing currently produces 330,000 vehicles per year and the iNext is going to be its first all-electric vehicle.
It will be produced on the same line as BMW’s gas-powered and hybrid vehicles.
Milan Nedeljkovic, member of the Board of Management BMW AG responsible for Production, commented:
“Thanks to our flexible production structures, our plants are ideally equipped to meet the most diverse market needs. We firmly believe that, over the next few years, there will be more than just one solution worldwide for all our customers’ mobility needs. Instead, we expect to see a mix of different drive technologies.”
New Dingolfing Plant Director Christoph Schröder added:
“The BMW iNEXT is more than just a new model. It’s a pioneer for many key automotive innovations, especially autonomous driving. It is also paving the way for further rollout of these technologies over the coming years. The current structural measures for the iNEXT will also benefit other models built in Dingolfing in the future.”
Earlier this year, BMW said that the iNext will have up to 360 miles of range on a single charge.
400 million euros might not sound like much for the production of a mass volume electric vehicle, but I still have hope that it will be in the six figures.
It will be built on existing production lines that already have high capacity.
As usual, I think the bottleneck is going to be battery supply.
Either way, the electric premium crossover segment should be really interesting in 2021 with vehicles like the iNext, Tesla Model Y, and Ford Mach E.
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