What makes cars hesitate
At the urging of the works council: BMW will bring new electric cars to the market later
The head of the works council and deputy head of the supervisory board of BMW Manfred Schoch spoke in an interview with the WirtschaftsWoche the hesitation of German car managers in relation to electromobility sharply criticized. In conversation with the Focus he followed up - and admitted that he was responsible for the late start of electric cars himself.
Schoch warned that the shift towards e-mobility could lead to a massive migration of jobs from Germany. He is particularly critical of the reluctance of local carmakers to set up a production facility for battery cells. "They prefer to buy the cells and believe that they can conclude cheap long-term contracts with the Chinese," said the unionist. Battery prices would already rise today. "Messrs. Zetsche, Diess and Krüger don't cut a good figure."
Like many large manufacturers, Daimler, Volkswagen and BMW purchase the battery cells for their electric cars from suppliers in China, Japan and Korea. They then assemble them into battery packs with their own components and technologies. German car companies and suppliers have so far refrained from large-scale production of cells because they fear the high costs and the associated risk.
Schoch spoke to the Focus nevertheless advocate that German car manufacturers take a more active role in electric car battery cells. He envisions concerted action by several companies. "BMW could agree on a standardized cell with Daimler, VW, Siemens, Conti and Bosch," he suggested. "If we discussed this topic as intensively as we did retrofitting diesel engines, we would be on the right track."
Better to build electric cars later in Germany
BMW is one of the electric car pioneers among German manufacturers, but has since reduced the dynamism. The fact that Bayern are taking their time with the market launch of the i4 and iNext electric cars by 2021 is due to concerns about German jobs, according to Schoch. The focus is currently on rebuilding production in Germany so that combustion engines and electric cars can roll off the production lines at the same time.
"The works council wants electromobility for BMW to take place in Germany and not just in China or Mexico," explained Schoch. If BMW had set up a factory for the sedan i4, for example in Mexico, production would have been possible as early as 2019 or 2020. The head of the works council, however, “deliberately fought to prevent him from coming to Mexico. We accept a delay for this ”.
Tags: battery, productionCompany: BMW, BMW i
Drive: electric car
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