Looking at the production dates of the next generation BMW crossovers got us thinking. These are all vehicles built in the North American market, predominantly for the North American market. They represent massive profit centers for the brand and also an interesting choice as the age of electrification dawns.
First lets look at the current start and end of production for each of BMW’s rear wheel drive based crossovers (courtesy of ynguldyn at Bimmerpost):
- G45/G97 X3, iX3, X3M, Spartanburg, 8/24-10/33
- G65/G95 X5, iX5, X5M, Spartanburg, 12/26-7/33
- G66/G96 X6, iX6, X6M, Spartanburg, 4/28-3/35
- G67 X7, iX7, Spartanburg, 8/27-11/34
- G79 iXM, Spartanburg, 12/28-11/35
The common set of numbers that jumps out is the end of product dates. They all are right around the 2035 mark when all of the EU and the UK is set to ban all ICE related vehicles (yes even hybrids). If BMW was predominately selling in those markets it would be an easy decision to move all future products to a 100% electric strategy. While California plans to follow the EU’s lead, the the US has no national legislation in place set to ban ICE vehicles.
Could we see BMW take the bold move and go all-electric in this mid-2035 product switch-over? Or might we need BMW hold on to this forthcoming generation of crossovers, perhaps even facelifting them to continue to offer an ICE product?
While we have no insider knowledge on this topic yet, we believe BMW is poised to jump all-in on electrification, making this next generation of BMW crossovers its last ICE powered ones. However (and this could be big), we also have seen how BMW can extend the life of a product if needed. Case in point the current ten year old F56 MINI which is set to receive its 3rd facelift and soldier on for another 7 years. We could imagine a scenario where we see the X5 and X7 continue on in G65 and G67 form as ICE only vehicles, sold alongside their all electric replacements.
One thing is clear, BMW has built the groundwork allowing them to flex more than most automakers. That flexibility in product planning will be key as that 2035 date gets closer.