BMW CEO says politics will not rule its EV decisions

Zipse, like some foreign automaker bosses, has expressed frustration with inflation-reducing laws that tie EV tax credits to North American production and sourcing of key parts and raw materials.

He believes the legislation will favor U.S. automakers with a broader network of domestic manufacturers and suppliers.

“As long as we serve American customers, we want a level playing field,” said Zipse. “In Europe, it makes no difference where cars come from. Selling cars in Europe gives you incentives and tax breaks.”

In some ways, he said, BMW is already as American as apple pie.

The luxury automaker operates the world’s largest assembly plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, employing more than 11,000 people. The 7 million square foot production site produced more than 416,000 crossovers last year, approximately 40% of which were exported to global markets.

“For the past eight years, we have been the largest exporter from the United States to the world, and have exported more than any other manufacturer in the United States,” Zipse said. “We are 100 percent American producers.”

BMW is currently spending $1.7 billion building a new generation of electric vehicles in South Carolina. Production of BMW’s Neue Klasse platform EV will begin in mid-2010 with the assembly of the battery pack.

“If we don’t invest heavily in this country and come under the umbrella of the IRA, we will be disappointed,” Mr Zipse said. “When the level playing field is disrupted or jeopardized, it becomes dangerous for politicians, because there is always backlash.”

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