BMW sees risk from more China lockdowns

BMW sees further COVID-19-related lockdowns in China as a risk next year, despite expectations of healthy Chinese demand and stable global sales for the automaker’s all-electric models.

“In China, lockdowns are now increasing, not decreasing,” CEO Oliver Zipse told reporters at an event on Friday.

“I worry about how to get out of the lockdown situation in the coming quarters. There is no visibility that China has a solution.”

According to Zipse, demand for BMW’s all-electric models in China remains strong, with battery-only Mini models and the i5 expected to drive sales next year.

Western automakers are facing increasing competition from local competitors in China, the world’s largest car market.

Tesla is changing its marketing strategy due to uneven demand, offering insurance subsidies after recent price cuts.

Mercedes has slashed the price of its flagship electric sedan EQS by $33,000 in a move to reposition itself in a highly competitive market.

Zipse noted that BMW’s global sales next year should be at the same level as this year. “I would give a stable outlook,” he said when asked for guidance.

“We will see different deployments in different parts of the world, but overall they will complement each other.”

BMW expects deliveries this year to be slightly below last year’s 2.5 million.

It lowered its forecast for August shipments after previously forecasting flat sales compared to 2021 despite growing supply chain problems.

At the beginning of November, the company said it expected demand to normalize from stagnant levels, especially in Europe.

BMW weathered a semiconductor shortage better than its competitors at the start of the year, but the company’s production chief Milan Nederjkovic said in October that supply chain problems, including chip shortages, were responsible for a slight drop in shipments. said.

Automakers recently said they think they can weather this chip-related disruption, but competitors are more cautious.

Jaguar Land Rover cut car production in the UK until March due to semiconductor shortages, and Volkswagen Group cut its sales forecast for this year due to supply chain constraints.

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