BMW aims to have sold 500,000 hybrid, electric cars by end-2019

BMW is gearing up for the mass production of electric cars and aims to have 12 fully electric models by 2025 with a range of up to 700 km. (Reuters)
Updated 21 December 2017
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BMW aims to have sold 500,000 hybrid, electric cars by end-2019

FRANKFURT: German carmaker BMW aims to more than double the number of electric and hybrid vehicles it has sold to 500,000 by the end of 2019, CEO Harald Krueger told German weekly WirtschaftsWoche.
In 2018 alone, deliveries of electrified vehicles are to rise by a “medium double-digit percentage,” he said.
A pioneer in electric cars, BMW launched the i3 hatchback in 2013 but sales have been relatively low and management has wrestled with whether to go all-out for electrification.
But that changed in September when the Munich-based group said it would gear up for mass production of electric cars and aimed to have 12 fully electric models by 2025 with a range of up to 700 km.
The group said on Monday it had hit its target of selling 100,000 fully electric cars this year around the world, benefiting from strong demand in western Europe and the United States for models such as the i3 and the 2-series plug-in hybrid Active Tourer.
He said the automaker would nonetheless keep making and selling cars with combustion engines to help finance a gradual shift to electrified cars.
Unlike his peer Matthias Mueller, the CEO of Volkswagen, he rejected the idea of doing away with tax subsidies for diesel.
“Bearing customers in mind who bought diesels, that is unjustifiable,” Krueger said.
Mueller earlier this month called for subsidies for diesel vehicles to be shifted gradually to incentives for green cars, such as electric vehicles.
Acting Transport Minister Christian Schmidt had shot down the idea, though, saying that diesel was still needed during the transition to greener vehicles and there was therefore no reason to change tax rules.


Lufthansa profit warning spooks European airline sector

Updated 1 min 40 sec ago
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Lufthansa profit warning spooks European airline sector

  • Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary last month warned of the impact of what he called ‘attritional fare wars’
FRANKFURT: Germany’s Lufthansa sent shockwaves through the European airline sector on Monday as it cut its full-year profit forecast, with lower prices and higher fuel costs compounding the effect of losses at its budget subsidiary Eurowings.
The warning follows gloomy comments last month from Irish budget airline Ryanair, which vies with Lufthansa for top spot in Europe in terms of passengers carried. Air France-KLM also reported a widening quarterly loss last month.
In a statement issued late on Sunday, Lufthansa forecast annual EBIT of between €2 billion and €2.4 billion, down from the previously targeted €2.4 billion to €3 billion.
“Yields in the European short-haul market, in particular in the group’s home markets, Germany and Austria, are affected by sustained overcapacities caused by carriers willing to accept significant losses to expand their market share,” it said.
European airlines are locked in a battle for supremacy, with a surfeit of seats holding down revenues and higher fuel costs adding to the pressure. A number of smaller airlines have collapsed over the past two years.
Lufthansa cited falling revenue from its Eurowings budget business as a key reason for the profit warning.
“The group expects the European market to remain challenging at least for the remainder of 2019,” it said.
It also pointed to high jet fuel costs, which it said could exceed last year’s figure by €550 million, despite a recent fall in crude oil prices.
Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary last month warned of the impact of what he called “attritional fare wars” and said four or five European airlines were likely to emerge as the winners in the sector.
“No signs that anyone is prepared to reduce capacity, therefore we would anticipate the wave of consolidation in European short haul is not over,” said analyst Neil Wilson, analyst at London-based broker market.com.
Earlier this month global airlines slashed a widely watched industry profit forecast by 21 percent as an expanding trade war and higher oil prices compound worries about an overdue industry slowdown.
Lufthansa’s problems are centered on its European business, with a more positive outlook for its long-haul operations, especially on transatlantic and Asian routes.
Eurowings management is due to implement turnaround measures to be presented shortly, Lufthansa said, adding that efforts to reduce costs had so far been slower than expected.
Lufthansa’s adjusted margin for earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was forecast between 5.5 percent and 6.5 percent, down from 6.5 percent to 8 percent previously, it said in a statement.
Lufthansa also said it would make a €340 million provision for in its first-half accounts, relating to a tax matter in Germany originating in the years between 2001 and 2005.