LAS VEGAS — BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse vowed last week that the company will do what makes business sense and not be forced off-course by political agendas.
Munich-based BMW is under pressure to rethink its supply lines and production footprint concerning EV parts and batteries to qualify for a new tax credit meant to promote North American production.
Zipse said that market demand, not politics, will guide BMW's future investment in the U.S.
"We would not change in a substantial manner our strategy because of current politics," the CEO said at a media briefing at CES 2023. "Our cars have a life cycle of maybe seven years, sometimes even longer. That's roughly two or three administrations."
Zipse illustrated the perils of reacting to political winds during the Trump administration.
“We discussed with the previous administration … and they would try to force us into the implementation of a combustion engine plant in the United States, which we don't have today," Zipse said.
Had BMW gone along, he said, it would have been misguided, given the industry's pivot away from fossil fuels.
"For God's sake, we didn't do that," Zipse exclaimed. "We have our own mind, and sometimes you must follow your strategy."