What do you think you know about the Chinese car market? The German brands are popular and everyone drives electric? Error! BMW’s electric market share is small and there is even an electric BMW that sells better here than in China.
The model in question is the BMW i4. The fully electric sedan sold better on our very small piece of earth in 2022 than in huge China. If you don’t have the demographic knowledge ready: the Netherlands has only 1.24% of the gigantic population of China. That means that there are 80 times more Chinese than Dutch people walking around. In the Netherlands, the BMW i4 went over the counter 2298 times last year, in China it only happened 1560 times.
A meager market share
There are also electric BMWs that were appreciated by the Chinese. The BMW iX3 is the most popular of the bunch with 26,666 sales. In second place is the BMW i3 with 14,434 new Chinese owners. This model is currently only for sale in China and should not be confused with the i3 hatchback from 2013.
In total, BMW sold 44,344 electric cars in China last year. That is good news, because that is almost double the purchase figures in 2021 (22,684 units). But it’s also bad news, because it’s peanuts anyway. BMW has a paltry market share of just 0.93 percent in the electric car market in China.
Chinese people who buy a BMW want an internal combustion engine. Because only 6 percent of the 760,000 cars BMW delivered in China had a fully electric powertrain.
BMW is having a hard time on the electric car market with competition from Nio, among others. Chauvinism seems to be winning here, as the new Chinese brand sold almost three times as many electric cars as BMW. Tesla is also giving BMW a headache with the large discounts that have recently been implemented. Although some Chinese Tesla buyers are less content with that.