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article imageBMW's Chief Executive Officer Harald Krueger resigns

By Ken Hanly     Jul 9, 2019 in Technology
BMW has just unveiled its first all-electric Mini Cooper. The car is to come in early 2020. The price will start at around $35,000 and the EV will have a range of 235 kilometers or 146 miles on a single charge.
Mini's poor mileage may partly explain CEO's resignation
Compared to similarly priced EVs on the road now with more than 200 miles of range, such as the Hyundai Kona Electric or the Tesla Model 3, the Mini’s mileage figure looks paltry. It will only look worse next year as more capable electric cars hit the road, and the Mini gets a more realistic US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mileage rating. By the time the Mini comes into production there may be even more EVs that will be more than competitive in price and range.
BMW was a leader in EVs when Krueger took over
At one time BMW was a leader and innovator in electric vehicles, but under Krueger's management that leadership appears to have been lost. Krueger has been four years as CEO of BMW. When he came in the company shortly after introduced the i3 electric crossover SUV which was quite successful. The i3 won several awards: "The BMW i3 has won two World Car of the Year Awards, selected as 2014 World Green Car of the Year and also as 2014 World Car Design of the Year.[29] The i3 received an iF Product Design Gold Award, and won both UK Car of the Year 2014 and Best Supermini of 2014 in the first UK Car of the Year Awards."
Krueger said in a message to employees as he left that one of the reasons for his leaving are the enormous changes that are happening in the auto industry. BMW it would seem has fallen behind as a result of those changes while Krueger was in charge.
BMW failures under Krueger
Krueger delayed BMW's long range EV — a move that reportedly led to an exodus of some talent from the company. Sales of the i3 began to stumble. Instead of concentrating more on EVs, he stuck with fossil-fuel cars even though some EU countries were restricting them or planning to ban thems. BMW began to lose market share to companies such as Daimler. Just two weeks ago, one of BMW's lead executives said EVs were "overhyped" at an event where BMW announced a new plan to accelerate development of electric vehicle technology.
The new Mini, according to Automotive News, is little more than the i3's technology shoe-horned into the 2014 hard-top. While there may be Mini fans who will buy the car, it seems to be outdated already and not likely to match sales of competitors although perhaps BMW's reputation for quality may help it.
More about Mini Cooper EV, Harald Krueger, Bmw
 
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