BMW Sees No `Dramatic Drop' for Diesel as Electrics Fill Void

(Bloomberg) -- BMW AG will be able to weather a gradual drop in diesel car deliveries, which have only fallen slightly over the last year and are “not collapsing,” Chief Financial Officer Nicolas Peter said.

“I would expect maybe we see an ongoing slight decline of diesel but I don’t expect a dramatic drop,” Peter said Friday in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. The automaker has been able to offset the drop with additional sales of gasoline, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, with more on the way.

Peter wouldn’t comment on how margins compare for diesel autos versus its expanding lineup of battery-powered cars, but he said he’s optimistic about profitability because future models like the 8-Series luxury coupe, the full-sized X7 SUV and the M5 sedan will help offset the less-lucrative plug-in models it will rely on to help reach emissions targets. BMW’s also looking at cutting costs by offering fewer trim levels and color options, he said.

The automotive segment of BMW’s corporate group will maintain its 8 percent to 10 percent profit margin this year and for the foreseeable future, even with the push toward more electrification, Peter said.

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