BMW CEO Doubts Tesla Can Easily Continue Growing as Quickly

BMW CEO Harald Krueger

Tesla Inc.’s years-long dominance of electric-car sales may soon be over as traditional automakers introduce a slew of new battery-powered models, one of its German rivals said.

“It won’t be easy for Tesla to continue at that speed because the rest of the industry is moving ahead big time,” BMW AG Chief Executive Officer Oliver Zipse said Monday during the DLD All Stars tech conference.

Tesla’s growth in vehicle deliveries in Europe already slowed last year to roughly in line with the overall EV market’s expansion, Zipse said.

Auto executives rarely make digs at competitors, so the CEO’s remarks reflect the new-found self-confidence among traditional manufacturers pouring billions of dollars into electrifying their offerings. BMW is adding battery-powered versions of its X1 SUV as well as the 5 Series and 7 Series.

BMW’s larger peer Volkswagen AG may not be far off from eclipsing Elon Musk’s Tesla this year. The German company plans to at least double the share of its sales that are fully electric in 2021, with the high end of its target rangesuggesting it could come close to Tesla’s expected deliveries of at least 750,000 cars.

— With assistance by Craig Trudell

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