Damage Control

The Positive Side of Diesel

BMW top product manager Hildegard Wortmann in front of a BMWi3 source BMW Ansgar Werr
BMW's top product manager Hildegard Wortmann is confident about diesel technology as well as the company's electric cars, known as BMW i.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    BMW sales could suffer from the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal if customers turn away from diesel-powered cars.

  • Facts


    • BMW is the world’s largest maker of luxury cars ahead of Mercedes and Audi; last year it sold 2.1 million vehicles, mostly with gasoline and diesel engines.
    • The Munich-based carmaker has not seen a change in demand for its fossil-fuel powered cars so far, its top product manager says.
    • BMW launched its first electronic car line in 2013, but e-cars accounted for just 12,500 of the 1 million cars BMW sold in the first half of 2015.
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Known for its sporty and powerful cars, BMW has been the world’s biggest maker of luxury cars for years, ahead of rivals Mercedes and Audi.

Most of the 2.1 million cars the Munich-based carmaker sold last year have conventional gasoline or diesel engines, although a small proportion is powered by electric power. BMW, which also makes the Mini and Rolls-Royce models, launched its first e-car line in 2013, but sales growth has been sluggish. In the first half of 2015, e-cars accounted for just 12,500 of the 1 million cars BMW sold.

The Dieselgate scandal at Volkswagen, which also produces Audi and Porsche cars, has not led to a change in demand for BMW’s cars, the company’s top product manager, Hildegard Wortmann, told Handelsblatt in an interview.

The 49-year old manager explained why diesel cars are here to stay for a while despite VW’s emissions manipulation scandal and how electric cars can be made more attractive.


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