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Shots Fired: BMW CEO Says Tesla Is No Match for Them in Terms of Quality and Reliability

During a recent car industry event, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse took another swipe at Tesla, this time touching on the quality and reliability issues that the EV-maker has encountered throughout the years. Back in February, Zipse even said that Tesla wouldn’t likely be able to hold onto its EV crown in the long term, but that remains to be seen.
BMW CEO Oliver Zipse 7 photos
BMW CEO Oliver ZipseBMW CEO Oliver ZipseBMW CEO Oliver ZipseBMW CEO Oliver ZipseBMW CEO Oliver ZipseBMW CEO Oliver Zipse
“Where we differ is our standard on quality and reliability,” said the BMW chief exec at a conference organized by Handelsblatt. “We have different aspirations on customer satisfaction.”

Right off the bat, wow, that’s a bit harsh, the part about customer satisfaction. Let’s not forget that the Tesla Model 3 was Europe’s best-selling passenger car in September of this year, so the demand is there, and judging by how current owners feel about these cars, so is the satisfaction – generally speaking.

Still, we know there’s a gap between the two carmakers if we consider all the higher-end models being sold by BMW, like the 7 Series, X7, 8 Series or even the 5 Series. But if we’re being honest, it’s not like there’s a massive gap in build quality between a Model 3 and a 2 Series Gran Coupe or even a 3 Series to some extent.

Zipse then went on to say that “Tesla isn’t quite part of the premium segment. They are growing very strongly via price reductions. We would not do that since you have got to last the distance.”

BMW’s latest additions to its BEV portfolio are the iX SUV and the i4 sedan. Meanwhile, sales of its electrified models (plug-in hybrids and EVs) have nearly doubled to over 230,000 units in the first nine months of 2021, according to Autonews Europe.

Of course, Tesla shipped 241,300 cars during Q3 alone, so let’s just say that BMW, much like Mercedes and the VW Group, still have some catching up to do.


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