|BMW's new self driving electric car to be launched in 2021|
With its i3 battery-powered city hatchback, BMW was the first European automaker to launch sales of a car that was developed to be electric from the start, but the company did not find a way to make electric mobility appealing, Schwarzenbauer said.
"Tesla made electric driving sexy," said the executive, who is in charge of BMW's Mini, Rolls Royce and motorcycles businesses.
In launching the i3 in 2013, BMW probably concentrated too much on the car's green credentials and rational aspects, rather that pointing out that driving an electric car could be fun and sexy, Schwarzenbauer said.
He also acknowledged that BMW has not successfully gotten across the message that BMW is ahead of competitors in electrifying its product line up with full-electric and hybrid model cars. "All the current hype on electrification is on what our competitors will launch post-2020, but BMW has already delivered 100,000 electrified models between 2013 and 2016 and will deliver another 100,000 this year alone," he said.
BMW plans to launch a new electric, self-driving flagship car in 2021.
Read more: How BMW counts on startups to counter Tesla