BMW building cars without touchscreens as chip crisis continues
To sustain output, BMW has begun selling cars without touchscreens. This follows the worldwide shortfall of semiconductors that is continuing to wreak havoc on the automobile sector.
The touchscreen removal option is being given to American buyers of the 3 Series, 4 Series, X3, X4, X7, and Z4 in exchange for $500 (£369) in credit toward other choices, according to a post on the Bimmerfest forum in the United States. Jonathan Shafer, the author of this article, works as the internet sales manager at a Santa Maria, California BMW dealership.
He stated that despite constraints to specific option content, they have been able to sustain most of their anticipated production over the last few months. Some of these limits have grown in scope as we approach Q4 [of the year]. He added that they have chosen to eliminate the touch capabilities from the Central Information Display in some vehicles commencing production this week in order to sustain production levels until the end of the year.
The iDrive infotainment system, which can also be operated with a rotary dial on the center console, is unaffected by the modification. However, because the choice is incompatible with the Backup Assistant feature, which guides the car into parking places, it will be removed as well. According to Shafer, “all indicators” suggest that dealerships will not be able to retrofit touchscreen capability into the impacted vehicles once they have been sold.
Vehicles without touchscreens are currently rolling off the assembly lines at BMW’s Spartanburg factory in the United States, and it’s unknown how long this option will be available. Autocar approached BMW for information on UK-bound automobiles, but the company provided no estimate of how many cars will be affected.
According to BMW, industry-wide supply chain challenges are affecting vehicle manufacturing globally, imposing temporary constraints on the accessibility to particular features or options. They said that “BMW retailers in the UK are in direct communication with customers to discuss their options if this impacts any existing orders.”
With the severe supply chain challenges happening, BMW isn’t the only manufacturer to adjust its options list when it comes to cars without touchscreens. In September, Autocar discovered that Ford was selling the Puma without a number of driver aid features and that Volvo had reduced the number of safety features included in the XC60’s Driver Awareness Pack.