BMW building cars without touchscreens as chip crisis continues

American buyers of different models receive options credit to compensate for the loss of functionality

BMW is selling cars without touchscreens as a way to continue production despite the continuing shortage of semiconductors.

Post on the US-based Bimmerfest forum revealed the possibility of touchscreen deletion for American buyers of the 3 Series and 4 Series. In exchange for $500 (PS369) credit towards other options,

Jonathan Shafer, post author, is an internet sales manager at Santa Maria BMW. He stated that “over the past several months, we managed to maintain the majority our planned production in spite limits to certain options content. Some of these limitations are becoming more severe as we progress into Q4 [the year].

“We have decided to remove touch functionality from the Central Information Display to preserve production levels until the end of the year in order to keep production levels high.”

This change won’t affect BMW’s iDrive infotainment software, which can be controlled via a rotary dial located on the centre console. The Backup Assistant function which guides the car into parking spaces is not compatible with this option, so it will also be removed.

Shafer stated that “all indications” indicate that dealers won’t have the ability to retrofit touchscreen capability into affected cars after-sales.

BMW’s Spartanburg plant in the USA is now producing cars without touchscreens. It is not yet clear how long BMW will continue to offer this option.

Autocar reached out to BMW for information on UK-bound vehicles, but the manufacturer did not give any indication as to how many would be affected.

It stated that “Industry-wide supply chains issues are affecting automobile manufacturing worldwide and in some instances causing temporary restrictions on the availability of certain features or options.”

“BMW retailers in UK are in direct contact with customers to discuss their options, if this affects any existing orders.”

BMW isn’t the only manufacturer to adjust its options list due to supply chain problems. Autocar discovered that Ford had discontinued offering the Puma with certain driver assistance functions. Volvo, however, temporarily reduced the number of safety features in the XC60’s Driver Awareness Pack.