Chris Bryant

Electric motors aren’t as complicated as combustion engines. As battery vehicles become common, carmakers probably won’t need as many production staff. So when BMW AG’s chief labor representative starts criticizing management for being “too slow” to invest in electric cars, you know something’s up.Manfred Schoch, who’s also the German auto giant’s deputy chairman, told Bloomberg News last week that to stay competitive, it must build more electric cars, including versions of the 3, 5 and 7-series saloon. BMW’s a conservative place, not given to airing differences in public. The models Schoch’s talking about are its holiest-of-holies. So his intervention matters.