BMW boss Oliver Zipse warned against what he called a "premature and ill-considered" ban on combustion engines, even though electric mobility is a fast-growing market segment.
"However, the largest market segment in absolute terms in Germany, but also in Europe and worldwide, is the combustion engine. Before you simply switch off something like that within eight or 10 years, you have to really know what you are doing," he said on Wednesday.
Zipse was addressing a closed-door meeting of parliamentarians from Bavaria's centre-right party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).
The Bavarian economy is heavily dependent on the automotive industry, and is home to both BMW and Audi.
Zipse said it would be harmful to needlessly give up a technology in which one had a global market position.
Alexander Dobrindt, a leading figure from the CSU, also warned against a one-sided focus on electric mobility.
"The combustion engine has helped secure prosperity in Germany for decades, created jobs and added value," he said. "It must not be abandoned unilaterally for ideological reasons."
Instead, he called for combustion engines to be further developed in the direction of CO2 neutrality, which he said would be possible with synthetic fuels.