At 70 Units Per Day, BMW i3 Production Is Not At “Full Capacity”

10 months ago by Eric Loveday 4

BMW i3

BMW i3

Two weeks ago, Germany’s well-respected Manager Magazin reported the following:

Produktion BMW i3 in Leipzig

Produktion BMW i3 in Leipzig

“The current run rate at the Leipzig factory is 70 i3s per day, 1,400 a month and 17,000 per year.”

Or approximately half the production rate of the Tesla Model S.

Now, there’s an incorrect report circulating with this quote from BMW North America CEO Ludwig Willisch:

“Our plants are at full capacity.”

So, are we to assume that BMW i3 production will be stuck at a rate that’s well below that of the Model S?

No…

The gist of that inaccurate report is that at 70 units per day, BMW i3 production is at “full capacity.”

The truth is that Willisch’s “full capacity” comment came way back in late January when BMW i3 production was at “full capacity” due production constraints tied to the i3′s various carbon fiber elements.

Production of the i3 may still be at “full capacity,” but that’s tied to issues with the carbon fiber parts and not the assembly line’s capacity for producing i3s.  There’s a difference between being limited by parts supply and limited by line capacity.

The true full capacity for production of the i3 in Leipzig, Germany is nearer to 30,000 units per year than 17,000.

The problem is that when you combine quotes out of context, the actual truth gets diluted.

So, BMW i3 production is actually at ~ half capacity, but can carbon fiber production increase so that more BMW i3 can be produced each day?  We believe that BMW will sort the carbon fiber issue out, so expect to see the production rate of the i3 increase steadily over the coming months.

BMW i3 drivetrain production

BMW i3 drivetrain production

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4 responses to "At 70 Units Per Day, BMW i3 Production Is Not At “Full Capacity”"

  1. Brian says:

    That’s like Nissan saying Leaf production is “at capacity”. The Smyrna plant can make 150,000 Leafs/year, but they’re supply limited. It just means that some part of the supply chain is at capacity (in BMW’s case, CFRP production). The solution is simply to increase capacity of course!

  2. Ocean Railroader says:

    This is ok for the time being as long as they get this worked out over the next few months. As for the Nissan Leaf they should try to get everything lined up to make 4000 of them month in the next six to eight months.

  3. Model S says:

    what if someone just a threw a bomb or grenade in their and messed up everything lol

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      They had one of the plots of the TV show Captain Planet take place at a green car factory where the main eco villain Hoggish Greedly had his minion vandalized the factory so he could buy it up and make gas guzzlers.