At 70 Units Per Day, BMW i3 Production Is Not At “Full Capacity”
Two weeks ago, Germany’s well-respected Manager Magazin reported the following:
“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?
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.
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