With More Than 8,000 Reservations, BMW Considers More Production Capacity For The i3

6 months ago by Jay Cole 29

BMW's Production Line In Leipzig Is Now Producing Electric i3s For German Release Next Month

BMW’s Production Line In Leipzig Is Now Producing Electric i3s For German Release Next Month

When is a 400 million Euro ($543M USD) investment not enough?

A Group Of i3s Trundle Down The Line In Germany

A Group Of i3s Trundle Down The Line In Germany

According to BMW CFO Friedrich Eichiner while speaking to Bloomberg over the weekend, it is not enough when you have an all-new plug-in offering that has more then 8,000 pre-orders – and that’s before the order books open in North America.

The BMW i3 first goes on sale next month in Germany (November 16th to be exact) from 34,950 euros ($47,435 USD)…and there is a lot of anxious customers.

Mr. Eichiner says BMW expected to sell more than 10,000 copies of the i3 next year and “will adjust capacity according to demand.”  The exec also added that, “If demand holds, which is what it’s looking like, we will soon have to invest more.”

Interestingly, it was thought that BMW’s Leipzig assembly facility was designed with the ability to easily expand production up to as much as 30,000 units per year – so any additional investment required should not require a lot more capital or effort.

(Above Video: B-Roll Of i3 Production In Leipzig, Germany)

The BMW i3 goes on sale in the US in the second quarter of 2014 from $41,350 for the all electric version with an estimated 90 miles of range.  Also available is an a extended range version for $3,850 more (from $45,200) that adds up to 87 more miles of gas driving via a small 2 cylinder generator in the back.

BMW also took some time to address a report by Wirtschaftswoche which outlined problems the German company was having bonding carbon-fiber components that caused a week and half production halt on the i3, saying that the incident was not significant enough to delay the launch of the model.

Bloomberg

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29 responses to "With More Than 8,000 Reservations, BMW Considers More Production Capacity For The i3"

  1. Dan Frederiksen says:

    Instead of all the yapping why not deliver them now.

    1. vdiv says:

      Hear, hear!

      As long as the BMW yapping continues I’ll continue mine.

      After self-admitted 40 years of development BMW has yet to put a single plugin on the market. Until I can go to my next door BMW dealership and a couple of hours later leave in a fully charged i3 with my name on the sales contract it is all BS.

      1. MTN Ranger says:

        Give me a break. They announced European sales starting next month and NA next spring. Worldwide later in the year. All of the major PEVs have had rollouts that take a year or more before they reach all markets. It’s not like this is a vaporware product.

        1. vdiv says:

          No i3? No break! ;)

          None of the other PEV makers have come close to the hype generated by the Ultimate Marketing Machine that is BMW. Some may be a bit tired of all that.

    2. evnow says:

      Are we there yet ?

  2. Chris O says:

    Looks like this could be the second EV that lives up to its commercial expectations after Model S. Kudos to BMW for getting the concept right.

  3. Ocean Railroader says:

    This is a good sign in that the car has a 90 mile battery pack with a 80 mile gas motor extender on top of that so in terms of range it is pretty of powerful and could even handle some of the mega commuters who drive over a 100 miles a day. The threat that this company product would be to would be to the Chevy Volt most likely. And possibly it and Tesla might be battling with one another.

    In terms of the Nissan Leaf it could compete with this car if it started raising it’s range to 120 miles.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      I considering it to replace my Volt next November.

      1. Justin W. says:

        I would consider it too. My Volt is brand new and I’m broke though. :)

  4. Spec9 says:

    I knew the Germans would start buying EVs when a German EV became available. The latent nationalist gene remains.

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      Not to mention gas is $10.00 a gallon in Germany so that should add some fuel to the fire.

    2. Suprise Cat says:

      When I constantly read all the Murica comments about Asian cars are too ugly, I’m not sure who has a latent nationalist gene…

    3. David Stone says:

      Yeah, because americans are NEVER nationalistic…

  5. Spec9 says:

    Imagine how many they could sell if they made a good-looking EV.

  6. Robert says:

    This is definitely a taste of what’s to come when the Model E / Gen 3 comes out. And this is also why I believe all forecasts that have been done up to now re: EV uptake are way off.

    WAY OFF. Not one forecast takes into account viral uptake. Like the way Facebook grew for example. They’re just far too conservative. It will happen at some point in my opinion and the BMW i3 uptake is the first (sorry second – Model S) small example of it.

    1. Bonaire says:

      Facebook is free. A $41k limited range car purchase is not free.

      1. George B says:

        Fair enough, but is the Model S free? Look at the uptake they are seeing.

      2. David Stone says:

        facebook is not free.

        You pay with your data ;)

  7. Bloggin says:

    It looks like for many consumers, this may be the luxury ‘upgrade’ for the Leaf or Focus Electric, or the Rex as an upgrade for the Volt or C-Max Energi.

    This is where Cadillac dropped the ball. The ELR based on the Volt platform should have been an i3 competitor, instead it’s just overpriced and underpowered(EV).

  8. drpawansharma says:

    Nissan leaf
    Chevrolet volt
    Tesla models s
    Renault zoe
    BMW i3
    Tesla Model X
    Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

    There, i got all the serious evs from 2010 till 2015.

    1. EV says:

      You forgot Benz B-class EV

  9. kimmi says:

    And this despite the unbalanced looks, the concept was much more good looking.

  10. @Robert +1

    The most significant outcome of the i3 release may be the increased attention the segment gets. BMW plugged a lot of gaps in the field with this offering. Solid EV range plus Rex and fast charge. Light for an EV so the efficiency is good. Modern interior design that says this is a car for the 21st century. And a sizable commitment from BMW that signals that this is more than a me-too or compliance car.

    People will take notice when this hits the road in the US. When people hear the part about operating cost being the equivalent of $1 per gallon gas, this will be thought of as an “affordable” BMW. Goes right with their TCO message.

    Brilliant.

    1. Robert says:

      It’s coming!

      1. Bonaire says:

        I just read a report that here in the US, we may see gasoline dropping below $3 by Christmas. They’ll do anything to keep us from buying an EV… :)

        1. Ben says:

          That is a lie just a lie, wait until the US Government is fully open and commuting back and forth to work again. Prices will jump again. KC, MO are unleaded price $2.92 a gallon.

  11. KenZ says:

    The fiber composite work (and thus learning about implementation of it in automobiles) they’re doing on this (relatively) low volume model will pay off for them in spades in many of their future models, and I’m not just talking about EVs. The i3 is a great platform for them to insert this. I would contend that the lightweighting experience they’re getting will be of equal or greater value to BMW in the short to mid term than the EV stuff.

  12. David Stone says:

    Yet another example of cars being more expensive in Europe than the US.

    And BMW is german! They have a factory in Germany!
    And it will cost more than $6000 more!

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      Ever heard about negative transportation costs? I guess on Mars it would be even cheaper.