BMW CEO: “Clear Connection Between [i3] Sales Figures And Political Initiatives”


BMW i3 With Green HOV Sticker

BMW i3 With Green HOV Sticker

BMW i3

BMW i3

During BMW’s annual press conference in Munich in mid-March, BMW Group CEO Norbert Reithofer admitted that incentives play a strong role in BMW i3 sales:

“We can see a clear connection between sales figures and political initiatives.  Wherever governments offer tangible incentives for e-mobility, the registration figures for the BMW i3 soar.”

According to Automotive News, Reithofer cited Norway “where the automaker sold 2,000 i3s last year, almost a quarter of the market’s overall BMW sales.”

Of course, we all know that Norway leads the world in electric car incentives and in electric car market share.  The correlation between incentives and sales is obvious.

Automotive News adds:

California, where BMW last year sold about 3,000 i3s, about half of the total number sold in the U.S., offers financial subsidies to purchase battery-driven cars. Drivers of EVs are also allowed to use dedicated highway carpool lanes.

In Shanghai, the i3 is not subject to a restrictive licensing process, meaning buyers save more than 10,000 euros, Reithofer said.

European markets including the UK and France offer EV buyers financial incentives. In Germany EVs are exempt from the annual vehicle tax for 10 years. BMW sold about 2,100 i3s in Germany last year, about 1 percent of total BMW sales in the country.

Reithofer commented on the lack-of-incentive situation in Germany, stating:

“The German carmakers have delivered their part of the bargain. The ball is in now in the court of policymakers.”

Germany is expected to respond soon with an incentive program to entice plug-in electric car sales.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: BMW

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18 Comments on "BMW CEO: “Clear Connection Between [i3] Sales Figures And Political Initiatives”"

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Automakers know all about politics. They have historically slowed progress on reducing carbon and other emissions while stalling improvements with regards to fuel economy.

It would be nice to see global automakers actively lobby policy makers to PROMOTE EV Infrastructure for Fast Charging & Tax Incentives for BEV Sales– since tightening regulations around the world now demend the production of EVs.


However, in the USA, it is time to adjust the federal incentives. I think instead of maxing out $7500 at 16kWh, which pays for the entire battery, they should reduce the subsidy to say $250/kWh, so to get the max you’ll need a 30kWh battery, or more.

It would be nice to tweak the current incentive system.

But let’s be real. The current Congress won’t pass a damn thing except things to keep the government from shutting down because they looked like such idiots after that.

No poop CEO thats a no brainer.

Incentives not withstanding, It might sell better if it was not so butt ugly.


C’mon Merkel, get on it. Pass an incentive plan for plug-ins in Germany now that there are lots of German plug-ins available.

And put some patriotic flair on it. Point out that the Germany is not oil rich nation and that by incentivizing plug-in cars, you’ll improve national security by reducing your foreign oil needs. (Of course, I’d really like to see you keep your nukes to power these plug-ins but I guess that is out of the question in Germany. So keep building wind turbines.)

Who thought that slapping the carpool lane sticker right on the small amount of rear window visibility you have was a good idea?

Make EV’s cheaper or make ICE’s more expensive. I’m happy either way.

I have to admit, personally, I would rather tax the life out of petrol and diesel for vehicle use and just reduce income tax rather than giving big rebates or grants to EV buyers. If you taxed petrol like cigarettes, banned its use in public places and banned advertising it I think we’d see a pretty significant drop in our “oil addiction”.

Perhaps not such a great idea but I do better with the tech than the people side of things.

It is kind of a tough time for EVs right now with oil prices so low. But this shall pass. The long term trend for oil prices is always upward.

It is a great time for a lot of people to pick up bargains on the current EVs out there. Lots of deals to be had on Volts. Used EVs are hitting the market at reasonable prices.

Who buy cars with guesstimated gas/oil price added?

Even in my country people just choose car with best fuel economy IF its same price.

I really, really would like to see some research into how much gas/oil price matter for ICEs (my guess – non), let alone EVs.

When EVs will have same price tag as ICEs.. Then Yes everybody while reviewing them will point out lower TCO. But not until then. Its nice extra, nothing more.

“Clear Connection Between [i3] Sales Figures And Political Initiatives” is a rather convoluted way of saying “In States where buyers don’t have to pay as much (because of State rebates), the i3 sells better.”

It’s hardly news that something sells better if the price is lowered!

So, BMW thinks that it need to have a right to sell high profit marging luxury cars with a price of high volume and low profit margin mass market car? Basically all positive government incentives are translating to improved profitability of car sales.

This is one reason why the polics have failed. Incentives should be that it would be almost impossible sell non-electric luxury cars. This would offer two compelling benefits. First, most of the R&D spendings by car companies goes for developing high profit margin luxury cars. And this would make the rich 2 %, instead of middle class tax payers, paying the develoment costs of affordable electric car technology.

The key here is the last quote. This is directed at the german government, because they won’t accept this obvious fact.

I love this. We all know it’s mostly true. But the real thing here is the pressure that they are putting on the government.

I love the “we have delivered, now it’s your (the state of Germany) turn”. I hope the germans put in some massive incentives, including some special treatment for pure BEV’s to keep and speed up the german manufacturers to put out plugin-models and not just PHEV’s but some BEV’s too.

As much as I want MORE tax incentives to buy EV’s, what the OEMs can and must do is invest in augmenting and building out the QC network. If there was a robust network of convenient and affordable QC locations, most people would be less hesitant to purchase or lease a BEV.

Sure there should be incentives. This is a new technology, and car is probably the most conservative purchase people make after a home.

If you want people to take a ‘risk’ by doing something they don’t have experience with, you should offer incentives. In 5-10 years it won’t be needed. Now it is.