BMW i Subbrand Sales Drops Again In February, Exceeds 51,000 Cumulative

2 years ago by Mark Kane 25

BMW i worldwide sales – February 2016

BMW i worldwide sales – February 2016

BMW i8s

BMW i8s

Something has jammed up BMW i subbrand sales in recent months as in both in January and February the German manufacturer wasn’t able to come close to previous results.

After being 32% down in January, last month sales fell by 25% year-over-year to 1,616.

The bulk of the failure has come in the US, where the BMW i3 is off more than 1,300 units alone, or about 75% (430 sold in 2016 vs 1,759 in 2015).

One of the reasons could be the more focused US media and car buying public, who are now awaiting the new 2017 BMW i3 with higher range.

On the positive side, one out of ever 100 BMW cars sold is a plug-in, and in total, the 50,000 mark was passed in February.

“A total of 2,871 BMW i vehicles have been delivered to customers worldwide in the year-to-date. Since the sub-brand was first introduced at the end of 2013, over 50,000 innovative BMW i vehicles have been sold.”

BMW i worldwide sales – February 2016

BMW i worldwide sales – February 2016

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25 responses to "BMW i Subbrand Sales Drops Again In February, Exceeds 51,000 Cumulative"

  1. evcarnut says:

    I am Surprised that’s all they dropped off. If people would wake up & do their homework , they’d stay away from them altogether …Those cars are sub-par Plastic Toys in all aspects!

    1. jelloslug says:

      Said nobody at all….

    2. jerryd says:

      They are stronger than steel composites, not plastic.
      While I think they are designed badly compared to what it could be without the alum frame, it is a very strong car.
      With the new one that far out and not that much an improvement as still not a long distance car, that isn’t likely the problem yet.
      My guess is they are running out of people willing to pay that much for them.
      Fact is had they built it right in all composites body and frame it could have been a 200 mile EV on just 30kwhrs at $10k less price.
      Switch CF to medium tech composites for even better crash protection at much lower costs saving 75% on the body.
      And they will have a very hard time selling them as the Bolt, 3 and 200 mile leaf comes out.
      But it is a real car, not a plastic toy evcarnut.

      1. franky_b says:

        Or they are just reducing the inventory to make sure they don’t have to sell remaining inventory @ half the price because of the 2017 model coming up this summer.

      2. Alpha777 says:

        So, you’re asking why the aluminum tub used to hold the batteries and attach the suspension parts?

        Good question.
        My guess is this is the first use of carbon fibre and they’re sure it can old up to the stress of the body, but not the stress of holding onto the pounding of the suspension parts, yet.

        Time will tell.

    3. Alpha777 says:

      Exactly. Nobody thinks this.
      4 wheel independent suspension, vented disk brakes, rear engine, rear wheel drive, 50/50 weight distribution, nice interior, electric motor TORQUE, FAST, fun to drive.

      It’s a free-ken sports car that carries 4 people.

    4. BG says:

      Agree. Very good news

    5. mr. M says:

      if you did your homework you would know that there is carbon fiber reinforced plastic below the “plastic” elements for visual effect that you describe.

    6. Marc says:

      Instead of arguing I just did almost 30k in a year in one and the best car I ever had…

      http://practicalbev.blogspot.com/

  2. David Murray says:

    A co-worker of mine recently signed up for the i3 test drive. But when he went to the dealer, they told him they don’t participate in the program. (yet I did the same test drive a few months ago from that same dealer) so maybe the dealers are starting to be less enthusiastic about the i3?

    1. Alpha777 says:

      You have to wonder about BMW’s commitment.
      Those color schemes alone are probably costing 10% in sales losses. Better yet, now they’re charging $500 for basic black paint, which was a $0 cost option 3 months ago.

      Black, the only color it looks good in.
      So, yes, it does look like mgmt is trying to slow down sales.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        Perhaps some OEMs, more than others, are showing obvious shifts away from PHEV/BEVs given low gas prices? With the i3’s unique California compliance (gas range =< EV range), part of BMW's goal may only exist in California.

  3. David Murray says:

    Oh.. and I also suspect news of Model-III and Bolt could have affected i3 sales.

    1. james says:

      Bingo, we have a winner!

  4. franky_b says:

    It would be interesting to see/know the level of inventory

  5. heezit says:

    I think BMW USA stopped ordering them as stock–I live in San Diego and there is essentially no i3 inventory at the three dealers near me.

  6. John says:

    Wife Loves our 2015 i3 Rex! Only downside was I got it loaded with the 20″ wheels. Had to buy snow tires with 19″ rims. Other then that its been great! We even took a 140 mile trip each way partly on the Rex and she rode along at 75 MPH with no issues what so ever.
    We won’t buy an EV yet till the tech matures but we will lease another BMW i3 Rex now that they increasing the battery range to 125.

    John

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      John said:

      “We won’t buy an EV yet till the tech matures…”

      Ummm… you already did. The BMW i3 is an EV of some variety, with or without the REx. The i3 without the REx is definitely a BEV, and with the REx it’s a compromise between a very good BEV and a rather poor PHEV.

      But in any case, it’s an EV.

  7. Andrew Mitchell says:

    We have an i3Rex, Leaf S, Tesla S, Tesla X.

    There are a few reasons for this that I can see:

    1) The new volt has most of the electric range and is more versatile, is preferred over i3Rex.
    2) Longer range Leaf (and other future vehicles) mean the i3 Bev doesn’t compete well.
    3) Driving… all 4 drivers in our family prefer driving the LEAF S over the i3Rex. The i3 is very rough with the suspension etc…
    4) Used Tesla model S is getting to be the same price.
    5) Most i3 buyers are new to BMW… the whole buying and servicing BMW has now put me off BMW. It felt like a club for people who want to show off their wealth.

    Ultimately many people come to us for advice on EVs (we have 4)… and we advise against the i3. Ultimately there are enough EVs out there and enough people have friends who are happier about LEAFs and Teslas.

    1. heezit says:

      We’ve had our i3 BEV for 8 months and rave about it to people who ask: It’s the 2nd car in our household but it’s getting more than half our miles!
      Our i3 experience has sold us on the electric car future.

      1. james says:

        Cool, welcome to driving electric!

        The problem is a used Tesla Model S isn’t a very different price from a new i3 and they have the same warranty (Tesla give a brand new 4 year, 50,000 mile warranty with all their CPO cars – at least in the UK). With the Tesla however, you get a whole lot more car.

    2. wavelet says:

      Are you sure that most i3 buyers are new to BMW?
      The value proposition vs. other BEVs always seemed iffy to me. Reading the various blogs/sites concetrating on the i3, the tone & language was very much a repeat of who buys BMW motorcycles: People who already buy in into the brand in a major way.

      While the current-gen i3 performance is a bit better than other BEVs, it’s no sports car, and it’s inferior in other key EV respects (range, cargo/passenger capacity). Combined with the price it’s really hard to justify.

  8. John says:

    Hi Andrew,

    My wife seems to get about 80 Miles in Eco Pro on her Rex before the engine kicks in. As for harsh ride, depends on the tires. BMW’s in general have a very stiff performance feel to them. Even the steering takes time to get use to because it seems too tight to many. Its understandable, I think thats more a BMW thing then anything else. I did find however when we swap the 20″ tires for the snow tires its actually a softer more forgiving ride.

    As for the prestige, I often bost about how I am only paying $400 per month including tax for a car with a $55,000 MSRP. Includes 12K per yer. So not trying to be something I’m not. It was a very economical choice. We had a Ford Focus EV before the i3. It uses way less energy pay zip for electricity.

    As for BMW service, I live 30 minutes from the dealership. I love the fact all service included. When time came to service they gave me a choice of picking it up from home or work on having a loaner available for us.

    WE LOVE THE SERVICE!

    Did try the Volt, don’t like that my wife’s work milage won’t be covered daily because lower battery only range. Tried the Leaf, just could not get comfortable in it and was ver slow compared to our i3. Did not try the Tesla because its out of our range but more power to you..

    FYI did I mention this car FLIES 0-60 and tracking in the corners like a train? We love that about it too.

    Volt and Leaf just did not come close in performance.

    Now I respect your opinion but thats how we feel. We will buy another i3 assuming I can get it at a reasonable payment.

    John

    1. Josh says:

      Unfortunately service at BMW varies widely dealer to dealer. My wife made me sell her X3 because she was so pissed off at our local dealer. 5 visits in 1.5 years, had to argue to get a loaner every time (only successful twice), zero oil changes (said it wasn’t needed yet, every time).

      Too bad because it was a great driving SUV.

      It crossed BMW off my list regardless of how awesome a plug-in they build. I would still have to battle with that service department. If I move somewhere else, I might consider a BMW again.

  9. John says:

    ZIP meaning we have solar panels…