BMW Won’t Add More Vehicles to i Lineup Unless There’s Sufficient Demand

JAN 31 2014 BY MARK KANE 19

BMW i3

BMW i3

BMW claims to have a backlog for at last 11,000 orders for the i3 under its belt, which will be fulfilled perhaps by the middle of the year as Germany manufacturer slowly ramps up production.

On the other hand, the BMW i8 raises excitement around the world and is likely viewed as a success too.

But all of this is still not enough to encourage the BMW Group to invest more to bring a third i-model to the market.

According to Automotive News, Harald Krueger, BMW’s production chief, stated:

“We need to see how demand for the cars develops.”

BMW invested ~ €2 billion ($2.7 billion) in plug-in vehicles and in the Automotive News article this is referred to as a “gamble on the green vehicles“.

If sales are high enough to justify more investment, BMW is ready with trademarks for other models up to i9.

For now, the 6-month waiting time and 11,000 orders probably mean that 20,000 i3s could be sold globally in the first full year.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: BMW

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19 Comments on "BMW Won’t Add More Vehicles to i Lineup Unless There’s Sufficient Demand"

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So first they boast about how much demand there is for the i3, and then they’ll wait to see if there’s enough demand? Erm…

Then BMW should give us something in the 3 series sedan and X3 crossover to fairly compare demand.

They are giving up, we’ll I guess only Tesla and Nissan will lead.

There is a lot of new hi-tech stuff in the i series, including aluminum chassis and carbon fiber skins, etc. BMW can more easily apply that build knowledge to hi-performance sports cars if they can’t sell BEVs. But, I think they are looking at a complete game changer, especially when the next generation of longer range traction batteries become available. The i 3 weights 2700lbs; the Nissan Leaf is around 3200lbs…that’s an advantage of 500lbs…Wow!

If the LEAF were the same size as the i3, it would be hundreds of pounds likely.

If the LEAF were made out of simple, easy to recycle aluminum like Tesla Model S, it would be lighter. Japanese built LEAFs had aluminum doors for 2011-2012.

Here’s a question for you. What do I do with a million carbon fiber car bodies in the junk yard? Can’t recycle them.

It’s CFRP, not aerospace thermoset expoxy carbon fiber. The plastic will re-melt and can be injected into a new mold. You can chop up the old or damaged parts and make lower strength parts that don’t require a full woven blanket of fibers.

‘Eggs in one basket’ much, BMW?

When looking the demand for Model S and X, BMW’s complainment about the lack of demand is somewhat hilarious!

BMW could only make the most awesome EV ever… Not. 😉

There car is a car that has the range of a high priced Nissan leaf but yet they think they are a Tesla with Tesla prices.

Haven’t you seen just about any review of the i3? You can’t find one without a comparison to Tesla somewhere.

The i3 is BMW’s version of the v 1.5 Leaf, with a genset option. Any other comparisons are simply article filler. :p

I think that all the established brands are going to have a problem measuring demand for plug in vehicles due to the fact that they are so invested in manufacturing ICE powered vehicles and the numbers of those that are made are so comparatively huge. As a result less than 100,000 units a year is practically not worthwhile for them. What is likely to happen if they are not careful is the same thing that often happens when a potentially disruptive technology change happens in any market. Small startup companies, starting from scratch build their own market for the disruptive technology with products that are usually relatively expensive and initially produced in relatively small numbers. They learn and improve their technology rapidly and starting from nothing their growth is phenomenal. At first their sales numbers can only be compared to the low volume segments of the established players but, they gradually start encroaching on the higher volume segments of the entrenched players by offering a superior value proposition. All of a sudden the established players find themselves setting up committees and task forces to try and figure out why sales of their flagship products, their bread and butter, are tanking.… Read more »
I agree with what you are saying to an extent. But I don’t believe that is going to happen in the EV market. For one thing, I suspect we’re AT LEAST 10 years away from EVs selling in enough quantity to start to eat into sales of gasoline cars (outside of the high-end luxury market) And the “other” manufacturers aren’t exactly sitting around on their thumbs. They are watching closely and developing cars of their own. GM has the Volt and Spark EV. Neither are selling in volumes to threaten regular business but they are learning about designing and manufacturing and studying the long-term reliability of various components on these cars. The next generation will likely be more impressive. Honda’s Plug-in Hybrid system is actually fairly impressive, only lacking in battery capacity. The same technology in a car with a larger battery pack would be very nice. Ford seems to be looking to electrify many vehicles in their lineup with weaker, but cheaper plug-in hybrids. A decision that has yet to be determined how successful it will be. BMW and Volkswagen appear to be ready to enter the plug-in space with some fairly well-thought-out products. There are a few others… Read more »

This is not surprising news for anyone living in the corporate world. After all how many EVs is Nissan selling ? Exactly one – even though it is the largest selling EV ever.

Interesting to note: both are fugly. 😉

But but… the other day the story was the BMW only expected to sell a couple of thousand i3s in the US this year. And that the US would be their biggest market.

But this story says a backlog of 11,000 expected to be satisfied by mid year. That implies sales of much more than 2000.

How about building a car that creates demand? . . . like Tesla did.

I guess that is too hard for you BMW?

Design by committee, strikes again.