Despite being pitched by BMW as a perfect urban commuter car, the i3 is becoming a sales hit in areas outside of major city centers, according to BMW North America CEO Ludwig Willisch.
"The strongholds in this country are parts of California, Texas and southern Florida."
Willisch adds that the Northeast's major urban centers, including New York, haven't warmed up to the i3. Willisch reasons that perhaps New Yorkers don't have the environment /sustainability "at the top of minds."
Willisch stated that 2 BMW dealerships in the U.S. now have standalone i showrooms. These showrooms were constructed due to high i sales. Those two dealerships are Crevier BMW in Santa Ana and Stevens Creek BMW in Santa Clara. Both in California.
Automotive News reports:
"The heaviest i3 allocations are being shifted to markets with the hottest demand. In the San Francisco area, dealers retail from 15 to 30 i3s a month, Willisch said.
BMW is approaching "a sustainable rate," of 12,000 i3s annually, he said. Last year, BMW sold 6,092 i3s.
Meanwhile, all dealers want more of the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, he said. The i8 has a base price of $137,450, including shipping. BMW sold 555 i8s in the U.S. last year and probably will sell 1,000 this year, he said. But demand will continue to outstrip supply.
Willisch said, "I am collecting allocations from all around the world."
Source: Automotive News