BMW to Play Wait and See Before Expanding i Range
BMW has bet big on green cars, spending 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) on its i3 extended-range electric vehicle and i8 plug-in hybrid, but it will gauge market response before adding further models. According to a new report in Automotive News, BMW production chief Harald Krueger said initial orders of the BMW i3 have surpassed expectations, and some customers may have to wait up to six months. "We need to see how demand develops," Krueger said. While the Bavarian automaker will have both models on sale this year, it currently has trademarked the i range up to i9, at least leaving the window open to expand the range with the same nomenclature. We recently drove the BMW i3 and found its approach to an electric city car unique, and premium feeling. But we were also disappointed with its driving dynamics, which were absent of the automaker's usually pleasing performance, like that of the 2014 BMW M235i we recently drove. While we don't expect a city runabout to match the dynamics of the far costlier Tesla Model S, underwhelming performance is something we're not used to when seeing the Beamer badge. The i3 is currently built at the automaker's plant in Leipzig, Germany. An agreement with SGL Carbon--based in the U.S.--guarantees it can meet demand for its carbon fiber reinforced plastic, an advanced, lightweight material used in the i range. Source: Automotive News
Ford idles two F-150 plants to retool and prepare for the production of the new aluminum model.