2014 BMW i3 Demand High, Possible Production Increase
Demand for BMW's new compact electric luxury car—the 2014 BMW i3—has already exceeded the automaker's expectations, leading BMW to consider increasing production. The car won't go on sale in Germany for another month, but customers have already reserved more than 8,000 i3 electric vehicle models, according to a report in Automotive News Europe BMW's chief financial officier Friedrich Eichiner said the automaker "will adjust capacity according to demand. If demand holds, which is what it's looking like, we will soon have to invest more." This comes as we recently reported that car rental companies are struggling with EVs, as customers are concerned about recharging, and range anxiety. Nevertheless, BMW says it believes affluent urban areas in California, Europe, and Asia will be strong potential sales areas. The BMW i3 is the first model in the "i" electrified vehicle range to debut, and is expected to be followed up by the i8 hybrid supercar next year. The German luxury and sports car automaker has already invested approximately $2.7 million in research and development for the i sub-brand, and is taking the long view; BMW's sales chief has said the automaker has already trademarked i1 through i9, leaving the door open for future models with the same "i" nomenclature. While going on sale in Germany on November 16, we'll see the first of the i models here in the U.S. sometime next year, as a 2014 BMW i3 model, with driving impressions coming well before then. The 2014 i3 is expected to start around $41,350. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription required)
Nissan's Smyrna, Tennessee, plant celebrates 10 million vehicles and production of the new 2014 Rogue.