Even though it hasn’t even been released yet, the BMW i3 already appears to be quite the success — with 8,000 preorders already placed, most of the 10,000 vehicles that were intended to be produced in the car’s first year are already spoken for. Because of the high levels of demand, BMW is now considering boosting production levels in order to keep up, according to recent reports.
High demand for an EV is certainly a good thing, but until the i3 has been out for awhile, the long-term prospects of the model are hard to predict — how many of the preorders are the result of the BMW brand itself? How many are because of the qualities of the i3?
With regard to the production boost, “BMW will adjust capacity according to demand,” BMW’s Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner announced in a statement. “If demand holds, which is what it’s looking like, we will soon have to invest more.”
Automotive News provides more:
BMW’s preliminary success is a positive sign for the entire industry. While automakers are rolling out scores of new electric cars, they have struggled with efforts to gain traction with alternative-drive vehicles amid consumer concern that powering systems offer only limited distance before a recharge is needed and objections to higher prices.
BMW has said the automaker sees good sales potential for the i3 in affluent urban regions of California, Europe and Asia.
“The interest in the i3 electric car is generally a good sign,” stated Sascha Gommel, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Commerzbank. “BMW has already absorbed the research and development costs for the vehicle and the car is profitable. So every car sold contributes to profits.” (emphasis added)
The i3 is currently scheduled to go on sale in Germany on November 16, with the US release following in early 2014 — along with the release in the Chinese and Japanese markets. In Germany it will retail for €34,950. In the US, it will retail for $41,350.