The initial demand for BMW’s i3 electric car surpassed the automaker’s expectations, possibly leading to an increase in production. BMW's Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner said that the car will go on sale in Europe next month yet but already, it has received over 8,000 orders of the battery-powered i3 compact models.
At Monday’s press conference in Amsterdam, Eichiner said that BMW hopes to sell over 10,000 units of the i3s in 2014. He also said that the company "will adjust capacity according to demand.” He said that if the demand for the model is persistent, the company will have to invest more. The industry is glad about BMW's early success. Automakers have struggled to make these new electric cars gain traction with alternative-drive vehicles even as consumers are worried about the dislike for higher prices as well as the short distance driven before it has to be recharged.
On Nov. 16, the i3 is set to go on sale in Germany. Within the first half of 2014, it will arrive in the U.S., China and Japan. The i3 is priced at 34,950 euros in Germany and will cost $41,350 in the U.S. BMW says that it anticipates that the i3 will display a good sales potential for the i3 in affluent urban regions of California, Europe and Asia. Sascha Gommel, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Commerzbank, said that it’s a “good sign” for the i3 to attract plenty of interest.
He claimed that BMW has already absorbed the research and development costs for the vehicle and that the car is profitable. This means that each car sold results to profits. Analysts said that BMW has invested at least 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) on developing the "i" series.
BMW developed the i3 from scratch instead of converting an existing model, an approach to electric vehicles that is different from other conventional automakers. Actually, the i3 is the first car for BMW's i sub-brand. The i8 hybrid supercar is set to go on sale in 2013. It’s believed that there will soon be more models. Last July, BMW's sales chief Ian Robertson said that the brand has trademarked i1 through i9.