i3 will tilt Bmw’s image toward innovation and sustainability, CEO says

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 5, 2013

If the Bmw i8 plug-in hybrid sports coupe will be marketed as a rival for Porsche and Ferrari, we can’t say the same thing about the recently introduced i3. According to Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW of North America, the smaller i3 will be marketed as a showpiece of innovation. Moreover, the Bmw i3 will tilt company’s image towards innovation and sustainability, according to the same Willisch.

CEO of BMW of North America says that Bmw cars are still perceived as fuel-hungry performance cars in the United States, despite fuel consumption has been greatly improved over the years. Although electric cars are not quite popular in the United States, Willisch predicts that the Bmw i3 will be in high demand but the bad news is that the Bavarian carmaker will bring a limited number of vehicles stateside.

For those who don’t know, the Bmw i3 will cost $42,275, including shipping, before a $7,500 federal tax credit or any state incentives. The i3 will offer a range of 80 to 100 miles, while with the range extender the mileage will be double. For those who are not willing to pay the mentioned amount of money on the i3, the German company will not offer the low-price deals people saw at the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Spark EV or the Fiat 500e.

"We put a lot of resources into it so we have no plans to sell it cheap," Willisch said. Bmw has 338 dealers in the United States, but 50 of them decided not to sell the car. According to Jacob Harb, head of electric vehicles and strategy for BMW of North America, the dealers that don’t sell the car in the United States are either small or in rural areas. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

Topics: bmw, bmw i3, electric car, ceo

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