Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya has presumed the entire (BMW 3 Series) business will “go to zero” judging by the number of pre-orders made for Tesla Model 3. Appearing on CNBC’s Fast Money Half Time Report, Palihapitiya claims that orders for the 3 Series are already being hit significantly by Tesla’s more affordable EV, adding that people do not know anything about the level of demand surrounding the popular Tesla Model. Adam Jones of Morgan Stanley has opposed the claim, citing both political and international contexts to the businesses.
Palihapitiya is a former member of Facebook’s senior executive team and has just attended the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York last September 12. Earlier this week, the investment analyst pointed out there is not one person in his right mind who would choose BMW 3 Series over Tesla.
Despite this, BMW i3 has received a makeover in the hopes of competing with Tesla’s long ranging, lower priced sedan. The revamped i3 will be featuring a host of optional driver assistance technologies including adaptive cruise control though we know it won’t make the range any better. Like before, the i3 can only run up to 160 kilometers per charge plus it comes with an extended range of about 290 km. In contrast, the Tesla Model 3 boasts a range that goes somewhere between 350km and 500km.
Regardless, the BMW i3 is now offered with the new i3S model. The sportier version now comes with black and red body paint, wider wheelbase and a much lower stance of about 10mm. There is also a new set of thicker wheel sizes each measuring 20-inch wide in bi-spoke design and a choice between jet black or two-tone finish at no extra cost. The i3S can feature Carum Spice Grey cloth or Giga Brown natural leather interior while other color options for the body include Imperial metallic Blue and Melbourne Red. When it comes to power, the i3’s usual 7.2 seconds sprint time has improved to 6.8 seconds thanks to the new 184hp and 199lb-ft electric motor.
Still, it is no surprise why the Tesla Model 3 has positioned itself early at the front line for having accumulated as many as 455,000 reservations (equivalent to 455 million USD deposits). Prior to this report, it can be recalled that Jason Calacanis, another venture capitalist from Silicon Valley, has heavily praised the Model 3 as well. BMW so far has delivered about 83,000 units of the i3 following its 2013 launch. Despite the rather slow takeoff, the demand for i3 is said to be finally picking up after selling more than 25,000 examples from the previous year.