BMW Doubled i8 Production Due To Strong Demand
The BMW i8 is selling like hotcakes, and has been since the German manufacturer opened the order books for the hybrid sports car. It took only a couple of months for the i8 to sell out in the UK, and three more for the Euro-spec model’s waiting list to grow to a whopping 18 months. That period has decreased to around four months in 2015, but it’s quite obvious that the Germans are still struggling to keep up with demand. As a result, BMW decided to double i8 production at its plant in Leipzig, according to company production boss Harald Krueger. The facility now builds 20 cars a day, which should help shorten the waiting period to a more reasonable two months.
BMW increased production of the i8 nearly 12 months after it did the same with the other i vehicle in its lineup, the i3. The electric compact car, which sold more than 10,000 units globally last year, is facing different problems, as certain markets do not offer sufficient incentives for the zero-emission car. "Wherever governments offer tangible incentives for e-mobility, the registration figures for the BMW i3 soar," BMW Group CEO Norbert Reithofer said at the company’s annual press conference in Munich. To help improve the acceptance of the technology and widen its appeal among younger drivers, BMW will start rolling out the i3 across its global DriveNow car-sharing fleet in London, San Francisco, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich later this year.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i8.
Why it matters
Not being able to meet demand for the i8 is a problem for BMW, but it’s a good problem to have, especially given the hybrid sports car commands a $136,500 sticker. Munich certainly has the resources to increase production when needed and it’s only a matter of time until the waiting period will become, for the first time since BMW began accepting orders for the i8, normal.
On the other, by increasing production BMW has thrown its plans to build the i8 as a low-volume sports car into the dumpster. That’s actually good for the company’s coffers, but the i8 could lose its hard-to-get appeal. I’m not sure what BMW wants right now, but we will find out soon enough.
Read more about the BMW i8 in our full review here.
Source: Automotive News