The 2014 BMW i3 is not slated to hit US showrooms until the second quarter of next year, but the response BMW has received for the all-electric hatchback has been positive enough that the automaker is already considering boosting production capacity. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that more than 8,000 customers have reserved an i3 so far, which is high, especially considering that BMW only planned to sell 10,000 i3s total in 2014.

Talking to BMW CFO Friedrich Eichiner, the report says that if the demand holds for the i3, BMW would increase capacity accordingly. The i3 goes on sale next month in Germany before a global roll out in the US, China and Japan, and with a starting price of $41,350, it is priced slightly higher than current small plug-in vehicles offered in the US like the Chevy Volt, Ford Focus Electric and Toyota Prius Plug-in, though features more use of advanced, lightweight materials.


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  • 56 Comments
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      The 8000 reservations are with no money down. That doesn't say a lot for whether people will actually buy the car. Nissan had 30K reservations for the Leaf when it had a $50 reservation fee. They didn't sell 30K for a long time after that. Tesla had 15K reservations and 90% of those became reality, but the fee was $40K or $5K up front. So I'm not putting a lot of credence to BMW's 8,000 reservations.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        Oh, you think it's just the people who clicked the "sign up" button on the website and entered their email. That would explain where BMW got the info from. It still think it'll sell. If BMW will make enough, it should outsell the LEAF in my area, making the 2nd only to the Model S in sales in this critical region.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          Reservations are not a good indicator... but substantial deposits (like Tesla)... are a pretty good indicator.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          Personally, I hope it's a huge success and they sell even more than the 10K they are predicting. I'm just commenting that the "reservations" aren't a good indicator of future sales. It shows interest, not demand. Sales are what will count, and as I mentioned, I hope they are really big. I'm glad to hear that the Bay Area has a lot of interest.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          @Joe Unlikely as it seems, there were still a lot of cancellations even with the Model S. Or, people would make enough modifications to their choice that Tesla gave them a new reservation number. That happened when someone dropped their Signature reservation for general production, and vice-versa. I expect, with how things are going for them, that those few that dropped out have come back and bought the car.
        jonnybimmer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        To be fair, if BMW is only expecting to sell 10,000 for it's debut year, I can understand BMW being excited with a pre-order list covering 80% of that run. There may be no money down, but I'd imagine BMW isn't allowing just anyone to put their name on the pre-order list. Even if half of that list ends up flaking, that's still almost half of their first year production taken care of right off the bat. But then again, these are the same people who think the 4 Series four-door "Coupe", 3 Series GT and X4 are good ideas, so there are definitely reasons to question their decisions.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        That is a good point, but I do think they will sell around 5-8K very quickly...
        purrpullberra
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        Good point. I wrote my comment already but I suppose you are right that this number may not represent actual demand. It seems close enough that I stand by my point made above. But these numbers may not pan out when the sales start. I'd bet on more than 10k sales a year.
      iris behr
      • 1 Year Ago
      @ Rochester. Advances like this typically do start in CA, OR, WA and then to the Northeast, sometimes a good few years before it gets adopted/accepted nationwide. This was true to emission regulations, though I think all states have now caught up
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Car design is always very subjective. Some unusual vehicles which once seemed ugly, become the forerunners of a school of design and go on to be classics, other just remain oddities. I like the i3, and think it will sell in successful numbers for a BMW. Certainly it's sales will exceed the gloomy predictions of those who derisively dismissed the i3 as " just a compliance car " . Like all BMW's it not a car for everyone, and it's range extender option will anger purists, and people who expect an EREV to be like a Volt. It will be interesting to see how many are ordered with this option. Personally, I prefer the GM Volt, but the BMW i3 is certainly a welcome addition to the growing ranks of EV's.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marcopolo
        I cant see the range extender angering anyone. It is optional. If they made you buy it I could see a little anger... I can also see why many people do not like the look of the i3. It is a very different look for a vehicle. If I order one, it would be without the ranger extender, but I would have at least two other ICE vehicles to chose from for longer trips...
      sixspeedclutchhh
      • 1 Year Ago
      this will easily sell 10k a year. it makes perfect sense for those with a decent income to have as a errand car or a country club shuttle, as well as those who live in crowded cities as the package makes a lot of sense. but...... now that i've read the comments on this board i realize that the entire world must HATE the car and i doubt it will sell more than 500. i'm so glad i took the time to read all this hate or else i wouldn't have realized what a disaster this car will be. Thanks, haters!
      sp33dklz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Until that initial demand hits rock bottom. Best of luck, "i" cars.
      Not sure
      • 1 Year Ago
      UGH! What an ugly car!!! I I know you will have the loyal BMW owners who will have to have it.... but seriously.. why? Its ugly.. over priced.... over hyped... and over talked about. With so many other options out there, this car should not be a seller
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Not sure
        Well I guess it is because you opinion is not definitive.... Many people will like this little guy because it is quite different. I personally like the looks, especially the interior...
        tump
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Not sure
        I don't think it's ugly. Therefore, you're wrong.
      Zaki
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW is desperately hoping for the success of this pug ugly thing. There might be some brisk sale just like the Fiat 500 in the first few months but I cannot see this car being a high demand item after the first 6 months it is on sale. It is just not mainstream enough in design or concept, at least not at this time.
        Txdesign
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zaki
        You sound like those people who are always complaining about Apple prices as they go from record to record in sales. People will pay more for premium, cool products (Apple, MINI, Tesla, i3). The main stream products (Leaf, Volt) are not selling because people on a budget are not shopping for electric cars. People will pay $2K for an Apple laptop but never a Dell. Tell me again why they should go mainstream in design or concept, or price for that matter.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zaki
        Yeah, it is apparently not a popular decision but I don't think this will sell great. It looks weird and it is kind of in a no-man's land between the Leaf and the Model S. The Leaf is an econobox but at least it is relatively inexpensive. The Model S is very expensive but it is beautiful and performs great. This is kind of between those. It has a range not much better than the Leaf but costs much more. But the performance is no where near the Model S nor does it look as good.
          jeff
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Spec, I guess people are just different. I think it looks fine and even futuristic. To me it is just a higher end leaf with better performance, handling and luxury... I do not see that as a bad thing... No the performance is NOT at the Model S level. But it is at least $28,000 less expensive and has the BEST performance on any EV other than the model S. Maybe it is just me, but $28,000 is still a big difference in price to me....
          MTN RANGER
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          At least BMW didn't do a Cadillac and price the i3 at $76k!
      MTU 5.0
      • 1 Year Ago
      To continue piling on, this is also an extremely ugly vehicle, at least from the profile view. Terrible.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MTU 5.0
        My EV is probably one of the ugliest in the world, but people absolutely love it..... You can see it at: www.EVThing.me
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jeff
          I enjoyed your site and videos as well.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jeff
          @ jeff Thanks for sharing your video. Congratulations, your EV looks very professional and well finished. ( far better than my first conversion ! :)
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MTU 5.0
        Bulldogs are ugly, but some people love them in spite of their looks. That will be true for the i3 also. It will sell in spite of its looks and a few people will actually love the way the car looks.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MTU 5.0
        Yeah, I don't mean pile on but really . . . I still can't figure out what they were thinking with this design. I still think the front hood (or bonnet for you Brits) looks like two different cars welded together.
        MTN RANGER
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MTU 5.0
        Maybe I'm weird, but I actually really like its look.
      Alexi
      • 1 Year Ago
      I do not see the appeal. Plus, if demand is so high, why did BMW just lobby the EU so hard to delay the upcoming euro emissions regs?
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can they at least drop the two-tone paint job that makes it look like Frankencar build from different cars?
      Rochester
      • 1 Year Ago
      Based on demand? Who's demanding this thing, exactly? Must be a west-coast thing.
        jonnybimmer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rochester
        LA/SF resident here, can confirm people are excited about it here. At least until the 30k Tesla shows up, then they'll move onto that.
          Rochester
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jonnybimmer
          Well, there it is then. I guarantee you will never see one of these cars in Upstate NY. If there's a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt or Smart FourTwo somewhere around here, they're hiding.
        Txdesign
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rochester
        Relax. Not every EV is an socialist takeover in the making. I think choice is good in any market place. As long as you can continue to drive whatever you want, why do you care if someone chooses an EV? Oh wait, you think THEY are coming to take you truck aren't you?
          Txdesign
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Txdesign
          Your comment about this being "a west coast thing" makes my comments pretty close to the mark I think. Also your comment about "who demands this thing". If manufacturers waited until there is a demand for something they would miss the boat. These new EVs are cutting edge products of new technology. They will come down in price and increase range with every new generation, just like computers do. Then there will be a demand. But that can't happen until we have companies willing to take a risk early on.
          Rochester
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Txdesign
          Your comments about me are way off the mark, Txdesign. Don't know how else to say that except that I don't even remotely fit whatever image you have. Comment on the topic at hand, Boss, not crazy assumptions about the poster.
          Txdesign
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Txdesign
          Sorry, my comment was meant for "Rochester" not "jonnybimmer".
      Ross
      • 1 Year Ago
      That tire package makes the Prius look like a supercar. That tire width is appropriate for mopeds, and dirt bikes...certainly not for a car with a BMW badge.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ross
        A lighter car DOES not need as wide of tires. (but yea it looks a little strange) This thing was recorded at .87g on a rain soaked autocross course recently...
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