BMW Mulls Boosting ElectricCar Capacity on Early Demand Businessweek

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BMW Mulls Boosting Electric-Car on Early Demand

By Christoph October 15, 2013

The BMW i3, the electric produced by Bayerische Motoren AG (BMW), is unveiled at the world launch in London on July 29, Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Motoren Werke AG (BMW), the biggest maker of luxury is considering a production increase for the i3 car after early demand for the exceeded the automaker’s expectations.

have reserved more 8,000 of the compact city which will cost in the U.S. even before the model hits European next month, Chief Officer Friedrich Eichiner late yesterday.

“If demand which is what it’s like, we will soon to invest more,” he said at a conference in Amsterdam. BMW expects to more than 10,000 of the i3 year and “will adjust according to demand.”

BMW’s preliminary success is a sign for the entire industry. automakers are rolling out scores of new cars, they have with efforts to gain with alternative-drive vehicles consumer concern that systems offer only distance before a recharge is and objections to higher prices.

The i3 go on sale in Germany for 34,950 ($47,440) on Nov. 16, followed by the China and Japan in the first of next year. The model its public debut July 29 at events in New York, London and

The push to sell the electric car and investments in the technology underpinning the include an international print, TV and advertising campaign.

Shares Gain

“The in the i3 electric car is generally a good said Sascha Gommel, a analyst with Commerzbank AG. has already absorbed the research and costs for the vehicle and the car is profitable. So car sold contributes to profits.”

The gained as much as 1.74 or 2.2 percent, to 82.37 euros and up 1.69 euros as of 10:41 in Frankfurt trading. The stock has 13 percent this year, the Munich-based manufacturer at $52.9 euros.

Volkswagen AG (VOW), biggest carmaker, outlined in September to offer as many as 40 or hybrid vehicles. The move by VW, is just now bringing out alternative-drive echoes a broader shift in the with all major automakers at month’s Frankfurt auto presenting electric or hybrid for the first time.

Still, Renault SA (RNO) and Nissan Motor (7201) Co. together are the car industry’s largest of electric autos, will a 2016 deadline of 1.5 million Carlos Ghosn, the head of companies, said in early Deliveries of battery-powered cars by the and Japanese manufacturers totaled vehicles last year.


BMW is addressing concerns so-called range anxiety a unique option: the use of a sport-utility Customers who buy the i3 have the option to a feature allowing them to a conventional auto like the X5 SUV for several weeks a year as a

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The maker of BMW, Mini and vehicles is upgrading its lineup the i3, the new 4-Series coupe and a revamp of the X5 SUV to its sales lead over Audi and Daimler AG (DAI)’s Both competitors have to surpass BMW in deliveries by the end of the decade.

The on development of new models and expanding capacity caused the operating margin at BMW’s auto to narrow to 9.6 percent in the second from 11.6 percent a earlier.

Maintaining Profitability

have to work very to keep profitability within our corridor” of 8 percent to 10 percent in the years because of large required to meet stricter regulations and the weak car market in Eichiner said yesterday.

Sales gains in China and the have helped BMW cushion the of the sovereign-debt crisis on Europe’s car which is sliding to a 20-year BMW, which doesn’t a recovery in demand in its home before the second half of expects global deliveries to this year for a third annual sales record.

in China and North America to be strong,” Eichiner said. “It sense for us to think about production capacity in North with the U.S. and Mexico being options, he said.

The of the i3 will go ahead as planned month and won’t be impacted by that typically affect the up of a new model, he said. The executive was to a report by Wirtschaftswoche over the that problems bonding components for the car led to a 10-day production

To contact the reporter on this Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at

To contact the editor responsible for story: Chad Thomas at

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