BMW To Ramp Up i3 Production; Meanwhile, Tesla Designer Chief: "BMW i3 looks like a piece of furniture from Ikea"
|   Friday, December 13, 2013
The Germans' confidence in the potential of the small electric car seems to pay off, with orders exceeding the initial expectations. It is true that the figures originally forecasted by the Germans were some shy, influenced by fear of the public negative reactions. In Frankfurt, BMW announced that it plans to sell 10,000 units by the end of this year.

Those who are familiar with the evolution of the electric models, like the Nissan Leaf or Opel Ampera/Chevy Volt viewed with skepticism the target for the last three months of this year.
However, BMW overturned all expectations in mid-November, when the i3 officially arrived on the mother market in Germany. The Bavarians announced then that their sales office has already registered 10,000 firm orders for i3s.

The ascending evolution led inevitably to a rise in production. Friedrich Eichiner, BMW head of the financial operations, said after more than a month that increasing demand will lead to an adjustment to production. That means new investment in the assembly line.

Although BMW has not officially recognized how much money it spent to develop, produce and distribute the new i3, analysts say that about two billion euros left the company treasury for this purpose. Next year, in the spring, the range will be enlarged with the addition of the i8 hybrid supercar, also exhibited this fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

While the Germans are very proud of their first electric car, the American manufacturer Tesla, with experience of vehicles with zero emission comes to counterattack them. And it does through the voice of Franz von Holzhausen, the designer company, which compares the youngest i3 with a piece of furniture from Ikea.

In an interview given to the AutoBild, von Holzhausen said that i3 is a far-cry of "The Ultimate Driving Machine" slogan, proudly promoted by BMW to emphasize the dynamic qualities of the cars produced at Munich. The Tesla designer says he does not believe in the capacity of the i3 to comply with the brand standards.

"The i3 is more an IKEA piece of furniture as a design piece of furniture, says von Holzhausen. I'm not sure if the i3 meets the basic standards of the brand. From pure design perspective, the car is of course unique. The interior is very modern. It is very clean, thin seats. I like the material used. If the i3 is on the road, he looks a bit strange and unconventional. I personally feel that car must not look so funky. The electric drive train and the proportions are unique enough."
The referral to a piece of furniture comes after von Holzhausen declared long time ago that Tesla prefers to buy furniture from Ikea, than to invest in interior design and architectural elements.

Presently, BMW and Tesla are not competing in the same segment, but both brands plan on new models that will likely put them at odds with each other. BMW is thought to prepare an i5 model which might compete with Tesla for the same customers. Tesla is also doing the finishing touches on its Model X and work has already started on their entry-level sedan.
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