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BMW of Austin to open downtown showroom, launch electric car – Austin Business Journal

BMW of Austin said Friday that it will open downtown’s only car showroom, plus it will launch the German-based company’s newest electric line of cars.

The announcement at City Hall, which is next door to the shop BMW will take, puts Austin on the same page as a handful of other major American cities that have been also selected by BMW as launch sites for the company’s i3 electric car, said BMW of Austin President Steve Late. Due to space constraints, BMW’s downtown spot at 416 W. Cesar Chavez Street won’t be anything like a traditional dealership; inventory will need to be kept offsite and it’ll be relatively small. Another twist: BMW will only show off electric cars at this showroom.

The move is an affirmation of Austin’s status as a leading green technology hub and of the Second Street shopping district, said Kevin Johns, the director of the city’s economic growth and redevelopment office. The announcement was billed in a city press release late Thursday as a “major announcement about electric vehicles and the Austin economy.”



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