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BMW Mulls Boosting Electric-Car Capacity on Early Demand

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), the world’s biggest maker of luxury vehicles, will have to increase investment in electric-car production if demand for the new i3 model continues in line with initial orders.

Customers have reserved more than 8,000 of the battery-powered i3, which will cost $41,350 in the U.S., even before the car hits showrooms in Europe next month, Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner said yesterday in Amsterdam.
Our Electric Car Is Encouraged by Tesla: BMW CEO
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July 29 (Bloomberg) — Norbert Reithofer, chief executive officer of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, talks about the i3, the luxury-car maker’s first electric vehicle. He speaks with Bloomberg’s Willem Marx in New York on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.” (Source: Bloomberg)

BMW expects to sell more than 10,000 of the four-person car next year and “will adjust capacity according to demand,” he said at a press conference. “If demand holds, which is what it’s looking like, we will soon have to invest more.”

The maker of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce vehicles is upgrading its lineup with the i3, the new 4-Series coupe and a revamp of the X5 sport-utility vehicle to maintain its sales lead over Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s Audi and Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes-Benz. Both competitors have vowed to surpass Munich-based BMW in deliveries by the end of the decade.

The i3 will go on sale in Germany for 34,950 euros ($47,440) on Nov. 16, followed by the U.S., China and Japan in the first half of next year. The model made its public debut July 29 at simultaneous events in New York, London and Beijing. The push to sell the electric car and recoup investments in the technology underpinning the vehicle include an international print, TV and Internet advertising campaign.
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