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BMW i3 and i8 interest exceeds production capacity says CEO

BMW chief executive Norbert Reithofer has revealed that both the electric i3 and plug-in hybrid i8 models are oversubscribed, with demand exceeding current production capacity.

Reithofer confirmed to Auto Motor und Sport that after 11,000 pre-orders and 100,000 test drive requests for the progressive i3 hatchback the German automaker has more interest than it can deliver on. The same is true for the $135,700 carbon fiber i8 sportscar.

“Our dealers tell us that they could sell all the cars we’re currently building immediately,” Reithofer said. “The first deliveries of the i8 take place in June. At the moment we have more customer queries than we can deliver based on the current production capacity – that applies to i8 and i3.”

Six-month waiting lists for the i3 and, consequentially, accusations of profiteering by US BMW dealerships were originally thought to stem from a bottleneck in the supply of the carbon fiber that both cars use extensively. The incredibly strong but lightweight material takes time to manufacture at SGL Carbon’s $100 million hydroelectric plant at Moses Lake, Washington.


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