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Interesting BMW I Intel

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by lolachampcar, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    So, I got the camber set where I wanted along with the ride height and took the replacement Red/Black P85+ by to see my buddy at the BMW dealer. Up until the Model S, he was my go to guy for BMWs (mostly M5s) for both me and my wife. In addition, he knows a thing or two about driving and how cars handle having won the Indy Lights title before hanging up his Hans. Anyway, he got to drive my first P85 and I wanted him to see the difference in the plus package.


    The interesting thing that came out of the visit (apart from the big Tesla Grin on his face in front of all his buds) was that a very large portion of the floor space is being reallocated to the upcoming I roll out. BMW is spending big bucks on the I push in the US. This is one of the largest dealers in the nation and apparently BMW corporate is serious about moving BEVs.
     
  2. fengshui

    fengshui Member

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    That's surprising, given that the i3 won't be available here till Q2 2014. Are they expecting vehicles earlier than that, or is it just very-pre-planning?
     
  3. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    I'm also skeptical that there will be little more than a halo car for them in the states. Have they posted anticipated sales for 2014? Guessing 5K. I hope I'm low, would be nice to have more EV's on the road.
     
  4. tommolog

    tommolog Member

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    They haven't speculated specifically about US sales, but their sales target was reported at 30,000 worldwide per year and they said they have the capacity to make 40,000 if necessary. I would think it will be a nearly 50/50 split with about 12K to 15K per year in the US and the balance in Europe as the target.

    The dealerships that want to sell the i cars will have to dedicate a specific amount of floor space for only i brand models and they also are required to keep a certain minimum stock of them so they are there and available for immediate purchase. It's up to the dealers to decide if they want to be BMW i dealers so not every BMW dealership will carry the line. I think BMW expects about 30% to 40% of their dealers to sign on for the BMW i franchise.
     
  5. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    That would be consistent with what I was told. As far as the lead time, it would take a good 8 to 12 months for this dealer to accomplish what to me are ambitious plans. They will also be sinking a good deal of cash into the effort as well. It was volume of the investment in $, floor space and personnel that I found interesting.
     
  6. tommolog

    tommolog Member

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    Dealers need to pay a BMW i franchise fee which is (a dealer told me this) $100,000. They have to purchase a lot of equipment to service the i brand cars, commit to having a healthy inventory and I believe they also have to keep a couple i3's there for service loaners so if you take your i3 in for service you can request an i3 loaner. A lot of people in the ActiveE program complained when they took their car in for service that they had to buy gas for the BMW loaner car they were given. I'm glad BMW listened.
     
  7. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    From what y'all are saying BMW is NOT treating the "i" as a halo car series so hats off, but I'm still skeptical as the car *used* to look appealing and now that the profile has been shown it is NOT appealing. What mainly draws my eye is the rear window sag. And the window lines in general. I really hope they sell for other reasons and BMW could force the issue with massive marketing. But it will be interesting to see how many they sell/demand *before* slashing prices (which I hope they don't have to do until they come out with an updated model).
     
  8. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Kind of sounds like a Tesla Service Center. Except Tesla is still working on the "healthy inventory of service loaners" part.
     
  9. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    Something about the loaners keep getting bought...
     
  10. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    I believe BMW is the first of the existing auto companies to get really serious about EV's. We know they have invested at least $3B in the startup of the i program. In August they are sending a team from Munich to do in-depth interviews with existing EV owners. It will be interesting to see what kind of questions they ask and how knowledgeable they are about the Model S.
     
  11. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    and how much has Tesla spent to date?
     
  12. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    Before the recent secondary/convertible debt offering they had raised about $1.1B in equity + the $465M DOE loan, so about 1/2 of what BMW invested. Startup efficiency vs. big company bloat!
     
  13. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    BMW will be making a BEV (with generator option) and a PHEV. GM makes an EREV-PHEV and a BEV.

    Also note that Nissan-Renault has spent over $5B.

    BMW has to meet ZEV, CAFE and European standards too, and is facing the prospect of having a large chunk of their market eaten by Tesla or Chevrolet/Cadillac. BMW doesn't have an interest in Tesla as MB does. Tesla has just taken the risk away by demonstrating that you can have a luxury BEV and some of GM Volt's conquests have come from the large CA 3 series market and showed that it's not just about performance.

    I'd say that BMW were always serious but their hand has been forced.
     
  14. tommolog

    tommolog Member

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    Yes, there is undoubtedly some of that, but you also need to realize a lot of the money invested so far was for research for the extensive use of carbon. You will see the fruits of that investment across the entire product line; in their gas and hybrid offerings as well as in BMW i's electric products.
     

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