BMW may be scaling back i3 production to make room for more i8s

BMW i8
BMW’s i8 hybrid was received extremely well upon arrival its in the United States. So well, in fact, that it’s pretty much impossible to find one.

It’s easy to understand why. The i8 has performance of a sports car, the fuel economy of a bicycle, and the distinct, eye-catching styling of, well, nothing else on the road. The i8’s appeal is as unique and its demand is high.

BMW has sold just 67 i8s in the U.S. through September, but the sales potential for the 231-horsepower coupe is much higher than the numbers show. Ian Robertson, Board of Management Member at BMW, told Automotive News his company has plans to address that.

“We are looking at taking a few i3 slots and making i8s because they go own the same production line,” he said.

The i3 sold a comparably huge 3,104 units in the U.S. in the same time frame, which speaks to the EVs broader appeal. BMW is reportedly producing around 100 ‘i’ vehicles per day, and Robertson says the German automaker is selling about the same amount worldwide.

Related: BMW i8 review video

Still, he recognizes that shrinking the production output of the i3 and i8 is in the best interest of BMW’s customer base.

“The wait times are too long, and we will adjust that and sell more i8s, but cautiously,” he continued.

American deliveries of the plug-in hybrid just began in August, and already the car is sold out until 2015. Robertson claims the carbon fiber-laden ‘i’ range has added new polish to BMW’s already impressive lineup, showcasing the brand’s potential as a leader in lightweight construction, fuel efficiency, and next-gen tech.

“When I look at brand analysis around the world, technology and innovation are really up [for BMW], and that pleases me,” he said.

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