Despite costing a very pretty penny, the BMW i8’s sales momentum doesn’t look like it’s about to wane anytime soon. The Munich automaker is struggling to keep pace with ravenous customer demand.
Despite recently upping their factory output volume by 50 percent to 20 cars per day, now it seems that that output is set to double yet again for their Leipzig factory, so says a report by Automobil Produktion. The current waiting period for a buyer to take delivery of his or her new i8 is beyond four months, and it would take far longer if it weren’t for BMW's efforts to slash that figure from where it stood previously: 18 months.
According to the report, BMW’s Chief Development Officer Klaus Fröhlich told Automotive New Europe that the company does not intend to add or significantly alter their ‘i’ line-up until 2020 at the earliest and that the progress of the next-generation vehicle is still in the brainstorming phase, with the company evidently not in a hurry to capitalize on this trove of market demand.
Certainly, they know they’ve got a winner on their hands and it’s now up to BMW’s top brass to weigh their plans for the i8 to remain a low-volume model up against the increasing pressure to satisfy the demands of their many customers willing to part with that much cash for a car unlike any other - an outcome that could singlehandedly up-end the hybrid sports car market out from obscurity and into the mainstream.
As it stands, BMW has sold 17,800 units of both the i3 and i8 during 2014, out of which 1,748 units were i8s. Increasing interest in hybrid and fully electric vehicles are only expected to rise steadily, and at least for now, there’s only one car that fits the mould of this movement's poster child.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.