BMW has increased the production of the i3 electric city car by 43% to meet demand that has exceeded the carmaker’s initial expectations.
The premium automaker has raised daily output at its Leipzig factory from 70 vehicles to 100 vehicles in recent weeks, according to Harald Krueger, BMW production chief.
BMW has already built more than 5,000 i3s since the beginning of the year, Krueger said. The current production rate translates to about 20,000 vehicles for the full year, almost twice as much as BMW’s initial sales forecast.
BMW began rolling out the i3 last November and will begin bringing the i8 hybrid sports car to market in June. Both vehicles feature a carbon fibre chassis to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency. BMW also said that in February, the firm will build a second production hall at a jointly run plant with SGL Carbon SE (SGL) to boost assembly of the material.
“Following the market introduction in Europe, we’re now rolling out the i3 in the U.S.,” Krueger said in the statement. “The U.S. will be the largest market for the i3.”