BMW Expects i3 EV to Be Profitable From Launch image

BMW is confident that the i3 EV will sell amazingly well, even if the EV market is not where automakers expected it to be.

“We are confident we will earn money with every BMW i3 we sell from the launch on,” head of production Harald Krueger said at an event at BMW’s plant in Leipzig earlier this week.

BMW has made an investment of almost 655 million euro in its carbon-fiber production chain and mobility network in Germany, said Mr. Krueger adding that part of this sum was already absorbed in the past years. The German automaker plans to increase its EBIT margin from 8% to 10% in this auto segment.

A new type of vehicle architecture will help BMW cut the production time in half, as the passenger cell for the i3 is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic molded and glued, instead of pressed and welded. This production process will require with 50% less power and 70% less water.

“Combined, all these effects boost profitability significantly,” Mr. Krueger said, adding that manufacturing costs for carbon-fiber body components have just about halved compared with the initial costs for industrial production.

The company did not offer information on the model’s sales potential but said that many customers have already expressed their interest and that the best markets for this model are expected to be Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the US, the UK, Canada, China and Japan.