BMW’s “i” sub-brand has started this year on not so encouraging sales terms, reporting a nearly 23 percent drop in the first quarter.
As part of its 5-year strategy, the Munich-based premium maker said a month back that it would push towards extending the electric- and hybrid-car lineup. However, the “i” sub-brand has not delivered the desired sales results this year. The demand for the i3 and i8 models has been on a downward slope in the first three months of 2016, as BMW have sold 5,128 “i” cars, marking a nearly 23 percent decrease over a year ago. In March, the automaker reported the third consecutive month of sales decline, with 2,225 “i” vehicles handed over to customers, down 14 percent year-over-year.
As for the company’s mid-term “green” plan, from 2016 onwards, the 100-year-old carmaker said it would have seven green models in its range, which would be either purely electrically powered or with a plug-in hybrid setup. Further models are due to follow in the coming years, including a plug-in hybrid Mini and an open-top version of the BMW i8, while by the end of the year, the Group’s electric vehicle portfolio will be expanded to include a new i3 that features increased battery capacity and extra range.
The latter, which is expected to be unveiled this fall during the Paris Motor Show in October, is rumored to offer two battery options and some new software and electronics updates that will boost the range to around 120 miles (193 kilometers) from the current 80-mile (129-km) range.