Monthly Archives: July 2015

The i3 Long Bet, an update with incentives

Time flies. It was February, 2014 when I posted “The i3 Long Bet“. That article followed a brief drive and, several months before, a chance lunch with a “BMW i” product manager.

These memories returned to focus when driving past a BMW dealer recently. I noticed that several i3’s featured windshield offers. That observation required a u-turn and a quick study.

The placards displayed discounts from $5000 to $7,220 and monthly payments from $279. The i3 has joined – at least for now – the legacy car marketing party: “Cash on the hood” and “how much is the monthly“?

That said, the Leipzig composites have not yet joined the yellow or pink balloon promotion club. I’ve often wondered which color drives more sales.

Might Toyota Prius initial sales data inform our observations? They are similar:

Year Toyota Prius [1] BMW i3 [2]
1 3,000 1,477
2 17,700 16,052
3 15,200 9,846 (to June, 2015)

What happens next should be rather interesting, in light of ongoing rumors of a BMW and Apple arrangement.

My February post noted the not great i3 interior experience. Perhaps this is where Apple might begin to enter the game. Some have noted that a BMW / Apple relationship seems similar to Apple’s pre iPhone Motorola Rokr iTunes initiative.

P.S. I wondered about BMW’s view of lease residuals [3] last year (Residuals are an estimate of the car’s value at the end of a lease term. Getting this wrong can be expensive).

A June, 2015 eBay sale offers one data point, a 2014 BMW i3 with 3,495 miles on the odometer sold for $29,480. lists 85 used i3’s for sale and 2,083 new models available.

The evolution of BMW’s i products is worth observing. Might the upcoming Frankfurt auto show illuminate BMW’s future i plans?

[1] Toyota Prius sales data.

[2] BMW i3 sales data.

[3] Lease Residuals.

Asymcar 23: “As as an industry turns to retro, you know it’s over”

Co-create. Design. Build. Shop. Creative Commons. Modular. Microfactories. New business models.

Horace and Jim talk with Matthew Gunson, Director of Brand Management at Phoenix based Local Motors.

We learn about Local’s business model, their view of automotive jobs to be done and the 3D printing driven micro factory. Automotive nostalgia and a detour into consumer behavior closes our conversation.s

26mb mp3 about 55 minutes.

Subscribe to Asymcar podcasts via iTunes or RSS.

Show Notes:

Local Motors.

Volkswagen’s “California” Camper Van.

Bob Lutz: “Luxury in the “Modern Era“.

Local Motors’ latest 3D printed car project.

To sign up for the co-creation community and click “sign in.”

To learn about the Microfactory program.