The BMW i3 compact electric car is due to conclude its global production run in July of this year, by which time it expects 250,000 units to have been produced, a BMW spokesperson told Autocar.
This rounds up the gradual discontinuation of the i3 in several markets internationally, such as in the United States where production for that market was slated to have ended in June 2021.
The i3’s end of production will be to make way for a reorganisation of the manufacturing facility in Leipzig, Germany for the start of production for the upcoming, third-generation MINI Countryman in the second half of this year. The i3 will be indirectly replaced by the iX1, a fully electric version of the next X1 crossover.
The i3 will be indirectly replaced by the iX1, an all-electric version of the next-generation X1
The upcoming X1 has been planned for launch this year, with production originally planned to commence at a new facility in Debrecen, Hungary, though sources told Autocar that delays to the construction of the new manufacturing site meant that the i3 successor will be produced at the BMW Regensburg manufacturing facility until 2024.
Set to be based on the next X1, the upcoming iX1 will be built upon the BMW Group’s FAAR vehicle architecture for front-wheel-drive vehicles, which already forms the basis of models such as the F40 1 Series as well as the F44 2 Series Gran Coupe.
Alongside the upcoming iX1, BMW will be banking on a future version of the MINI Electric to fill the gap in the electric vehicle marketplace left by the departure of the i3, the German automaker said.
This future version of battery-powered MINI products will come from an equal-share joint venture between BMW and Great Wall Motors named Spotlight Automotive, which is based in Jiangsu, China though production of the MINI EV will be in Oxford, England.
The German automaker’s expanding electric vehicle line-up is the reason behind the discontinuation of the i3; “By the end of this year the BMW Group will have six battery-electric models on the market, with that number growing to 13 in 2023,” A BMW UK spokesperson told Autocar.
The EV customer of today wants a city car “perfectly tailored” for urban driving, or a compact but spacious vehicle for an active lifestyle, which will respectively be served by the MINI Electric or the next BMW X1, the spokesperson continued. This, therefore has led BMW to its decision to discontinue production of the i3, he said.
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