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    • Is BMW's " i " brand already in trouble? Bad bet to be unplugged?

      Automobile magazine posted a very interesting article on the BMW i sub-brand. Automobile says the brand is on very thin ice due to its sheer size. It is the idea of the car being drastically changed requiring tremendous commitment of resources. The i3 for example having a carbon fiber body shell, aluminum chassis, lithium-ion batteries, and a rear mounted electric motor that to justify the entry-level $45,000 price tag will need to sell about 100,000 units. That is a very big bet on an expensive all electric car that is not going to be near as fun to drive as a 335i. Do not get us started on how much better BMW's real cars would be with weight dropped thanks to carbon fiber body shells.


      Then there is the i8 which is the halo car getting all the press for the new brand. BMW needs to sell 10,000 of these per year. At a price point of over the $150k mark this is another big bet by BMW hoping to cash in on the green craze. A lot of wealthy people better buy into it in more ways than one.

      BMW believes project i will pay off but project leader Ulrich Kranz and new R&D chief Herbert Diess are already discussing contingency plans, AKA Plan B. This tells us their confidence is shaken. BMW believes at the moment it is big enough to scrap the whole plan and come out unscathed although it would be a colossal embarrassment. What we know for now though is additional cars being added to the brand have been put on hold indefinitely.

      In case you were all wondering why BMW is milking M by putting the badge on everything and why they seem to be rolling out every variant they can it is so they have enough cash to be able to cover these kinds of bets. The crazy thing is, the old BMW would have invested fractions of what this brand is costing in simply making their core cars better. BMW's have gotten so heavy it is the 3, 5, 6, and 7 that really need the weight saving measures being applied to expensive electric cars so that they simply are even viable transportation options with their low horsepower and high electric energy drain motors.

      Many of you feel BimmerBoost has been far too critical of BMW's moves but it seems everyone else is waking up to what is going on. The BMW i experiment is definitely causing waves internally. We feel Automobile Mag is the first major publication to start hitting on what we have been saying for some time:


      BMW has spread itself too thin at the expense of its core values. Are proposed front wheel drive cars ambitious or simply a necessity at this point to generate enough volume to support a behemoth that seems to want to expand every which way at the same time? Time will tell.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Is BMW's " i " brand already in trouble? Bad bet to be unplugged? started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 19 Comments
      1. maxnix's Avatar
        maxnix -
        "Do not get us started on how much better BMW's real cars would be with weight dropped thanks to carbon fiber body shells."

        "BMW's have gotten so heavy it is the 3, 5, 6, and 7 that really need the weight saving measures being applied to expensive electric cars so that they simply are even viable transportation options with their low horsepower and high electric energy drain motors."

        A bit schizophrenic, aren't we? Two words - technology transfer. If the i cars are not in sufficient demand, start building some of the regular line with lighter weight chassis using what BMW has learned in CF manufacturing processes. Everyone will be happy, believe me.

      1. M3_WC's Avatar
        M3_WC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by maxnix Click here to enlarge
        A bit schizophrenic, aren't we? Two words - technology transfer. If the i cars are not in sufficient demand, start building some of the regular line with lighter weight chassis using what BMW has learned in CF manufacturing processes. Everyone will be happy, believe me.
        At what cost to consumers, how much more will mrsp's go up. MRPS's are already taking giant leaps, that is with the current cost cutting measures they have been taking. For example the F10 5-series has gone to an all steel chassis, changing from the lighter aluminum.
      1. M3_WC's Avatar
        M3_WC -
        BMW is in a very critical time right now. Things could go very bad or very good.

        Selling 10,000 i8 units a year is a joke, NEVER will happen.
      1. DBFIU's Avatar
        DBFIU -
        i brand, for all the $#@!s

        I swear there is an 'i' everything right now. might as well have an iBMW
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DBFIU Click here to enlarge
        i brand, for all the $#@!s I swear there is an 'i' everything right now. might as well have an iBMW
        Good thing that you mentioned it. 'i' Nowadays means good at every spec. Want your green car to sell? Put as much as 'i' as you can in it. Want to show how high tech your product is? Do the same. I'm thinking about putting an 'i' in my name to show how efficient i am... Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by maxnix Click here to enlarge
        "Do not get us started on how much better BMW's real cars would be with weight dropped thanks to carbon fiber body shells."

        "BMW's have gotten so heavy it is the 3, 5, 6, and 7 that really need the weight saving measures being applied to expensive electric cars so that they simply are even viable transportation options with their low horsepower and high electric energy drain motors."

        A bit schizophrenic, aren't we? Two words - technology transfer. If the i cars are not in sufficient demand, start building some of the regular line with lighter weight chassis using what BMW has learned in CF manufacturing processes. Everyone will be happy, believe me.

        Where is the tech transfer? The regular cars have taken a step back in some ways, namely weight.
      1. Remonster's Avatar
        Remonster -
        Eventually the technology will become cheap enough for the regular 3 series to have a carbon chassis and body panels, but BMW knows the only way to drive down the costs is to invest in the factory (which they have done) and start using it to make unique vehicles that (it hopes) people will be willing to buy at a very serious premium.

        Imagine if they tried to make the 3 series largely out of carbon fiber instead, do you think anyone would be lining up to buy a 328i with a base price north of $60,000 even if it was 300lbs lighter?
      1. Remonster's Avatar
        Remonster -
        Other interesting tidbits from the article include a carbon-intensive next-gen 7 series and their claim that the new M3 will be around 3,300lbs. They seem confident in that assertion, but it seems too good to be true.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        It's not the material, it's the extra size and really UN-necessary stuff that makes cars heavy. No need to use fancy materials such as CF or Titanium. Just make cars smaller, as they should be. I mean why F30 should be bigger than E23 7-Series? And then it's the equipment. How many of the gizmos they put in your car you use? For me, it's just AC, Power windows and mirrors, and stereo. Maybe sometimes GPS comes handy, but iPhone can do the job as well. The rest should go because i don't use them. Sure they are people who can't live without power seats and soft close doors, but really are humans should be this much LAZY?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Remonster Click here to enlarge
        cheap enough for the regular 3 series to have a carbon chassis and body panels
        Aluminum chassis...

        If the 5 went from aluminum to steel we have a problem.
      1. M3_WC's Avatar
        M3_WC -
        The "i" brand is in serious trouble if its fate depends on moving at least 100,000 i3 units a year. I honestly do not see that happening. This isn't exactly the prius we are talking about, i3 will be double the cost. It will not be a mass market car like the prius. Are they even sure they can produce that many units, with the new technology they are taking on? There is a lot of riding on this, they are definitely moving into uncharted territory trying to mass produce vehicles like the i3 and i8. I can see why they are having second thoughts or creating a plan b. A failure of the "i" program will have serious ramifications on the brand for many many years down the road.
      1. DBFIU's Avatar
        DBFIU -
        I hope it fails miserably and lots of BMW executives get fired so they can go back to their roots and make light, fast cars.
      1. cisi's Avatar
        cisi -
        +1 big applause for this one
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Maybe this will actually pay off but I'm saddened BMW would rather do this than, um, say make an M1 or bring over something like the GTS to the USA.

        I like the i8, I really do, but not if it means sacrificing and diluting things to make it work. It's like BMW doesn't even know what it wants to do or where to go.
      1. maxnix's Avatar
        maxnix -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Remonster Click here to enlarge
        Imagine if they tried to make the 3 series largely out of carbon fiber instead, do you think anyone would be lining up to buy a 328i with a base price north of $60,000 even if it was 300lbs lighter?
        It would be at least 500 lbs lighter. Imagine what that would do for performance.
      1. maxnix's Avatar
        maxnix -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DBFIU Click here to enlarge
        I hope it fails miserably and lots of BMW executives get fired so they can go back to their roots and make light, fast cars.
        So you don't think a CF chassis would be a significantly lighter car? Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by maxnix Click here to enlarge
        So you don't think a CF chassis would be a significantly lighter car? Click here to enlarge
        Why would they do a carbon fiber chassis? Aluminum makes more sense for these cars.
      1. Remonster's Avatar
        Remonster -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by maxnix Click here to enlarge
        It would be at least 500 lbs lighter. Imagine what that would do for performance.
        It would be fantastic but 95% of BMW's buyers don't give a $#@! about performance or weight, if the price of the car moves up too much they will abandon BMW and go to Mercedes or Audi. I would say that even a $5,000 increase in base price would be disastrous, look at how much the retards on Bimmerpost were freaking out about a measly $200 increase in the F30s price over the E90 and this year the F30 is like $1,000-1,600 more depending on the configuration and they are losing their $#@! about it.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Freaking out over $200?