BMW i3 Plug-In Sales Falter in Germany

Nov 13, 2014 02:00 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

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BMW has reportedly sold only half of the i3 models it had hoped to move in Germany after nine months of sales.

Dealers have sold 1,900 units of the vehicle in the first quarters of the year, a figure that falls far short of the 5,000 to 6,000 units BMW hoped to move by the end of 2014, Car and Driver reported via the German newspaper kfz-betrieb.

BMW, which has invested a year and billions of dollars into the electric i3 and i8, says the two models are "selling well." The i3 has been selling better abroad than in its home market, according to kfz-betrieb.

A dealership that wanted to remain anonymous said the vehicle was definitely past its honeymoon period. 

The automaker is pointing to slow shipping times as the reason for disappointing sales, which were especially slow in September; delivery for the i3 can take as long as six months.

BMW has been more successful in the U.S. market and is second to Tesla when it comes to sales percentages made up of green cars.

For vehicles sales this year, the German automaker had 2.3 percent (4,534 of 201,000) made up of plug-in electric models, topping all other carmakers besides Tesla in just six months of sales, according to Green Car Reports. On average, one in every 20 BMW vehicles sold from August through October had plug-in capability.

Automakers have been racing to launch greener vehicles as emission regulations become stricter.

BMW's i3 plug-in hybrid recently ranked among the five finalists for Green Car Journal's Green Car of the Year award. The recognition marks both the "greenest" car and the model's availability on the mass market.

The award winner will be announced on Thursday as part of next week's Los Angeles Auto Show.

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