It was bound to happen sooner or later.
The eight-year reign of the BMW i3 is apparently coming to an end in America very soon. According to information supplied from BMW Blog, the German automaker recently sent a bulletin to its US dealerships informing them production of the i3 electric hatchback will cease sometime next month. We've reached out to BMW for comment and will update this space if a relevant reply is received.
It's important to emphasize this currently only applies to the US market. Last October, BMW celebrated the production of the 200,000th example at its Leipzig, Germany factory, a fact that led us to believe the EV hatchback was still going strong.
But times change and the post-Covid world likely has something to do with BMW's decision. Apparently, i3 inventory for the US has been very low over the past 12 months and many customers experienced difficulties securing a production slot. That dealer bulletin reportedly states there are only 180 or so production slots still available for US buyers.
The i3's demise shouldn't come as a huge surprise given that BMW recently revealed the i4 sedan and iX SUV. Both are pure battery-electric that are more modern and feature-rich than the aging i3. It's hard to see future buyers opting for the i3 over either of these two newer i-branded models.
The report goes on to claim that BMW may wrap up the i3's production life completely in all markets following the 2022 model year. If so, that'll mean the funky-looking hatchback will have an impressive nine-year total lifespan. Originally launched with a small gasoline engine that served as a range extender, the i3 has already gone down in history as BMW's first-ever all-electric series production model.
In Europe, it's remained a solid rival to the Tesla Model 3 but its advancing age means time is not on its side. Also bear in mind the i4 and iX are only the beginning of growing pure EV lineup; the i3 will simply no longer be necessary.
UPDATE: A BMW spokesperson has confirmed to CarBuzz the "i3 has come to its end of production."