Turns Out It's Hard to Sell BMW i3s

Electric Car

Perhaps a conventionally-powered car would be the easier sale.

BMW’s all-new i3 is an impressive display of technologies. Sure, it’s an EV, which may not appeal to everyone, but BMW still invested an exuberant amount of money to make this project happen. So it's vital that the car sells in order for BMW to earn back its investment. Apparently, that’s proving a bit more difficult than initially thought. According to a new report, there’s been some lack of interest in the i3 not from customers, but from the salespeople.

New Jersey restaurateur Tom Moloughney has been driving EVs for several years now and blogs about them extensively. He’s become quite an expert on the subject, having owned a MINI E and a BMW ActiveE. Now BMW staff is reaching out to him asking questions about the i3, which will begin US sales shortly. BMW staff receives what’s called "Genius" training on all models, but after going through it for the i3, some sales people still have questions. "After completing Genius training, they felt they didn't know enough about the i3 to be comfortable, so they were reaching out to me to help answer questions they had. The worrisome part is (that) the questions they have are basic, generic electric-vehicle questions."

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This leaves some wondering whether BMW dealers are really making the effort to train its staff on a car that’s quite different from gasoline and even diesel cars. Perhaps a conventionally-powered car may just be the easier sale. Dealers, obviously, are only concerned with selling as many cars as possible. The i3, for better or worse, has a learning curve that some dealers may feel isn't worth the time of its sales people.