BMW Hikes i3 Production 43%

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BMW has increased production of the i3 electric city car 43% to meet demand.

In recent weeks, the manufacturer has raised daily output to 100 vehicles from 70 previously at the factory in Leipzig, Germany, where the model is assembled.

Harald Krueger, BMW production chief, told Bloomberg that BMW has already built more than 5,000 i3s since the start of the year, Krueger.

The current production rate translates to about 20,000 vehicles for the full year, almost twice as much as BMW’s initial sales forecast.

BMW began rolling out the i3 last November. Its design includes a carbon fiber chassis to cut weight and improve fuel efficiency.

“Following the market introduction in Europe, we’re now rolling out the i3 in the U.S.,” Krueger said in the statement. “The U.S. will be the largest market for the i3.”

BMW Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner said in October the company was considering a production increase for the model after early demand exceeded expectations.

At the time it, Eichiner reported 11,000 orders for the compact car, which will cost $41,350 in the U.S., and aimed to sell more than 10,000 in 2014.

Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz announced its 3rd generation B-Class automobile will be all-electric and positioned to compete with the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf.

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