August 21, 2014

BMW i: New BMW Sub-brand starts with BMW i3 & BMW i8

BMW i launches

BMW i launches

BMW launches its new sub-brand – BMW i – to provide Sustainable vehicles and Mobility solutions. How dynamic.

We knew the BMW sub-brand would get an “i”. Because an “i” is now and green and cool and everything that sells.

We did think that BMW’s sub-brand would be i-Setta. But maybe that was just too last century and too much bubble car to be cool.

So we get absolute German logic applied to the quandry of what to call a new sub-brand for BMW that incorporates the de rigeur “i”. Logically you can’t argue with the result – BMW i.

So now the speculation stops and the reality starts. The reality is a pair of BMW i cars planned for 2013 – the BMW i3 and BMW i8 – which will in effect be the MegaCity (i3) and Vision EfficientDynamics cars (i8). Both the BMW i8 and the BMW i3 will be produced in Leipzig.

For regular readers the choice of names isn’t really news. We predicted that the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics would become the BMW i8 back in December. We also managed to report that BMW had trademarked everything from BMW i1 to BMW i9 the week before.

With the lines becoming blurred in the brave new world of “i’”, BMW has set up a new holding company – BMW i Ventures – to handle ‘vehicle independent services’. Stuff like Apps and entertainment and parking. Associated service, just not the vehicles.

We’ve looked through the press release for the BMW i brand, and all it talks about is ‘Sustainable vehicles and Mobility solutions’. It feels like BMW is going the Prius route of cars being ‘Transport’, not a ‘Drive’. Which may explain the need for a separate brand.

If that’s the case, they may have been better off opting for “i-Setta”.

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