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      05-12-2016, 01:03 PM   #1
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BMW iNext to Serve as Brand Flagship, But Not Until 2021

BMW iNext to Serve as Brand Flagship in 2021
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BMW has not done much with its BMWi sub-brand since the i3 and i8 were introduced, and the next innovative i model will not come until 2021.

According to Bloomberg: BMW AG's response to the challenge posed by Tesla Motors Inc. will be ready in 2021, years after Audi and Mercedes-Benz plan to roll out their own long-range electric vehicles.

With Tesla planning to enter the mainstream of the luxury-car market with the Model 3 next year, BMW is bringing out the iNext, which will supplant the 7-Series sedan as the brand’s flagship model. The vehicle will come eight years after introducing the squat electric-powered i3 city car in 2013.

The iNext will be "our new innovation driver, with autonomous driving, digital connectivity, intelligent lightweight design, a totally new interior and ultimately bringing the next generation of electro-mobility to the road," Chief Executive Officer Harald Krueger said Thursday at the annual shareholders meeting of the 100-year-old company. “We have always stressed that our centenary is a springboard to the future.”

The new model is the centerpiece of BMW’s effort to defend its position in the luxury-car market as changing consumer tastes challenge the German manufacturer’s focus on high-speed Autobahn thrills. BMW is responding to pressure from Tesla and traditional rivals like Daimler AG’s Mercedes as well as the risks posed by Apple Inc.

BMW’s decision to allow eight years to pass since rolling out the i3 follows sluggish sales for the 160 kilometer-range vehicle, which failed to excite customers in the way Tesla’s electric Model 3 sedan has done.

Full article at Bloomberg.