BMW plans to launch the electric version of the famous 3 Series models, a decision to keep the Tesla rival away, reported the German publication Handelsblatt, according to Reuters and Bloomberg. The German carmaker will present the electric sedan in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The 3 Series will have a 400 km range and will compete directly with the Model 3 from Tesla, says Handelsblatt. The BMW representatives did not comment on the information.
The production of Tesla’s electric sedan would begin in the coming days, but the company has already received about 400.000 pre-orders. Success has made Tesla the most valuable car manufacturer in the US, with a market capitalization of 54 billion euros, close to the German rival BMW.
Last month, BMW announced it would significantly increase its global production capacity and invest in electric vehicles in a bid to dominate the luxury car market, according to Agerpres.
BMW lost last year the title of world’s largest luxury carmaker in favor of Mercedes-Benz, ending its dominance for over a decade. The BMW brand recently announced that its sales increased by 5,2% in 2016 at 2.003.359 cars, with about 80.000 fewer than Mercedes, Daimler’s luxury car division, which delivered 2.083.888 vehicles, a 11,3% gain over 2015. Audi ranked third among the top luxury car manufacturers, delivering 1,87 million vehicles last year, up 3,8% from 2015.
By the end of 2018, 40 new or facelifted models will be launched, announced General Manager Harald Kruger. He said that in the next five years, BMW’s production capacity will increase to around three million vehicles per year, from 2,4 million today.
The company expects higher sales in 2017, thanks to the BMW 3 Series, BMW 5-Series and Mini Countryman.