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BMW i3 electric car to debut in April

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Published : 2014-02-13 20:02
Updated : 2014-02-13 20:02

BMW Korea CEO Kim Hyo-joon said Thursday that the German carmaker’s first full electric model, the i3, will hit the Korean market in April, putting its sales forecast at 250 units this year.

“Due to the global supply constraint, we have secured only 250 i3 cars this year. The figure will make up 25 percent of the total electric car sales this year in Korea,” he said at a press conference held at Hyatt Regency Incheon.

“Electric cars are perfect for commuting within megacities like Seoul,” he said. “The BMW i3, a brand-new model developed as an electric car from the beginning, will spice up the electric car market in Korea.”

As part of efforts to elevate people’s awareness of electronic mobility, BMW Korea has hosted academic forums since 2010, and has recently been injecting resources into Jejudo Island, an emerging destination for global electric vehicles due to its well-established infrastructure and generous incentives.

Following last year’s donation of 30 charging stations to the southernmost island, the company plans to expand the nation’s charging network for electric vehicles to cover Seoul and other big cities in tandem with industry partners.

BMW, which also owns the Mini and BMW Motorrad brands, was the best-selling import car brand last year, selling a combined 33,066 vehicles, a 17.5 percent increase from the previous year. In terms of sales, Korea was the ninth-largest market for the German luxury brand.

Kim expected two-digit growth for BMW again this year, setting a sales goal of some 45,000 vehicles. A BMW driving center ― the first of its kind established out of Germany and the United States ― also will be opened in July on Yeongjongdo Island, near Incheon International Airport.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)

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