BMW ad takes stab at Tesla Model 3 waiting time

Andrew Cummings
August 11, 2016

The voiceover for one of BMW's television ads says in a droning voice that, "You will wait, and wait, and wait some more, all before that electric-car company's new model ever even arrives". The problem is that the campaign is laughably ironic. BMW chuckles at this, as its plug-in hybrid can be bought right now.

The company struggled to sell its high-tech electric cars in China at first due to distribution issues and widespread concerns about charging vehicles.

The 330e iPerformance, an all-new model, is powered by a 2.0 turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine with 180 horsepower, eight-speed automatic transmission and 184-pound feet of torque; with the add-on of an 87-hp electric motor based on the same technology that the BMW i3 hatchback and i8 coupe already have. So neither of the Beemer alternatives in the Tesla-focused ads have anything near the Model 3's promised range or starting price ... but they are available now. The narrator takes some fun jabs at Tesla saying that "You will wait, and wait, and wait some more".

Making fun of electric cars used to be a common theme, and it also goes the other way around.

The Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle, which its maker says will launch late next year with 200 miles of range and a $35,000 price, has caused a few shock waves across the auto industry.

The same Model 3 which gathered around 100,000 deposits before anybody even saw the vehicle at its reveal, and then went on to accumulate roughly 370,000 total deposits in one week. Data source: Tesla quarterly shareholder letters, Model 3 unveiling presentation, and statement from Tesla.

As BMW says, there is no need for a deposit. If they are, they must be dangerously spontaneous with their money. The company has previously delayed release of its other models so it won't be surprising if it does the same with the Model 3.

Lexus differentiates with a design language so different it's actually appalling, and Tesla does it with obvious aerodynamic styling and gimmicks like AutoPilot and Ludicrous Mode, and people love it.

With sales starting in March this year, the BMW 330e has sold not a lot more than 200 units, while the Nissan Leaf is having one of its worse sales years with 6,856 units sold in the U.S. so far. The company plans to operate 300 Tesla stores worldwide by the end of this year; it now operates 260 stores. It will be interesting to see if the BMWs ads are effective. and the best measure of that may be if they continue for more than just a month or two.

Tesla often analyzes driving logs and comes back to refute such allegations, but this time the company confirmed that Autopilot was indeed enabled.

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