The first ever BMW i store has opened on famed London street Park Lane. Along with the grand opening the company debuted an updated version of its i3 electric concept vehicle with a revised interior and the use of new materials.
Following in the footsteps of the BMW brand store which recently opened in Paris, the German company is looking to reinvent its image as a more customer oriented company. You can expect to see a new member at dealerships, a ‘Product Genius’ who BMW says will provide support with in-depth product knowledge and enable the customer to better utilize and configure products as they need.
The new i3 is based on a philosophy of sustainability, marked by the electric powertrain as well as the sourcing for the new materials used on the interior. Eucalyptus wood that comes from managed European forests make up the dash, while a natural tanning agent extracted from the leaves of olive trees is used to tan the leather.
For functionality the center console was removed, replaced by a full-width bench seats in the front and back of the i3. Three display screens are inserted into the car, one attached to the free standing steering column, one centrally located in the upper middle of the car and one down low.
With EVs getting only a luke warm reception worldwide, BMW had been mulling over exit strategies in case the company decides to pull the plug on the i program last minute. The new dedicated dealership, and closer to production i3 make that seem less than likely, but the decision will have to be based on market trends over the next few months.