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BMWChief Editor:
Created: 4/6/2011
Last Posted: 8/22/2011
For Blog: 2011 hot cars
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Thursday, April 14, 2011
Chief Editor
For Blog: 2011 hot cars

Well, this is interesting. The autosphere is charged with news that BMW may lease its MegaCity electric vehicle instead of selling it.

“We’re looking for an alternative to traditional purchasing or leasing of a vehicle,” Ian Robertson, head of BMW’s sales and marketing, told Automobilwoche. “We don’t want to sell the car, but rather the use of the car.”

Reason may be due to the great uncertainty surrounding battery depreciation. Some solutions have been to sell the vehicle, but lease the battery or to simply just lease the vehicle. Right now, it sounds as if BMW is considering the latter — in remarkably short terms — for its MegaCity EV.  Other reason is that, due to the high development cost and expense of the batteries themselves, BMW would either lose money on sales or turn customers away due to the sticker shock. BMW says that the actual production of the car is fairly cost-effective, thanks to a new manufacturing technique it developed specifically for the MegaCity; production is set to commence at BMW’s Leipzig plant sometime in mid- to late 2012 or early 2013.

One lease idea BMW is considering is a car-to-go concept. BMW recently introduced such a program in Munich, Germany, where people can rent out various BMW vehicles – high-powered M-models included — at hourly rates when they want a car. Daimler introduced a similar Car2Go program in Ulm, Germany and Austin, Texas, where it makes Smart cars available to people to use without actually having to purchase or lease a vehicle.

“In large cities, more and more people are looking for alternatives to buying a car,” said Robertson.