BMW announces new "i" brand. Will Apple complain?
BMW has announced a new sub-brand it will call "i", focusing on a range of advanced stand-alone hybrid, range-extended and plug-in electric models.
BMW's head of marketing, Ian Robertson, says the brand was created to develop, produce and market what he calls “innovative solutions to premium mobility.” BMW "i" will be supported by another new company established by BMW called "i Ventures", through which the German carmaker plans to grow its range of mobility services.
BMW is using using an "innovative" architecture they call "LifeDrive" to cancel out practically all the extra weight of the batteries. The LifeDrive architecture uses an aluminum chassis to house the driveline, with the passenger cell constructed from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic developed in partnership with U.S.-based SG carbon. "i" cars will be built in BMW's Leipzig plant.
The initial BMW "i" models will be the i3 and the i8, planned for introduction in 2013.
Use of Apple trademarks has been known to cause legal problems. Wonder if Apple will have issues with BMW's use of the lower case "i"? And if they do, will BMW blink?