New BMW Ad Teases Electric Car Competition

BMW launched a couple of advertisements poking fun at its electric car competition as it gets ready to start selling its 330e iPerformance plug-in hybrid. The 330e iPerformance PHEV goes on sale this summer and will start at $44,695.

One ad has a tag line that says: “You will wait, and wait and wait some more — all before that electric car company’s new model ever even arrives.” It is believed to be a reference to prospective buyers of the Tesla Model 3, who will have to wait until late next year to get their new vehicles.

Another part of the commercial is basically a list all of the things that will happen between now and when the Model 3 becomes available. The narrator says, “You can do your taxes. Twice. Maybe more. You will ring in the New Year. Twice. Maybe more.” The German automaker doesn’t mention Tesla Motors or its Model 3 by name in the ad.

Tesla’s Model 3 was announced in late March and is expected to retail at about $35,000. As of late July, Tesla had taken 373,000 pre-orders for the Model 3.

The ads are by boutique agency The Vault of New York. The ad agency/production company opened in 2010 and employs fewer than 25 people. It first won BMW work in late 2014 for ads that run during the holidays.

Jon Paley, the agency’s chief creative officer and managing partner, said in an interview, “The reality is that there is a much-hyped car out there but it’s not out there. It’s not available. You can’t buy it right now. You can’t drive it right now, and BMW’s answer is there is a terrific car — it happens to be a plug-in hybrid and it’s now.”

Nissan take has also taken a jab at Tesla over the delivery of its new cars. In April, the company ran print ads promoting its electric Nissan Leaf in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal that stated: “No one should have any reservations about getting an electric car today.”

BMW currently sells two plug-in vehicles in the U.S. Through July, the company has sold roughly 4,400 of its i3 battery-electric vehicle and nearly 800 of the i8 plug-in hybrid supercar. In 2015, the two models had sales of 13,289 units.

The new 330e is a sleek-looking hybrid sedan that is far more stylish than the i3 and much more affordable than the i8. The car can go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in about six seconds and can travel up to 14 miles on electricity alone with its 7.6-kWh li-ion battery. The car has a 72 miles per gallon-equivalent fuel-efficiency rating, according to one of the ads.