|Virtually every facet of the i3's manufacturing process is different and BMW is evidently struggling to manage setbacks|
Manager also says BMW is only churning out 70 i3's per day which is about half of what they were hoping to be making by now. BMW began i3 production in October so they are four months in and now have over 11,000 i3's on backorder. Plus, US sales are only just beginning so it would appear that even if BMW gets the current problems solved in short order (and that's a big "if"), it will still probably take them nearly a year to catch up with demand since the orders will continue to pile up. It has long been speculated that BMW will have the capacity to make between 30,000 and 40,000 i3's per year once they are running at full production.
BMW announced the first three months of i3 US production would be limited to a "Launch Edition" version. The Launch Edition is fully loaded with every option available on the car and the most expensive Tera World interior. The only thing the customer can choose is the color (and only the metallic colors are available) and if they want the optional 20" sport wheels.
Many people speculated that is was simply a money grab and BMW knew the car would be in high demand so they could get away with making anyone that wanted one of the first i3's in the US buy one that was loaded. Now, with the recent news about production difficulty, I think it's obvious the reasons the moonroof isn't available at launch, and custom ordering isn't available for another three months, is solely because BMW is struggling to refine the manufacturing process and eliminate the problems they are currently having.
painting process presenting challenges.