BMW still plans on importing its 2012 X1 crossover to the United States, but buyers here may have to wait a little longer to get their hands on one. The problem, it seems, is that the X1 is selling too well in European markets.
From its launch in October 2009 through last July, BMW has sold more than 64,000 X1s in Europe alone. The X1 was never meant to be a volume seller, so the high demand has been something of a surprise to BMW. The X1 is built at BMW’s Leipzig plant, where its 1 Series line is also built. There is a supply constrain, according to BMW North America CEO Jim O’Donnell, which is why US sales have been delayed. With European demand outpacing supply, it is not sure when exactly the US market will get the X1.
The next review to determine X1 availability for the US will be performed in April. If the X1 is given the green light for US sales at that time, we would not see it on our shores any earlier than September of 2011. BMW’s North American executives are not worried about the delayed X1, however. BMW just released its all-new 2011 X3 crossover, which the company expects to be a higher-volume model compared to the X1. The X3 is also larger than both the X1 and the previous X3, now measuring in at roughly the size of the first generation BMW X5.
No word yet on US pricing for the 2012 BMW X1, but it starts at €27,200 (roughly $36,000) in Germany. We’d expect that figure to further drop beneath the starting price of the X3 ($36,750) in our market, but BMW is only expecting to move 8000 X1s once they hit US shores.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)