BMW has apparently reversed course, canceling its X3-based Tesla Model Y-fighter in the US.
The BMW X3 is far and away the company's best-selling utility vehicle in the US market, counting better than 70,000 unit sales for the 2019 calendar year and contributing a substantial amount to BMW's nearly-325,000 brand sales.
Given that, it's more than a bit surprising that the Bavarian automaker would design a pure-electric version of the compact crossover and not bring it to the US, but that's just what's happened. "At this time we do not have plans to bring the iX3 to the U.S. market," a company spokesperson confirmed to Automotive News recently.
The BMW iX3 - BMW's first battery-electric utility vehicle - had been slated for a US-market launch in the first half of 2021, but the German automaker has reversed course for reasons that aren't immediately clear. The decision could be due to America's less-than-stellar demand for electric vehicles on the whole, coupled with the increasing need for more EVs in Europe and China driven by their respective regulatory environments.
Europe, in particular, might see a dramatic uptick in EV sales next year as massive fines are leveled at automakers that fail to meet ambitious fleet-wide emissions requirements.
The anticipated rise in EV demand for those markets becomes more critical in light of the production shortfalls that have hit manufacturers like Audi and Jaguar, as that raises the possibility of future production obstacles that could leave manufacturers with insufficient supply for those all-important markets.
Had the BMW iX3 arrived in the US, there's no guarantee the pure-electric crossover would have been competitive. The Chinese-built iX3 will utilize a 74-kWh battery pack, which would likely lead to a driving range far below the Tesla Model X's 305-mile minimum.
However, BMW's two other EVs scheduled for US launch next year, the BMW i4 and the BMW iNext, are still on track. Each is expected to deliver a range of around 360 or 370 miles on Europe's WLTP cycle, which should translate to about 260 to 270 miles under the US EPA's more pessimistic testing regimen.