The launch of the new BMW 1 Series Sedan in China was successful. The market is responding great to the new offering from the German car maker and things are looking good in terms of sales in the Far East country but if you were expecting the small sedan to make its way to other markets as well, you are in for a surprise.
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A recent report from British magazine, Autocar, claims that the 1 Series Sedan will remain a Chinese-only affair, at least for the current model. While BMW did look into offering its FWD model on a couple of other markets around the world as well, their research shows that such a move would be counterproductive, at least for now.
The main reason for that is fear of cannibalizing sales. That’s because the 1 Series would have the potential to woo some of the traditional 3 Series buyers out there. Since the 3 Series is considerably more profitable than the cheaper 1 Series such a move would indeed pose a problem for BMW. And before you start saying there’s no proof that would happen, other manufacturers have gone through the same issues, like Audi with its A3 and A4 sedan models.
“There are no immediate plans to sell the 1 Series saloon outside of China. The initial signs there are quite positive,” said a BMW source for Autocar. “We don’t want to get into a situation like that at Audi, where the smaller model has conquest sales from the larger model.”
The move is quite surprising on the other hand, as the traditional rivals of BMW from Germany, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, don’t seem to agree. Both have announced plans to continue selling their A3 and A-Class models in this niche, furthermore, Mercedes actually working to bring out a sedan version of its A-Class in 2018.
However, nothing is set in stone and the report from Autocar clearly says that this decision was made solely for the current model BMW has in store. Considering the fact that the next 1 Series hatch will migrate to a FWD setup using the UKL platform and that building the 1 Series Sedan will become considerably cheaper, there’s a considerable chance we will get to see it sold in other markets apart from China once the new generation comes out.