Yesterday BMW unveiled its first fully electric model based on a core model, in the shape of the iX3 Concept. Rumored for quite a while now, the new EV will be built atop the same platform as the current X3 which has been designed from the get go to accommodate an electric drivetrain. All those things were known so far but what we didn’t know was that the iX3 will be built in China, starting with 2020.
The confirmation of a rumor some hoped wouldn’t be true came from the Chairman of the BMW Group Board of Management himself, Mr. Harald Kruger at the Beijing Auto Show yesterday: “China is clearly leading in e-mobility. That’s why I brought this world premiere to Beijing: The BMW Concept iX3. The iX3 will be the first all-electric BMW core model. It will go into production in 2020. It will be produced in China.”
That said, it looks like BMW is now somehow changing some of its focus from the US to China, as the two countries are getting ready to go through was seems to be a trade war. Like many others, I too expected the iX3 to be built where the X3 is made these days, alongside almost every other SUV in the Bavarian range: the Spartanburg plant in South Carolina. It looks like BMW has different plans though.
Furthermore, it looks like there are more good things in store for China in the future as far as BMW is concerned, Kruger saying: “[the fact] That we will build the all-electric BMW iX3 here clearly demonstrates our strong commitment to China. And it underscores China’s leading role in e-mobility.” Admittedly, the Chinese government is making significant efforts to make electric vehicles more popular inside the Asian country, trying to cut down on pollution as much possible and offering all sorts of incentives to those helping out, something other regions of the world are not currently seemingly interested in.