The new BMW iX3 – previewed by the iX3 Concept at Beijing – will be built in China for export to the UK, Europe and the US when it goes on sale in 2020.
The car market in China is at the start of big changes for Western car makers, with Beijing signalling that foreign car makers will soon be able to run their own operations in the country and not be forced to build cars in partnership with domestic partners.
What that will mean for existing partnerships is unclear, but it seems likely that Western car makers will look to buy out their local partners and take control of manufacture themselves, opening the door for many car makers to shift production to China for export around the globe.
That augers well for BMW’s plans for the new iX3 electric SUV when it arrives in production guise in 2020, with BMW’s (current) China partner – Brilliance – announcing that the iX3 EV will be built in China and exported to the UK, Europe and the US. Although Donald Trump’s plans to slap import tariffs on car imports from China might make the US a difficult option for BMW.
What production in China for the iX3 will also do is keep cost in check for a car which won’t be cheap to build, and give BMW easy access to the burgeoning market for EVs in China. It also opens the door for many more BMW models to be built in China for export around the globe.