With the extreme popularity of the BMW X1 crossover within Europe, sales in the United States have been delayed until the end of 2012. The X1 was formally launched in Europe in November 2009 and was initially planned to launch in the US earlier this year.
The delay has been caused by the Leipzig plant, which can barely keep up with European orders. Jim O’Donnell, CEO of BMW exlplained that the X1 “was always going to be a niche vehicle” in the United States with expected sales of less than 5,000 units.
The X3 appears to be appealing to American buyers due to its increased size, selling 5,710 cars in the first quarter alone, compared to just over 6,000 for the whole of 2010. X3 sales peaked at 34,000 in 2004, and O’Donnell expects sales of 25,000 for this year. “It is very hot–and hot all over the world,” O’Donnell said. “My only risk is they may divert units to China and Germany.”
BMW is offering the X1 in several different four cylinder engines in both gas and diesel options. The gas engines include the xDrive28i (245hp) and sDrive18i (150hp). The diesel engine comes in four different configurations: sDrive18d, xDrive18d, sDrive20d and xDrive20d. The most powerful diesel engine will have 177hp. The X1 will be offered in either a 6 speed manual transmission or an eight speed automatic transmission.