BMW wants to build electric SUV in the US


Tesla needs to watch its back. The all-electric Model X hasn’t even hit the market yet and already, luxury competitors are gearing up to combat it. Audi is prepping an all-electric concept for Frankfurt that previews a Model X-fighting CUV, and now BMW is allegedly prepping a third member of its i sub-brand, in the form of an American-built, all-electric crossover.

Germany’s Wirtschaftswoche claims the plan is awaiting board approval for production in Spartanburg, where BMW already builds the entirety of its X lineup. BMW, for its part, has told Automotive News Europe that the report is simply «speculation.»

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Speculation or no, we agree with Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst, who told Automotive News that adding a crossover to the i family is a logical move. «In our view an iSUV makes perfect sense for BMW. SUVs are in demand and given the market’s reaction to Tesla’s Model X so far, it seems to be a good fit for families and suburban commuters.»

While Audi is preparing to offer its Model X fighter by 2018, though, Ellinghorst told AN not to expect BMW’s entry to the segment before then.