BMW will not rush into launching its 1 Series saloon outside of China, despite the sales success of the rival Audi A3 saloon and recent confirmation from Mercedes-Benz that it will add a saloon model to its A-Class line-up in 2018.
A BMW source told Autocar that reports stating the firm had already drawn up plans to sell the four-door 1 Series in key global markets, including the UK, were wide of the mark. The source said the sole focus for the new saloon is the Chinese market, where the front-wheel-drive 1 Series saloon is produced in a joint venture with Brilliance.
Small cars with saloon body styles remain popular in China, in contrast to most European markets where hatchbacks are preferred.
“There are no immediate plans to sell the 1 Series saloon outside of China. The initial signs there are quite positive,” said the source.
BMW has confirmed that a feasibility study assessing the merit of selling the 1 Series saloon globally is underway. However, that is said to revolve around the next generation four-door due in 2021, rather than the model on sale in China.