BMW has iced plans to bring its first electric crossover to the U.S. for now. The BMW iX3 was scheduled to arrive in the first half of 2021.
"At this time we do not have plans to bring the iX3 to the U.S. market," a spokesman confirmed to Automotive News, declining to elaborate on the reasons for the decision.
BMW, like its German rival Mercedes-Benz, is grappling with the realization that the world's second-largest auto market remains half-hearted in its embrace of electric vehicles. Despite their proclamations of interest in battery-powered vehicles, few automakers other than Tesla have made much traction in the U.S. market with EVs.
Complicating their calculations, regulatory pressures in Europe and China are creating urgent need for EVs in those markets. Automakers face hefty fines in Europe next year if they fail to cut their fleet CO2 emissions to an average 95 grams per kilometer.
As a result, the German automakers are recalibrating their EV ambitions in the U.S. — diverting production supply to markets that are more receptive to the new technology, and biding their time for America's interest to kindle.
In December, Mercedes-Benz told dealers it would delay the U.S. launch of its EQC electric crossover by at least a year, pushing it to 2021. Mercedes pinned the decision on strong demand for the EQC in Europe.
"We had to make a little bit of a tough choice," Daimler CEO Ola Källenius told reporters in January at CES in Las Vegas. "Demand [from Europe] by far outstrips supply, even though we are ramping up and adding additional battery lines to the production."