Not for anywhere else but China, for that matter….
BMW IS LAUNCHING its first compact sedan, but you won’t be able to buy it. The BMW 1 Series Sedan isn’t slated for launch in Singapore, or anywhere else in the world outside of China.
BMW calls the 1 Series Sedan the “most sporty and emotional” sedan in its segment. Unlike the 116d five-door hatch that has proven popular here, it’s a front wheel-drive machine based on Mini underpinnings.
It was first teased as the Concept Compact Sedan, and we predicted that it would be one of seven compact BMW models.
BMW says it worked on the car with Chinese engineers to tailor it to the China market, where it builds five models. The 1 Series Sedan will only be manufactured there, and it’s likely that there is no right-hand drive version.
Had BMW decided to export the car here, it would have gone up against the Mercedes CLA 180, a huge seller for its arch enemy.
The brand’s focus on the huge China market is understandable, but the decision to keep the 1 Series Sedan a China-only car looks short-sighted. It would likely have been popular in our neighbourhood, too.
And Singapore may be a tiny market, but it is part of a populous region. 633 million people live in ASEAN.
READ MORE > What we think of BMW’s first MPV