The Next BMW 1-Series Might Not Come To America

Illustration for article titled The Next BMW 1-Series Might Not Come To America

Just what is up with the BMW 1-Series these days, anyway? The small coupe we Americans get was replaced with a new three- or five-door hatch in the European market back in 2011 called the F20. That hasn't come stateside yet, and reportedly, its successor might not either.

Car and Driver reports that BMW is waiting to see whether the next Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA are successful before they decide whether or not to bring the next 1-Series here.


That car, the successor to the cool hatch Europe gets, will likely have a front-wheel-drive variant called the 1 Series GT, and will likely be similar to the Concept Active Tourer we've seen for a while.

Here's what C&D was told:

“Where we have the 1-series close to the 3-series in terms of the price ladder, what Mercedes and Audi are doing is giving more focus in the below-$30,000 price range. We’re going to watch that and in the future—well, the battleground has now moved to this $30,000 price point. We’re working hard to take advantage of that market,” Paul Ferraiolo, BMW’s head of product planning and strategy for North America, said. Other executives were more direct, saying the decision is up in the air.


C&D says low sales and niche appeal of our 1-Series coupe and convertible aren't the issue, but rather the fact that the car is built in Europe and thus expensive to import and sell here. They're also concerned about the next car's possible overlap with the Mini line, which could certainly be a factor if the next 1 has front-drive version.

There's still no word on whether the F20 will make it over here in some form or fashion. While you and I would love for a turbocharged, rear-wheel-drive hatchback BMW to be sold in America, the Germans don't seem too keen on that.


My guess is that the current 1 coupe and convertible will soldier on here in its current form until the 2-Series coupe heads over here. That seems much more suited to the tastes of most American BMW buyers.


Will anyone feel left out of the FWD 1-er doesn't come our way? Who knows, BMW may be missing out if the CLA and A3 are hits here.

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BMW straight up announced that the F20 and F21 1-series wouldn't come to North America over a year ago. How is this news?