A BMW iX3 electric SUV is on display during the 2020 Beijing International Auto Show (Auto China 2020) at the China International Exhibition Center on September 26, 2020 in Beijing, China.
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BEIJING – German automaker BMW has cut prices for its all-electric iX3 SUV in China, putting the car in closer competition with vehicles from Tesla and Chinese startups like Nio.
The suggested retail price for the iX3 will start at 399,900 yuan ($ 61,713) as of Thursday, according to the BMW website.
That’s 70,100 yuan – or about $ 10,800 and 15% cheaper – from the original price of 470,000 yuan announced in September.
“For its size, the iX3 would compete directly with the Tesla Model Y & NIO ES6, both of which have much lower starting prices than the iX3 before this cut. Hence, BMW must have seen weak demand for the iX3 at that price point,” Tu said Le, founder of Beijing-based consulting firm Sino Auto Insights. “The bottom line was that it wasn’t competitive.”
BMW cut the price of a high-end version of the iX3 by the same amount of 70,100 yuan for a new price of 439,900 yuan, down from 510,000 yuan. A company representative did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.
The drop in prices follows Tesla’s 30% cut in the Chinese-made Model Y earlier this year to 339,900 yuan, down from 488,000 yuan, according to Chinese media reports.
For comparison: the Chinese electric car start-up Nio ES6 sells for 358,000 to 468,000 yuan.
BMW manufactures the iX3 in China as part of a joint venture with Brilliance Auto. According to the German automaker, the car made in China will be the first that the joint venture will export to other countries.
Global auto companies are increasingly looking to China to bring their latest electric cars to market. The country is the world’s largest car market and the government has supported the electric vehicle market with subsidies and the expansion of the battery charging infrastructure.
According to the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers, sales of new energy vehicles, which include both plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars, are expected to grow 40% to 1.8 million this year. New vehicle sales rose 10.9% to 1.367 million vehicles last year, despite overall auto sales and the coronavirus pandemic falling.