China and the U.S. might not be in their best relationship nowadays, but that doesn’t mean BMW will give up its sales goals. BMW will export its first full-electric SUV, called the iX3, to global markets after it goes into production in 2020 at its joint-venture plant in China.
The iX3 project makes BMW the first major luxury-car maker to ship high-tech vehicles from China, in a sign consumers no longer equate the country with cheap products. It positions the Shenyang site to supply SUVs to the U.S., the second-biggest market for BMW, even with the question of higher American tariffs against Chinese-made goods still up in the air. The government’s Made in China 2025 development drive is giving foreign carmakers more confidence their local joint-venture factories have the technology suitable for exports.