BMW Begins X1 Production in Malaysia

BMW Malaysia has started building its smallest crossover, the X1, which was first introduced in the Asian country back in April. The engines and trim packages remains the same, though buyers get more equipments at lower prices thanks to local assembly. Conducted at Inokom’s plant in Kulim, Kedah, the local assembly of the X1 marks it as the first model that BMW has made in the country in 27 years.

The most basic rear-wheel-drive, petrol-powered sDrive18i now costs at MYR238,800 ($75,900) , offering a MYR25,000 ($7,950) saving compared with models that were imported into the country. The higher spec four-wheel-drive, diesel-powered xDrive20d offers much less of a bargain, as it is only MYR1,000 ($318) cheaper at MYR298,800 ($95,040).

The sDrive18i, which accounted for three quarters of the total X1 sales, gains new interior trim, a sports leather steering wheel, automatic side and rear-view mirrors and Park Distance Control (PDC). The xDrive20d gets even more additional equipments to compensate for the small price reduction. Extra equipments include a new interior wood trim, paddle shifters, iDrive system with BMW Navigation Professional, Bluetooth connectivity and a higher-spec audio system.

Since its launch back in April 2010, BMW Malaysia has sold around 200 units of the fully-imported X1. The company expects the cheaper, more lavishly equipped X1 to double in sales in 2011. The company hopes to have three models in local production in 2011, including the 3-Series and 5-Series.

Introduced at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the X1 shares its platform with the current 3-Series. Two engines are available on the market, a 2.0-liter turbodiesel unit in the four-wheel-drive xDrive20d generating 174 bhp at 4000 rpm and 350 Nm between 1750–3000 rpm, and a 2.0-liter petrol unit in the rear-wheel-drive sDrive18i producing 148 bhp at 6400 rpm and 200 Nm at 3600 rpm. Both are only available with six-speed automatic transmissions.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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