Will BMW Keep the F20 1 Series Off American Soil for Good?

We've seen it in the news, we've seen it in the streets, we've even seen it in the dealerships: the F20 1 Series is nowhere to be found on American soil.
BMW F20 1 Series Urban Line 1 photo
Photo: BMW
The newest 1 Series model, codename F20, was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and arrived in showrooms around the world in 2012, excluding the North American market.

Unfortunately for the US fans of the new 1er, they got 'stuck' with the previous, E88  version. Even though some might argue that the E87 looks better and is still available as a Convertible on the American continent, something's definitely not right here.

Why is BMW keeping the Americans away from the F20 1 Series? It isn't because of the high costs of shipping cars over the Atlantic, that was done for years now and nobody said a thing. So it has to be something else.

One theory is that the Bavarian company is waiting to introduce the new 2 Series which will be replacing the Coupe and Convertible versions of the 1er, the most popular sellers on the US market.

Another theory says that BMW is waiting for Mercedes-Benz and Audi to introduce their own compacts, the CLA and A3, and see how they do at first, to measure the market demand, without risking anything. However, the 1 Series will still be competing with these cars, even though it is a bit dated.

The pricing for the 1 Series is dangerously close to the 3 Series too. That might be another reason for leaving the new model outside the US, where customers will easily walk out of dealerships when they have to choose between two different cars from the same brand with similar price tags.

However, in the future we might see the new FWD 1 Series introduced on the American market, to battle with Mercedes and Audi's alternatives. That would make it difficult for MINI to sell though, as both cars will be using the same UKL platform and MINI buyers will probably be narrowed down to absolute fans of the brand.

Bottom line, it's highly unlikely that the US market will ever get to see the F20 1 Series. We expect this generation to be overlooked and to be directly replaced by the 2 Series and the FWD 1 Series in the future (even though this would be a risky move, since not many Americans prefer front wheel drive BMWs). Sad news for BMW aficionados on the left side of the pond.
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