Is BMW Planning an Electric SUV to Rival Tesla Model X?

Jun 10, 2015 11:45 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

BMW is planning on building an electric SUV crossover to take on the unreleased Tesla Model X for sales in the U.S.

The German automaker wants to make a new battery-powered SUV with U.S. car buyers in mind at its Spartanburg, South Carolina plant, according to German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche.

The magazine reported that BMW CEO Harald Krueger is really pushing to expand the Spartanburg plant again and production for a new EV would give him a good reason. As we reported, BMW's plant just received a $1 billion investment in 2014 to handle production of the upcoming BMW X7.

The German automaker is still waiting to receive board approval, but assuming the rumors are true, the electric SUV would join the i3 and i8 plug-in sports car as the third model in BMW's i-brand. The Spartanburg plant already makes popular BMW crossovers like the X3 and X6.

If an issue does arise, the automaker could move production to its Leipzig, Germany facility, where the i3 and i8 are manufactured.

The Model X is expected to arrive this fall, although the electric BMW might be delayed several years, possibly until 2018, according to Automotive News.

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