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UPDATE: The 2011 BMW X1 with Comparison chart

The X1 wants sports car in the compact-SUV segment

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Dow Jones)–BMW AG (BMW.XE) will begin selling the X1 model in the U.S. early next year as it looks to continue building on the success of its sport-utility vehicle portfolio.

North America Vice President Jim O’Donnell confirmed the move Wednesday saying the company had always intended to bring BMW’s “baby” SUV here.

Separately, BMW Board Chairman Norbert Reithofer said the company hasn’t held any partnership discussions with General Motors Co. Reithofer said the company is continuing to pursue development cooperations with PSA Peugeot Citroen, but there are no plans for large partnerships.

O’Donnell said he expects the X1 will be sold as a nice vehicle in the U.S. and there are no plans to move its production to Spartanburg.

“It will appeal to some, but I think it will be outsold five-to-one by the X3,” O’Donnell said. The X3 is being produced at the Spartanburg plant. The smaller X1 joined BMW’s lineup in 2009 as the auto maker worked to stretch its offering and benefit from growing demand for compact luxury SUVs.

The X1 has been driving global sales at BMW so far this year together with the new-generation 5-series. Strong sales increases in recent months indicate a significant rise in third-quarter earnings for BMW and momentum appears to extend into the last three months of the year.

“We…intend to maintain this upward trend throughout the fourth quarter. Here, we expect to see robust growth in the double-digit percentage range,” BMW sales chief Ian Robertson said last week.

Robertson said he was confident that BMW would reach its sales target of more than 1.4 million vehicles in 2010 and maintain its position as the world’s best-selling luxury-car maker ahead of Daimler AG’s (DAI.XE) Mercedes-Benz brand and Volkswagen AG’s (VOW.XE) Audi AG (NSU.XE) unit.

The core BMW brand last month posted a 20% sales rise to 117,467 cars, contributing to a 15% increase year-on-year to 892,737 vehicles in the first nine months.

BMW benefits from a growing appetite for luxury cars in China. Additionally, BMW’s sales in the U.S. have regained some ground. North America was BMW’s largest sales region ahead of its German home turf until the financial crisis hit.

(Source: online.wsj.com)

Below is the The BMW X1 vs. Mercedes GLK vs. Volvo XC60 Compare Chart ?

BMW X1 Comparison

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