BMW recently announced short-term plans for its operations in China. It’s clear that the recent global economic slump has given many automotive multi-nationals from Europe and North America a renewed interest in the growing Chinese economy.
Despite the gloomy economic climate, the Chinese vehicle market is experiencing a boom. BMW sold 167 116 units in China over the last financial year – an improvement of 84 per cent over the same period the year before. The most recent sales data points to further improvements, with BMW having sold 70 per cent more cars over the first four months of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. This is certainly not unique to BMW or the Germans, with most foreign automakers experiencing equally impressive business conditions.
“We anticipate that this growth will continue in the future,” said chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, Norbert Reithofer. “Together with our joint venture partner [Brilliance], we will increase the previously announced investment of 560-million euro in our Chinese facility in Shenyang to around one-billion euro,” Reithofer continued. The company has been producing 3 Series and 5 Series in Shenyang with Brilliance since 2003. China has since become the BMW Group’s third-largest market worldwide.
The additional investment will be used to build a press shop, paint shop and to expand infrastructure at the company’s new plant in Tiexi in the Shenyang region in preparation for higher production in the future.
The company announced in November 2009 that it would build a second production plant in China with plans to produce the X1 there. Production is scheduled to start in 2012. The planned production capacity will increase to more than 100 000 units a year at the existing Da Dong facility and, over the medium term, to 200 000 at the new plant in Tiexi. The two plants will have a combined capacity for more than 300 000 units per year.