BMW: No MINI Factory in China

During a recent interview, BMW's board member responsible for the MINI brand has made it quite clear that the maker doesn't want a factory in China for local market production. This comes despite BMW themselves making the 3 Series, 5 Series and X1 models there under a joint venture with Brilliance.
MINI Coupe 1 photo
Photo: MINI
Peter Schwarzenbauer said only 10% of MINI sales come from China. He explained that the market there evolved in a strange way, and maybe doesn't yet have an appreciation for compact premium cars.

"The Chinese market has developed in a different way to the rest of the world. Normally you start with mass-market production cars and then, slowly but surely, the premium brands come in as the market develops. In China it has been exactly the opposite, starting with premium brands and now slowly developing a more mass market. We are just at the beginning for Mini in China, but we do see a lot of potential for us there in the longer term," the official said.

To us, it sounds like BMW want to sell cars in China but it thinks it doesn't have the right car yet. The Chinese prefer longer wheelbase cars with rear legroom, something no MINI model has ever prioritized.

Perhaps the UKL platform's future 1 Series sedan could give us a MINI variant, as strange as that might sound.

Via Autonews Europe
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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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