BMW to Double the Number of Models Manufactured in China

LWB BMW F10 5 Series Exclusive for China 1 photo
Photo: BMW
In a recent interview for the New York Times, BMW’s CFO, Friedrich Eichiner, said that the company he’s representing will be investing even more in China, looking to diversify its offerings in the Asian country.
At the moment, BMW is building three models at its Chinese factories, run in collaboration with Brilliance but plans are to double that number, looking to appeal to every need of the Chinese customer.

China has a rather interesting culture behind it, one that has different habits compared to European or American ones. Therefore, just selling cars that are successful in other parts of the world won’t cut it any more.

BMW is looking to address these issues and wants to offer tailored vehicles to its biggest market in the world. Therefore, at the moment, China has a couple of unique models at its disposal, like the long wheelbase 3 Series and 5 Series, models that aren’t available anywhere else in the world.

The company will also include, amongst the three new models that will be built here in the future, one destined for the Chinese market alone, slotted right beneath the 3 Series. It will probably be sold under the Brilliance badge as well.

On the long run, such a move implies increasing the capacity over at its two Chinese factories, located in Shenyang, that currently has an annual output of 300,000 units.

“We are strengthening our focus on meeting the needs and aspirations of our Chinese customers,” Friedrich Eichiner said. “China has the potential to become the world’s largest market for new-energy vehicles,” he added.

And that’s where most of the money will come from in the future. It’s a well known fact that the communist country is home to some of the most polluted cities in the world and that the government is struggling to contain it and, eventually, reduce it as much as possible.

However, so far, all the measures it has taken proved to be less than efficient. Limiting the number of license plates issued by the city and other such unpopular legislative measures didn’t help at all, on the long run.

The main problem is still that local manufacturers use older technologies that are no longer sustainable. Offered in cheap cars, these are the most sought after models on the Chinese market, as most people can afford them.

Selling more hybrid and electric cars could solve more of these problems but then, once again, the prices these cars have are rather prohibitive, especially if they’re wearing the BMW, Mercedes or Audi brand.

That’s where local companies step in, once again. As BMW proved with the Zinoro 1E that uses some of the i3 technology but is priced well under it, other cars and manufacturers can use the same recipe to take down the pollution in the China. The problem is, it’s not only up to them.
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