BMW to Open New R&D Center in China

The premium German automotive producer BMW has decided to build a research and development (R&D) center in China, in an effort to adapt to the local buyer’ specific demands, as China Daily reports.

The R&D center will be located in the northeastern city of Shenyang. BMW is already present there, as the city is the headquarters of the company’s joint venture with its Chinese partner Brilliance China Auto. The facility will not only be used to develop products for the Chinese market, but it will also serve global interests of the group.

We will have bigger production here in China, so we will modify more vehicles (to meet customer demands better)," Christoph Stark, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China, told China Daily.

He added that the center will also provide important feedback to Munich executives who influence the brand’s direction.

This move comes to support BMW’s previously announced intention of increasing the Chinese annual production output from 41,000 units to 300,000 vehicles. Together with Brilliance, the carmaker will also build an engine factory in the country.

Last year, BMW’s Chinese sales saw a 38 percent increase to 90,536 units. The achievement was a record value for the company and made China BMW’s fourth largest market. Around half of the cars sold had been produced locally.

Stark said that BMW will enhance its offensive on the Chinese market in 2010 by introducing the new locally produced (and exclusive for the Chinese market) long-wheelbase 5 series and the imported X1 compact SUV.

In addition to that, the company also wants to continue the expansion of its Chinese dealer network.
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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