The BMW Group and its partner Brilliance Automotive Group Holdings signed a long-term framework agreement to further expand their joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) to increase the capacity of its two local production facilities Tiexi and Dadong in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, to a total of 520,000 BMW brand vehicles in 2019. Furthermore, the all-electric BMW iX3 produced by BBA is planned for export to markets outside of China.
The agreement was signed in the presence of China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Harald Kruger, chairman of the board of management of BMW said, “Our agreement sets a long-term framework for our future in China - a future involving continued investment, further growth and a clear commitment to the development and production of electric vehicles. The next chapter of our cooperation has the potential to go beyond our existing motto - in China, for China. The all-electric BMW iX3, produced by BBA from 2020, will find customers around the world.”
The company claims that around 560,000 BMW units were delivered to customers in China in 2017, which is said to be more than in the next two largest markets, the US and Germany, combined. As per the official statement, two-thirds of all BMW vehicles sold in China were produced by BBA last year and the local production of the new BMW X3 in China started in May as scheduled and the ramp-up is expected in the second half of the year.
Nicolas Peter, member of the board of management of BMW Group responsible for finance said, “This year marks our joint venture’s 15 year anniversary. The tremendous growth we have achieved over these years is only possible due to our strong and reliable partnership with Brilliance.”
Yumin Qi, chairman, Brilliance Automotive Group Holdings said, “This joint success is also driving the economic development of Liaoning province, adding jobs and prosperity to thousands of our associates in the region.”
Apart from the automobile production locations, BBA also runs an engine plant, which includes a battery factory for the electrified BMW brand vehicles produced locally in Shenyang. This is claimed to be the first battery factory operated by a premium automobile manufacturer in China.
Local production of the BMW iX3, the first all-electric core model of the BMW brand, is said to start in 2020 in Shenyang. The BMW iX3 is also intended for export to markets outside of China.