The BMW Group is expanding its footprint in China. In the presence of China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, 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). BBA is increasing 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.
Around 560,000 BMW brand vehicles were delivered to customers in China in 2017 – more than in the next two largest markets, the US and Germany, combined. Two-thirds of all BMW vehicles sold in China were produced by BBA last year. Local production of the new BMW X3 in China started in May as scheduled and the ramp-up in the second half of the year is expected to further accelerate growth in the world’s largest automotive market. The BMW X3 is the sixth BMW model localized in China.
“BBA is our cornerstone for the BMW brand’s sustained success in its largest market,” said Nicolas Peter, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Finance. “This year marks our joint venture’s 15th anniversary. The tremendous growth we have achieved over these years is only possible due to our strong and reliable partnership with Brilliance. Together we have set the foundation for future growth.”
In addition to the two 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 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, will start in 2020 in Shenyang. The BMW iX3 is also intended for export to markets outside of China.
Today BBA already employs over 800 professionals in its R&D facilities, three-quarters of whom are Chinese. In total, BBA employs more than 16,800 associates. Since 2009, BMW Brilliance Automotive has invested more than 52 billion RMB in its plants in Shenyang. The 2 millionth BMW produced in China rolled off the production line in January 2018.