Further step in the growth of BMW brand in China with long-term framework for expansion of BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) joint venture
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 group and its partner Brilliance Automotive Group 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 vehicles in 2019. Furthermore, the all-electric iX3 produced by BBA is planned for export to markets outside of China.
“Today’s signing represents a new chapter in the success story of our BBA joint venture. 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 iX3, produced by BBA from 2020, will find customers around the world,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
Around 560,000 vehicles from the brand 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 its vehicles sold in China were produced by BBA last year.
Local production of the new 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 X3 is the sixth model from the brand localised in China.
“BBA is our cornerstone for the brand’s sustained success in its largest market. 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,” said Nicolas Peter, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Finance.
“BBA is a unique success story and stands out as an example of trusted partnership. This joint success is also driving the economic development of Liaoning province, adding jobs and prosperity to thousands of our associates in the region,” said Yumin Qi, Chairman, Brilliance Automotive Group Holdings.
In addition to the two automobile production locations, BBA also runs an engine plant, which includes a battery factory for the electrified vehicles produced locally in Shenyang. This is the first battery factory operated by a premium automobile manufacturer in China. Local production of the iX3, the first all-electric core model of the brand, will start in 2020 in Shenyang. The 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, BBA has invested more than 52 billion RMB/£5.9 billion in its plants in Shenyang. The 2 millionth BMW produced in China rolled off the production line in January 2018.