The first locally-assembled BMW 318i models have gone on sale in China.

According to Access Asia, the 318i, which costs RMB380,000, is being manufactured by BMW Brilliance Automotive, a 50-50 joint venture between BMW and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings.

The JV started operations last year and aims to be producing two 5-series BMW sedans, the 520i and 525i, by the summer. BMW sold 18,700 cars in China in 2003 - about three times the figure for 2002.