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April 23, 2010

BEIJING SHOW: BMW China sales up 100% this year; shows electric car

As BMW unveiled a number of new models at the Beijing Show today, it painted an upbeat picture of sales performance and prospects for the brand in China.

As BMW unveiled a number of new models at the Beijing Show today, it painted an upbeat picture of sales performance and prospects for the brand in China.

BMW chairman Dr Norbert Reithofer said that sales in the first quarter were doubled on the same period of last year.

“Last year, we sold here in China more than 90,000 cars. Every day, more and more people here decide to buy a BMW . So, in the first three months of this year, our BMW sales in China have increased by more than 100 percent over the same period last year. In 2010, we aim to deliver around 120,000 cars to our Chinese customers,” he said.

And he said that BMW will continue to invest in manufacturing capacity through its joint venture with Brilliance.

“Since 2003, we have been operating a BMW plant in Shenyang, in a joint venture with our partner Brilliance.

“Now, we are building a new plant in Shenyang to expand our production capacities. Together with our partner, we are investing 560 million Euros or 5 billion Renminbi.”

Board member Dr Klaus Draeger took the covers off the BMW ActiveHybrid X6, a fully electric BMW Concept ActiveE based on the 1 Series, the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 and a stretched 5 Series.

Draeger said that compared to the conventional BMW X6, the hybrid needs 20% less fuel.

The 1 Series-based BMW Concept ActiveE fully electric car is described as suitable for everyday use – a four-seater with a ‘useful trunk’.

The car is powered by an electric synchronous motor. Newly developed lithium-ion batteries store the electric energy and BMW says it has a range in everyday use is about 100 miles or 160 km.

“I can promise you today: By next year, this electric car will come to China – as a test fleet for customers here in China. Before this, the Mini E field trail will be started by the end of this year,” Draeger said.

“The experience we gain here will be included in the development of our Megacity Vehicle. This car is the next milestone on the path to sustainable mobility of the future. As early as 2013, we will launch the Megacity Vehicle – under a new BMW sub-brand. It will be BMW Group’s first series production electric vehicle.”

BMW said earlier this week that it is evaluating production of its X1 Sports Activity Vehicle at its Tiexi plant in the Shenyang region.

The facility currently builds BMW 3 and BMW 5 Series models for the Chinese market.

See also: GERMANY: BMW mulls China X1 production

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