BMW announced it plans to start operations at three new or upgraded manufacturing plants in China next year, according to local reports.

BMW Group China reconfirmed its commitment to China and the importance of its close relationship with the country’s automotive industry, including for new product development and to help it cater to local demand.

Nicolas Peter, BMW’s board of management member responsible for China affairs, said: “What moves China today will move the world tomorrow. It is a perfect place and a great partner for the BMW Group to drive transformation.”

Peter added: “Next year, three new or upgraded plants will open in Shenyang and Zhangjiagang. We will soon be launching the second battery electric vehicle (BEV) from Shenyang. It is a fully electric 3-series, further enhancing China’s position as one of the group’s top three new energy vehicle production bases in the world.”

The German automaker sold 700,000 vehicles in China in the first 11 months of 2021 – around a third of global sales.

The company said it expects to sell 20,000 battery powered iX3 models in China in 2021 and plans to have five EVs available by the end of 2022, rising to 13 models by the end of 2023. The company expects EVs to account for 25% of its China sales by 2025.