BMW has opened a China R&D Centre in Beijing's Shunyi District.

As a part of BMW Group Strategy Number One Next, the centre is said to be a significant step in expanding local innovation, and taking the group's 'In China, for China and the world' localisation strategy a step further.

"For us, China is a driving force of innovation, a place of inspiration particularly in the field of electrification and digitisation – we think China is the lead market in these fields already today. This is why we began five years ago to set up a comprehensive R&D network in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang. And, we expect that the increase of our Chinese R&D activities and the collaboration with more and more top class Chinese tech companies will make a strong contribution to our global R&D outcome, especially in areas such as electromobility and digitisation," said Klaus Frohlich, head of BMW Development, at an opening ceremony.

Located just outside Beijing's fifth ring road and covering an area of 17,000sq m, this new facility has an open office and innovative design, improving communication between R&D teams. Focusing amongst other tasks on requirement management, testing and validation as well as development of services and systems, the new space is home for 200 employees of 1,100 in the Chinese R&D network.

Covering a total area of 70,000sqm across the three locations, the centres cultivate local talent, with the result, that more than two thirds of the R&D professionals are Chinese. While each R&D centre has different functions, they complement each other and form a comprehensive innovation network.

In 2018, the Beijing centre will run 70 test vehicles across China, the testing mileage is planned for a historical high of 5m kilometres.

China in 2017 was the largest market for the BMW Group. With the establishment of R&D centres in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang, the Chinese R&D network is unique and by far the biggest presence of BMW R&D outside Germany.