BMW Brilliance to suspend BMW 3 series production
December 25, 2009
BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. will import BMW 3 Series in large quantities starting January 1, 2010, and meanwhile the BMW venture in China will stop manufacturing the series temporarily to upgrade its production line, SinoCast reported yesterday.
Sales of BMW Brilliance reached 41,372 cars in the first 11 months of the year, and the full-year sales are expected to top 43,000 units, up 30% year on year. The venture posted a 25% sales growth in the first half and the growth in the second half will be higher than that.
In order to meet the growing Chinese market demand, BMW Brilliance will import vehicles of the BMW 3 series, and sell them at the same price as China-made ones. The import is just a temporary measure, maybe part of its efforts to compete with Mercedes-Benz.
In addition to building its second factory, the venture will drive up the capacity of its earlier production line to 75,000 vehicles. Therefore, the production of the BMW 3 Series will have to pause during the upgrade of the production line.
As one of the three German premium car makers, BMW expects a gradual recovery in global sales in 2010, with double-digit growth in China to offset its domestic downturn. Mercedes-Benz and Audi have also seen rapid sales growth in China.
China has become the fourth-biggest market for BMW after Germany, the U.S. and the UK. China's continued strong growth would make it the third largest market for BMW in the next few years.