BMW Looks to Youth for China’s Future
BMW’S concept car had its Asian premiere in Beijing last May, as t he group celebrated its centenary and looked to the next generatio n of young Chinese to lead future mobility. The BMW Group Future Experience exhibition in Beijing was the first stop on the world tour titled “Iconic Impulses,” demonstrating the BMW Group and its brands’ continuing commitment to creating for its customers positive, emotional and personal experiences. “Looking ahead to the next 100 years, the BMW Group will create groundbreaking and responsible solutions,” BMW Group CEO Harald Krueger said at the opening ceremony.
“We aim to attract young customers in China as they continue to g row in numbers,” Krueger said. He added that the luxury carmaker’ s vision for future mobility was to be “effortless, available on demand, and tailor-made for all customers and their individual needs. The next generation of customers was born into the digital age.”
Chinese born in the 1990s, now in their 20s, contributed about 15 percent to the country’s incremental passenger car sales in 2015. The industry predicts that this proportion could rise to 45 percent in the next 10 years. To better serve the Chinese market, the Munich-based group is striving to understand Chinese customers deeply and thoroughly, especially the Chinese youth, their preferences and demands.
Commitment to China
The premium compact car segment is experiencing fast growth in the Chinese market, so the company has decided to increase the share of compact cars in the BMW portfolio. “The all-new BMW X1 long wheelbase is a perfect illustration of our focus on the Chinese customer and our enduring commitment to the Chinese market,” Krueger said. “In addition, another small sedan will soon be locally produced in China.”
The all-new BMW X1 long wheelbase, launched last May, and the 2 Series Active Tourer, 3 Series, and 5 Series models are manufactured in two plants in Liaoning Province. The localized lineup will be expanded to six models in the next few years, and annual productivity is set to increase to 400,000 units from its present 300,000 units.
The all-new BMW X1 long wheelbase will also be offered in plug- in hybrid electric vehicle editions to meet the newenergy vehicle demands of the Chinese market, especially in cities where there are purchase restrictions on fuel-powered passenger autos.
The group’s China team has developed a new technology that switches a BMW PHEV automatically into fully electric mode when traveling in certain regions, for example, within the Third Ring Road in Beijing.
“A research and development office, a design work studio, and a Connect-
POST-90S GENERATION Chinese born in the 1990s, now in their 20s, contributed about 15 percent to the country’s incremental passenger car sales in 2015.
edDrive Lab help us gain even deeper insights into what our Chinese custom - ers want and how we can develop even stronger ties with China,” Krueger said. “Our ties with China go back a long way, and we are strongly committed to this market – we are here to stay. This is underlined by the scale of our investment.”
BMW Group has invested more than RMB 22 billion (about US $3.38 billion) over the past seven years in its plants in Shenyang, capital city of northeast province Liaoning. It has also built a new R& D center in Shenyang. Set to start operations this year, the new center will make China the group’s second-largest R&D base after Germany.
“We are very proud of the success we have achieved together with our partner Brilliance, and proud also to be part of Chinese society. Since 2005, our sales have increased every year – as local production has gone up several gears,” Krueger said. The group recorded an 8.6 percent sales growth in the first quarter of this year in China, despite a slowingdown of the country’s luxury market expansion.
After unveiling the BMW Group Future Experience exhibition in the 798 Art District, Krueger visited the Beijing R&D center, in which the Natural Language Understanding technology is localized and to be deployed in the allnew BMW 7 Series tailored for the Chinese market.
BMW went all out to attract young customers at Auto China 2016.
BMW’s latest concept vehicle VISION NEXT 100, unveiled last April at Auto China 2016 in Beijing.