BMW quick­ens pace of lo­cal­iza­tion strat­egy in China

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

BER­LIN: Ger­man pre­mium car­maker BMW Group is speed­ing up its lo­cal­iza­tion plans to fur­ther boost sales in China, its big­gest sin­gle mar­ket in the world. BMW China Pres­i­dent and CEO Olaf Kast­ner said the lo­cal­iza­tion plans will cen­ter on two ma­jor ar­eas?pro­duc­tion and tal­ent.

"BMW re­mains fully com­mit­ted to China, the most im­por­tant mar­ket­place, in our opin­ion. We will en­hance our lo­cal­iza­tion strat­egy, from fos­ter­ing lo­cal tal­ent to lo­cal pro­duc­tion, all cen­tered on the ap­proach of 'In China, by Chi­nese and for China'," Kast­ner said last week at the launch of the new BMW 730Li lim­ou­sines in the trop­i­cal city of Sanya.

He said the com­pany will bring two new mod­els into pro­duc­tion in China in the first half of this year.

The two lo­cally made mod­els?the 2 Se­ries Ac­tive Tourer and the all-new X1 SUV?are among more than 10 new prod­ucts that BMW has planned for the Chi­nese mar­ket this year.

"This will en­hance the di­ver­sity of our prod­uct matrix and show­case the ver­sa­til­ity of our brand, which blends out­stand­ing driv­ing plea­sure with the joy of be­ing sus­tain­able and re­spon­si­ble for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions," Kast­ner said.

BMW runs a joint ven­ture with Bril­liance China in the north­east­ern city of Shenyang, Liaon­ing prov­ince. The ven­ture, BMW Bril­liance, has two plants pro­duc­ing 5 Se­ries and 3 Se­ries sedans as well as the cur­rent-gen­er­a­tion X1. In Jan­uary, the ven­ture opened a plant to man­u­fac­ture en­gines, BMW's sole en­gine fac­tory out­side Europe.

BMW China re­cently an­nounced that Michael Liu, vi­cepres­i­dent of the joint ven­ture, will be pro­moted to pres­i­dent of BMW China Au­to­mo­tive Trad­ing Ltd on April 1, which is seen as the bold­est move by a global car­maker in China be­cause Liu is a 39-year-old Chi­nese ci­ti­zen. Last week, BMW China and BMW Bril­liance also re­vealed a se­ries of in­ter­nal per­son­nel ro­ta­tions, ef­fec­tive Apr 1, to in­stall three young Chi­nese ex­ec­u­tives and a for­eigner. "We will fur­ther align our strat­egy to the new mar­ket con­di­tions and chang­ing cus­tomer be­hav­iors, op­ti­mize busi­ness mod­els … and con­fi­dently ex­plore new ways to reach and serve the new gen­er­a­tion of cus­tomers who are born dig­i­tal," Kast­ner said. BMW is the se­cond-largest pre­mium car provider in China af­ter Audi and ahead of Mercedes-Benz.

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