BMW opens new factory in Shenyang – China image

The world’s largest luxury carmaker, BMW opened its new plant in Tiexi district of the Liaoning provincial capital Shenyang on May 24, marking a new milestone in the automaker’s localization in China.

China belongs to the three most important markets world-wide for BMW Group and offers great growth potential, particularly in the premium segment,” Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer said on the sidelines of the opening ceremony for BMW’s second production plant in China.

He added that China was BMW largest market by sales in the first quarter of this year, surpassing Germany and the United States.

BMW described the new plant as “one of the most innovative and flexible automobile production facilities worldwide.”

Last week, it began production of the X1 compact utility vehicle for China and will shortly add production of a new long-wheelbase edition of the 3 Series sedan that debuted last month at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

With press, body, paint and assembly lines and affiliatedfacilities, the new plant covers more than 2 million square metersand was built with a total investment of 1.5 billion euros.

BMW increased sales in China by nearly 38 percent to 233,630 vehicles last year, a growth rate far higher than in its other major markets. Finance chief Friedrich Eichiner earlier forecast further retail growth of 25-30 percent in 2012.