BMW to boost production in China, expects strong sales image

BMW, the world’s largest premium carmaker by volume plans to increase production in China to 200,000 vehicles annually by the end of 2012, Ian Robertson, a member of BMW AG’s management board said on Monday in an interview on the sidelines of the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition.

“China’s sales performance plays a significant role in BMW Group’s balanced, worldwide success,” BMW sales chief Ian Robertson said in a speech at the Beijing Auto Show, according to a prepared statement.

BMW’s first-quarter sales surged 37% year-on-year in China to more than 80,000 cars and worldwide were up 11% at more than 425,000 vehicles.

In 2011, BMW Group sold about 1.6 million cars worldwide, and in the first quarter of this year it sold about 426,000, also a record.

“I expect the (Chinese premium) market to ease somewhat from the 30 or so percent last year, but there’s still a degree of upside in the market,” said Robertson