German luxury car maker BMW said on Thursday that the production has formally begun at a new plant in China with an investment of 15-billion-yuan (USD2.24 billion) as the company accelerates electric vehicle (EV) production.
China is the world’s largest automobile market with an annual sale of 20 million units a year placing it well ahead of the former title-holder, the United States. China is the largest electric car maker in the world. Overall, more than 3.4 million battery electric vehicles (BEVs) can be found on the Chinese roads, which is more than 45 percent of all BEVs worldwide. And that number is only set to grow annually.
In June 2020, more than 88000 brand new BEVs hit the roads of Mainland China. The impressive growth is primarily caused by growing urbanization, partly spurred by Chinese policy ambitions which actively pushes for a greener energy solution to the environmental challenges. This change has paved the way for the overall goal by the Chinese authorities to take BEVs up to a 30 percent market share by the end of 2030.
The company said that BMW’s third car assembly facility in China, the Lydia plant is located in the northeastern city of Shenyang, Liaoning province. This plant is slated to increase BMW’s annual output in the world’s biggest auto market to 830,000 vehicles this year from 700,000 for the financial year 2021.
BMW stated that its flexible manufacturing lines, the plant is designed to be capable of producing battery-powered electric cars based on market demand.
The first EV model that will roll off the Lydia plant’s manufacturing lines is the i3, a clean electric mid-sized sports sedan. The company plans to increase the range of it’s EV vehicles in China to 13 models by next year.
Tesla and Chinese automakers such as BYD dominate the successful EV market in China with sales doubling year on year. Meanwhile, the rulers of the internal combustion engine Volkswagen and General Motors are falling behind.
According to data from China Association of Automotive Manufacturers, in the first five months of this year, nearly a quarter of the cars sold in China were powered by batteries.
According to a company filing, BMW sold 208,507 vehicles in China, its biggest market, in the first quarter, marking a 9.2 percent fall from a year ago.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), is a German-based automobile and motorcycle manufacturer. The Company splits its activities into four segments, Motorcycles, Automotive, Financial Services and Other Entities. The Automotive segment manufactures, develops, assembles and sells cars and off-road vehicles under the brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, as well as manufactures spare parts and other car accessories. The Motorcycles segment develops, manufactures, assembles and sells motorcycles, as well as spare parts and other accessories. The Financial Services segment focuses on multi-brand financing, car leasing, fleet business, dealer financing and retail customer, customer deposit business and insurance activities. The Other Entities segment includes other operating companies, such as BMW (UK) Investments Ltd, and Bavaria Lloyd Reisebuero GmbH.