Starting January 1, 2010, Chinese buyers will get the rare chance to buy a genuine, Made-in-München (or Regensburg) BMW 3 Series at the price of a Made-in-Shenyang BMW 3 Series, while the Chinese BMW/Brilliance joint venture updates its production facilities.
BMW Brilliance will import BMW 3 Series in large quantities starting January 1, 2010. The BMW venture in China will stop manufacturing the series temporarily to upgrade its production line, Gasgoo reports.
Sales of Made-in-China BMWs are expected to top 43,000 units by the end of 2009, up 30 percent year on year. BMW lags overall market growth in China, which has been predominantly in the smaller and cheaper segments.
The imported BMW 3 series will be sold at the same price as China-made ones.
BMW Brilliance is building a second factory, but also wants to increase the capacity of its earlier production line to 75,000 vehicles.
China has become the fourth-biggest market for BMW after Germany, the U.S. and the UK. China’s continued strong growth should make it the third largest market for BMW in the next few years.