We have always maintained that what will get exports of Chinese cars in high gear is not Chinese cars, but foreign cars. Foreign cars, made by joint ventures in China. Nevertheless, I admit my high surprise to read, from China Daily to Chinacartimes, that BMW will export Made in China cars. And not their bread and butter 3 series.
BMW will become the first foreign luxury car manufacturer to export China-made cars when it begins shipping locally produced long-wheelbase 5 Series sedans overseas at the end of the year.
BMW will start exporting the cars, which are made jointly with Brilliance, as early as December, destination unknown. Said Christoph Stark, CEO of BMW Group Region China:
“We will find some markets, maybe in the Middle East, somewhere in Asia, or some other markets that welcome the products where we can test this export effort. The main market of course is here (in China), because we can’t even supply enough here.”
BMW’s new 5 Series sedan has sold real well in China, especially in the long version, which is a Chinese peculiarity. The man who has everything also has a driver in China. And he wants room in the back.
Stark announced another first: BMW will build engines in China. A Twin-Power Turbo four-cylinder engine will be made at a joint venture factory, to go into Made-in China X1 and other models.
Hold the usual comments: The quality of cars made at joint venture factories in China is usually indistinguishable from imports. As long as the cars are made from foreign plans, with foreign methods and foreign QA, they sometimes exceed the imports.