The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection’s rejection of BMW’s application to expand one of their factories is generating concern that global automaker will find it harder to win approval for their own Chinese projects.
The ministry posted a statement on its website Tuesday saying that it did not approve BMW Brilliance Automotive’s plans for the third phase of the factory that are building in the northeastern city of Shenyang, citing inadequate wastewater analysis and the plan’s failure to meet government anti-pollution targets. The ministry also said that the first phase of the plant has still not passed an inspection.
While analysts say that this is the first time they can recall such a rejection of an expansion of an already approved project, BMW is acting as though it is a routine bureaucratic matter.
Alexander Bilgeri, a spokesman for the Bavarian automaker, said that such events are routine, that the decision wasn’t finals and that the ministry asked for additional documents.
The rejection comes as domestic Chinese auto industry officials have been calling for the government to investigate imported car prices. An executive of the China Automobile Dealers Association said that profits from selling imported luxury cars in China is 30% higher than the world average.