BMW Halts 3 Series Production In China

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • MikeInCanada MikeInCanada on Dec 26, 2009

    Both Mercedes Benz and BMW have significant facilities in China, I wonder if/when they'll start exporting from China to North America?

    • Gasser Gasser on Dec 27, 2009

      The day after the new plant opens. The Chinese labor rate will more than offset any additional shipping costs from China to US. I suspect that China to Western US would be cheaper than Munich to Los Angeles. Hyundai (Alabama plant) is starting to look better and better!

  • Dagmeister Dagmeister on Dec 26, 2009

    Why wouldn't they get the South African ones? like us in Australia...

  • Ian Williams Ian Williams on Dec 27, 2009

    Interesting Picture. It looks like the Chinese equivalent of Cal Worthington and his Dog Spot.

  • BMWfan BMWfan on Dec 27, 2009

    Herr Schmitt, How is the quality of the Chinese 3 series compared to the cars made in Germany? Any feedback? Alles Gutes und eine gesund Neue Jahr!