BMW Chairman Believes China is One of Most Important Markets
“The recent statements made by the Chinese government on promoting high-level opening up, attracting investment and persisting in innovation are encouraging. BMW will continue to unswervingly take root in China and establish a stable win-win relationship with Chinese partners,” Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of German automaker BMW Group, said in an interview with Seashell Finance.
At the invitation of China’s Premier Li Keqiang, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz paid an official visit to China on November 4. This time, Scholz led a business delegation to visit China, including leading German business executives.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany. According to BMW, which officially entered China in 1994, the bilateral ties and cooperation between Germany and China still have great potential and will continue to develop. Enterprises on both sides will continue to work together in order to produce more mutually beneficial opportunities.
BMW believes that technology sharing is conducive to emission reduction and carbon reduction, and innovation should involve all links of the development chain. In addition to pure electric vehicles, BMW believes that another road with zero emission potential is hydrogen fuel technology. At present, BMW has begun to produce its iX5 Hydrogen in small batches. China’s plan for the development of the hydrogen energy industry from 2021 to 2035 has laid out a blueprint for that to happen.
China is the largest single market for BMW and one of its most strategic markets. China saw a leap of 9 percent to 846,000 units in sales from BMW and Mini cars in 2021, which was more than 1,000 times the annual sales volume in 1994.
Zipse added, “China has a comprehensive industrial system, supply chain and talent reserve, which is a global driving force in many aspects, such as digitalization, electrification and sustainability. These are also at the core of BMW’s strategy.”
At present, the Shenyang Production Base has developed into BMW’s largest plant in the world, comprising of two vehicle factories, an engine factory, a high-voltage battery production line and an R&D center, providing high-quality employment opportunities for more than 26,000 people and producing an annual output of more than 830,000 vehicles. Insiders at BMW China revealed to Chinese media on October 18 that the German automaker will invest another 10 billion yuan ($1.38 billion) to expand its high-voltage battery production center in Shenyang.
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According to the China Association of Automobile Manufactures (CAAM), the sales volume of the Chinese automobile market in 2021 was 26.275 million units, which makes it the world’s largest automobile market. Among those sales, the sales volume of new energy vehicles in China reached 3.521 million units in 2021, ranking first in the world for the seventh consecutive year.
According to Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA), the importance of the Chinese market has soared in the past decade, and almost one third of the passenger cars in the world are now sold in China. In 2021, German manufacturers sold about 4.3 million passenger cars in China, and German automobile manufacturers and suppliers had 350 branches in the country.