Sales of BMW branded cars are expected to get a boost by about 30 percent in China this year. As per Christoph Stark, president & CEO, BMW Group Region China this boost is mainly attributed to the economic growth that the country has experienced in recent years.
In 2009, sales of BMW cars in China stood at an impressive 90,000 units which is expected to rise up to 120,000 units for the year 2010. In fact, 75,000 BMW have already been sold in just the first six months of 2010 and this includes sales of Mini brand cars as well. BMW too didn’t expect the market to turn around so quickly and never thought the market “to run so fast this year,” revealed Stark while speaking to reporters during the launch of the 5 Series sedans in that country. Brilliance China Automotive is the partner for BMW in its car making venture in China, and produces the BMW 3 Series and 5 Series sedans in the northeastern city of Shenyang in China.
China has already acquired the unique distinction of being the largest auto market in the world when it overtook US by selling a staggering 13.6 million vehicles in 2009. There is an expected increase by 10 percent which translates to 15 million units that the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers has set as the estimated sales figures for this year.
China right now is the third largest market for BMW cars with US coming in at second. However, the gap between the US and Chinese market has been reducing rapidly ever since the global economic slowdown two years ago. It was a period during which China just maintained its normal sales figures while the US and Europe suffered from the slowdown. It is this that contributed to the rapidly reducing gap of the US and Chinese markets for BMW cars.
Stark further stated the market for premium cars in China continues to grow at a feverish pace and is “almost exploding” this year. This has led to China scaling the rankings so fast. With the rapid increase of sales as yet being experienced in China it is expected the gap in sales volume of BMW cars China and the US to stand at around 100,000 and 150,000 cars.
And about the labor disputes that has come to plague productivity of late in China, Stark feels it is a natural phenomenon in a manufacturing process and can be considered as “part of a maturing process,” and further added he is satisfied with the way things are moving in BMW’s China operations.