Sales for BMW‘s China venture are anticipated to increase at least 20 percent year-on-year this year, the premium automaker’s local joint venture partner stated on Friday.
The full-year estimate is based upon a 44 percent year-on-year increase in the first two months of this year, Chairman Wu Xiaoan of Luster China Automotive Holdings, BMW’s 50-50 joint venture partner, informed reporters in Hong Kong.
International car manufacturers must form local JVs in order to make vehicles in China.
In 2017, premium automobile sales are anticipated to surpass China’s overall car market, which is expected to slow as a tax cut on small-engined automobiles is rolled back and the slow economy.
China’s automobile market, the world’s biggest, is going into a “tiny growth” period, Luster Chief Executive Qi Yumin stated. He estimated the overall market would grow over 5 percent.
BMW, whose China sales grew 11.3 percent in 2016, is the nation’s second-largest premium brand name after Volkswagen’s Audi and is racing to remain ahead of third-place Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz, which recorded 26.6 percent growth last year China sales due to a fresher model lineup.