BEIJING Nov 23 German carmaker BMW
sees continued double-digit sales gains in China next year as
the luxury car market there, at 9-10 percent of overall sales,
still lags the developed world, where the luxury segment
accounts for 15 percent of the total.
The German firm, which is building a second plant in
northeast China to initially double its capacity to 200,000
vehicles, later rising to 300,000, expects to
sell 1 million cars in China over the next three years, Duan
Jianjun, deputy sales chief at BMW's venture with the
state-owned parent of Hong Kong-listed Brilliance China
Automotive Holdings, told Internet portal Sohu.com at
the Guangzhou auto show.
China's luxury car market has lost some of its steam after
years of break-neck growth, though demand for high-end cars
remains robust as personal wealth grows.
"We have sold 1 million cars in China so far. We will strive
to sell another million in the next three years," Duan said.
BMW's China car sales grew 35 percent in January-October
from a year earlier, five times the growth rate of the overall
market, and topping Audi's 31.2 percent and
Mercedes-Benz's 8 percent growth.
Daniel Kirchert, senior vice president at BMW's China
venture, told Sohu.com separately that the venture was preparing
to launch a China-only car. He did not elaborate. BMW and
Brilliance plan to produce 200,000 4-cylinder, 2-litre petrol
engines a year at an engine plant in Shenyang.
(Reporting by Fang Yan in BEIJING and Kazunori Takada in
SHANGHAI; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)