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BMW tries to seize luxury market with 5 Series Li

Updated: 2013-09-30 08:07
By Han Tianyang ( China Daily)

BMW recently launched the new 5 Series Li in China, a Life Cycle Impulse model of the premium executive sedan, which is now in its sixth generation.

Made at the local joint venture between BMW and Brilliance Auto, the model has an extended wheelbase compared to analogous models in other markets, which is why it is called the Li.

BMW tries to seize luxury market with 5 Series Li

Olaf Kastner, president and CEO of BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd, poses next to the 5 Series Li at the launch ceremony for the new model in Beijing. [Photo / Xinhua]

The car has a new front look, with additional contour lines surrounding the grille and lower air intakes that further underline its sporty appearance. Other new features include adaptive LED headlights and fog lamps.

Customers can choose either the Luxury Line, which features chrome trim in many parts of the car to reinforce the elegant style, or the Modern Line with matte decorations that add a fashion touch.

BMW offers its latest intelligent ConnectedDrive technology on the new 5 Series Li to provide convenient Internet access and advanced driver assistance on the car.

The iPhone's Siri voice control function is for the first time incorporated in its ConnectedDrive system. Many other applications that are popular with Chinese smartphone users are also available on the car now.

The new 5 Series Li has three engine options - 2.0 liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engine, 3.0 liter TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder and 3.0 liter naturally aspirated six-cylinder - all of which are award-winning BMW products.

The car is the first in its segment to be equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard, allowing it to achieve extraordinary shifting performance and fuel efficiency.

The idea of customer orientation is very important for BMW, said Olaf Kastner, president and CEO of BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd, the local joint venture.

"As the market moves, the customer demand moves. What pleased them two years ago might not please them today. They expect that you go with time," he said.

"This is what we have done, and I am very confident that this new 5 Series Li will continue its success story."

BMW began to make the long-wheelbase 5 Series sedan in China in 2006. The local product went through a generational update in 2010, when the overseas model entered its sixth generation.

For any carmaker, it is not easy to make a smash hit model in a competitive market and to sustain the success is even harder. But BMW has managed to make its 5 Series a product with lasting popularity globally, especially in China.

Since the current generation went on sale in 2010, delivery of the 5 Series has totaled more than 1 million units worldwide, and in China, the figure has exceeded 250,000. Now the average monthly sales of the 5 Series in the country is above 10,000 units and is still on an upward trend.

The carmaker also produces the 3 Series sedan and the X1 SAV at its local joint venture in Shenyang, Liaoning province.

It makes both the standard-wheelbase and long-wheelbase 3 Series in China, an "excellent decision", Kastner said. Combined sales of the two models total nearly 7,000 units per month, with the long-wheelbase version accounting for a bit more than half.

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