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Automaker's electrification strategy to create buzz in China

By Hao Yan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-25 09:26
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Jochen Goller, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China. [Photo provided to China Daily]

BMW is pushing ahead with its electrification initiative, named Strategy Number One > Next, by launching progressive products to further consolidate its position in the Chinese market.

The German automaker's vision for the future underlines its commitment to the next steps in electrification.

"BMW Group stated that 'The future of BMW is electric'," said Jochen Goller, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China. "This is a clear and very strong statement, which means we are now indeed entering the electric age."

BMW has announced a steady pace of expansion in the electric mobility field. BMW Group's e-mobility of the immediate future, the BMW i Vision Dynamics, is making its Asia premiere at the on-going Beijing auto show.

The BMW i Vision Dynamics' massive production derivative, namely BMW i4, is set to be produced in the company's Munich plant, with its fifth-generation electric drivetrain and the latest battery technologies that are expected to extend the driving range of fully electric models to 700 kilometers. Plug-in hybrids' range will be extended to 100 km on only battery use.

A total of 14 BMW models are debuting at the Beijing auto show, launching the Munich-based brand's strongest ever product offensive in the Chinese market. These include three world premieres, and seven Asia and four China debuts.

Now the German brand is providing Chinese customers six electrified offerings, including the locally manufactured all-new BMW 5 Series Li plug-in hybrid electric vehicle launched in China in March.

The medium to large-sized premium sport sedan's PHEV model is expected to become one of the brand's blockbusters in China-BMW's largest single market equaling the markets of the United States and Germany combined, according to the company.

The automaker sold a total of 152,942 BMWs and MINIs in the Chinese mainland in the first quarter, 7.1 percent more than that in the same period last year. The company achieved 15.1 percent year-on-year growth in 2017 with 594,388 BMWs and MINIs being delivered.

"The whole team here in China is fully aware about its high responsibility. Having just received the full support from the BMW AG board of management for our comprehensive China strategy, we are now working hard to secure BMW's future success in the highly competitive Chinese automotive industry," said Goller.

The company said BMW has determined its four major pillars for success in China-localization, innovation, opening-up, and high-speed transformation, and the company recognizes them as "must-win fields".

The carmaker's localization is not only about its models and manufacturing plants, but also localizing the best talent, research and development.

To facilitate innovation, BMW plans to extend its research and development facilities in China besides its current Shenyang R&D center which went into operation last year.

A revamped R&D office will be opened in Beijing, and another relocated and enlarged R&D office is set to be inaugurated in Shanghai.

Opening-up means that more cooperation will take place on more open platforms, to learn much more from the outside world. High-speed transformation will contribute to digitizing the organization and talent. And transformation and change will be part of the growth norm of BMW, said the company.

"The vision and mission of BMW Group in China are much in line with the big agenda of this country. We recognize a high similarity between what we aim for as a company and the direction China will pursue in the coming years," Goller said.

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