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BMW reaffirms support for China during fight against coronavirus

By Li Fusheng | China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-24 13:23
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BMW's booth at the Guangzhou auto show last year attracts many visitors. [Photo/China Daily]

German premium carmaker BMW is confident in China's battle against the novel coronavirus outbreak and vowed to grow its contribution to economic development in its largest market worldwide.

"We applaud the decisive and comprehensive actions taken by the Chinese government as well as local authorities to safeguard public health and the global community," said BMW Chairman Oliver Zipse in a recent letter to officials in Beijing and Liaoning province.

BMW's China operations are headquartered in Beijing and its Chinese joint venture BMW Brilliance has plants in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province.

Zipse said the Munich-based carmaker is well-prepared to recover its business and production operations in China step by step.

BMW reopened its offices across the country for business on Feb 17, and BMW Brilliance plants in Shenyang have gradually resumed production as well.

"BMW Group will not only continue, but further grow our contribution to the economic development of local society," Zipse said. "The BMW Group is reaffirming its unwavering support for China."

Jochen Goller, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China, has been in China for the past several weeks and said he has witnessed the effective measures taken by the Chinese government to get the epidemic under control. "Everyone at BMW Group in Munich as well as in China is standing unwaveringly behind China and the Chinese people," Goller said. "We call on the global community to join us in this support."

BMW has so far donated 35 million yuan ($4.98 million) since the outbreak of the epidemic to support the virus-fighting effort.

"We have full trust in the Chinese government that they are capable of managing the crisis and defeating the epidemic," Goller said.

"Furthermore we remain very confident in the medium and long-term business outlook of our No 1 worldwide market."

Battling a downward trend in the Chinese vehicle market, the premium automaker last year delivered 723,680 BMW and MINI-branded vehicles, up 13.1 percent year-on-year, topping the list of premium vehicle companies in the country.

This was the company's best-ever sales result since it entered China in 1994 and accounted for around 28 percent of its global sales in 2019.

As the carmaker resumes business in China, it has discussed new measures with its 6,000 plus employees to ensure their health.

"We are now gradually ramping up to normal production while ensuring that the health and safety of our associates remains our first priority," said Johann Wieland, president and CEO of BMW Brilliance.

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