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BMW's all-new localized sedan accommodates young buyers

By Hao Yan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-01 07:48

Tailor-made for young customers in China, BMW's all-new 1 Series Sedan is a perfect example of the carmaker's localization in the market, a senior executive of the company said.

"We are transferring from 'production in China' to 'creation for China'," said Ian Robertson, a member of the board of management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Marketing BMW.

"BMW's commitment to China goes far beyond sales, and China is at the forefront of future trends and digitalization, as well as e-mobillity," he said at the launch ceremony in Shanghai on Feb 27.

The all-new BMW 1 Series Sedan is offered exclusively for the Chinese automotive market by the BMW Group and BMW Brilliance Automotive. It is solely produced in the country.

The new model hit the market with five variants, including the 118i Lifestyle, Sport, Line Package, 120i Line Package and 125i Sport.

The BMW 1 Series Sedan represents the German brand's hallmark combination of sporty flair and elegance while also offering the best in the segment for ride comfort, luxurious equipment and progressive connectivity technology that is exceptional for the compact segment, according to the company.

Johann Wieland, president and CEO of BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd, said that "the all-new 1 Series Sedan, a genuine BMW in every sense, is developed with more distinctiveness", and that the peerless design fits into Chinese youths' preference for self-expression.

"It is the perfect combination of a tailor-made car for the younger Chinese generation, providing an ideal choice for a broader base of people to become BMW drivers when they buy a car for the first time in their life."

Through their research, BMW has found that the major buyer group of the compact premium segment are the young generation.

The young customers' requests for a smaller model to meet their specific needs inspired BMW to complete the lineup in the compact segment and expand into the younger generation's market.

Wieland said: "We can delightedly say that the BMW brand has never been so close to the young Chinese customers who are rising to dominate the premium market growth over the next five to 10 years."

The nation bred substantial growth in the compact segment and BMW estimates the premium compact segment's growth rate could even double in the next decade.

Olaf Kastner, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China, said: "The all-new BMW 1 Series, the locally-produced X1 and 2 Series Tourer, as well as other premium compact models, I'm sure will become the major growth drivers to continue our success in China in 2017."

The carmaker delivered a total of 516,355 vehicles to Chinese customers last year, achieving an 11.3 percent annual growth rate, with the sales of BMWs and Minis exceeding half a million for the first time.

The Chinese market has become BMW's largest sales market, contributing more than 20 percent of the group's global sales volume.

'The right product'

Wieland believed that "having the right product" is the most crucial part of staying competitive in the Chinese market, and that the cars need to provide exactly what young people are looking for.

"Young people want a car with an emotional design to express themselves, and with pure BMW DNA," he added.

The concept of the new product was specially planned as an attractive model for young target groups seeking access to the world of BMW premium automobiles.

The concept and equipment of the BMW 1 Series Sedan were geared toward the specific requirements of China's modern target groups and local road and traffic conditions. The model was then developed in Munich with the support of Chinese engineers.

Kastner said: "They were 'born in the digital age', so they live on the internet and stay connected around the clock. So, the new model comes with cutting-edge digital connectivity, including 10 years of free BMW ConnectedDrive." They are 'beauty-obsessed'. Thus, we provide as many as 10 fresh exterior colors in addition to the stylish and sporty design."

BMW Brilliance is preparing for future development brought by the newly launched model, for which production capacity will climb constantly from 2017 to 2019.

The new Dadong plant in Shenyang, Liaoning province, will also be put into use in the first half of this year and start producing the new generation BMW 5 Series long wheelbase, a vehicle that will redefine innovation and quality, according to the company.

 BMW's all-new localized sedan accommodates young buyers

Senior executives of BMW Group and BMW Brilliance Automotive attend the releasing ceremony of the all-new 1 Series Sedan in Shanghai.Photos Provided To China Daily

 BMW's all-new localized sedan accommodates young buyers

The all-new 1 Series Sedan demonstrates BMW's combination of sporty flair and elegance.

(China Daily 03/01/2017 page15)

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