A BMW X1 at a car show in 2010. BMW unveiled six new models of the X1 series in Guangzhou on March 3. (Photo/Xinhua)
Danile Kirchert, vice president of BMW for China, unveiled six new models of the company's X1 series while speaking on March 3 in Guangzhou, reports Chinese-language magazine Time Weekly.
Kirchert said the X1 series prices — ranging from 282,000 to 498,000 yuan (US$44,579 to US$78,759) — are "very competitive." He added that the series is designed for men and women aged 25-35. Audi, one of BMW's main competitors in China, is targeting the same group of consumers with its Q3, which is not set to be released until 2013 and will account for only 4% of Audi's total output in that year.
BMW, on the other hand, has sold 200,000 X1s worldwide since the vehicle's debut in 2009, and has had to begin assembling them in Russia and India because its factory in Leipzig, Germany could not meet overwhelming demand. In China, 15,000 X1s were sold in 2011, year-on-year growth of 185%.
Olaf Kastner, president and CEO of BMW Brilliance Automotive, a Chinese joint venture, told the Time Weekly that his company keeps tight control over the cost of research and development and drives down production costs as much as possible. BMW this month began manufacturing its most advanced twin-power turbo engines in a factory in northeast China's Shenyang, said Kastner. The Shenyang facility is the first BMW factory outside of Europe to produce the engines.
In 2011, the company delivered 232,586 BMWs and Minis in China, representing year-on-year growth of 37.6%. Among them were 33,500 BMW 7s, which sat atop the list of best-selling luxury cars in China for the third consecutive year.
The company is now turning its attention to outpacing Audi, still the top luxury vehicle choice in China.