First, it was the 1 Series sedan, now, it's the iX3.
It looks like BMW China is opening up their product portfolio to sell their previously exclusive models to the rest of the world. The iX3 was initially touted to be yet another China-only model, but the BMW Group and its partner Brilliance Automotive Group Holdings signed a long-term framework agreement to further expand their joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA).
With that, the BBA is increasing the capacity of its two local production facilities, which are located in Tiexi and Dadong in Shenyang, Liaoning Province. Now, they aim to build 520,000 BMW brand vehicles by 2019. This means the iX3 will be offered outside the Chinese market. Production of the BMW iX3, the first all-electric core model of the BMW brand, will start in 2020 in Shenyang.
“BBA is our cornerstone for the BMW brand’s sustained success in its largest market. This year marks our joint venture’s 15th anniversary. The tremendous growth we have achieved over these years is only possible due to our strong and reliable partnership with Brilliance. Together we have set the foundation for future growth,” said Nicolas Peter, member of the board of management of BMW AG for finance. With BBA, two-thirds of all BMW vehicles sold in China were produced by the alliance.
Besides the assembly of the iX3, the Chinese plants will also be part of BMW's drive towards electric mobility. Along with the engine plant, the automaker has also set up a battery factory for the electrified BMW brand vehicles produced locally in Shenyang.