BMW will unveil a plug-in hybrid model in China at Auto Shanghai. This year’s event, which runs from April 21-28, will likely showcase more environmentally-friendly and luxury vehicles as automakers go after China’s eco-conscious market.
BMW looks to further extend its dominance in China’s rapidly growing luxury auto market with new vehicle categories. First up is the environmentally-friendly vehicle that will appeal to the chauffeur-driven Chinese luxury car buyers with features like long wheelbase, sun blinds, a folding table in the rear seat and an entertainment system.
The plug-in hybrid is a variant of the long-wheelbase 5 Series that BMW introduced exclusively in China last year. The long-wheelbase 5 Series is assembled at the BMW/Brilliance plant in Shenyang in Northern China. The plug-in hybrid model will also be produced in China.
This “new energy” BMW is described as “our e-car from China for China,” according to BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer. BMW is opening a second facility in Shenyang in 2012, and will assemble the X1 there for the China market. The new plant will boost BMW’s annual production capacity in China to 150,000 units.
Also at Auto Shanghai, General Motors is expected to officially launch the first model by Baojun, its joint venture with Chinese automaker SAIC, which is aimed at the budget market with retail price of the Baojun 630 starting at $7,000.
photo credit: bmw