Chinese investment by BMW, Brilliance to hit 1.0 bln euros

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The world's leading luxury car maker, BMW, said on Monday it will nearly double a planned Chinese investment with its local partner Brilliance Automotive Holdings to about one billion euros ($1.44 billion).

"We will increase the previously announced investment of 560 million euros in our Chinese facility in Shenyang to around one billion euros," a statement quoted BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer as saying.

It cited growing popularity of BMW group autos in the world's biggest car market as a key reason for the decision.

"The additional investment, which will be shared between the two partners, will be used to build a press shop, a paint shop and to expand infrastructure at the new plant in Tiexi in the Shenyang region in preparation for higher production capacities in the future," the statement said.

BMW is now building its second assembly plant in China and plans to produce the small X1 sports utility vehicle there next year.

The two factories would have a total production capacity of more than 300,000 vehicles per year, BMW said.

It currently produces the 3 Series and 5 Series models at an existing facility in Shenyang, as China has become its third largest market worldwide.

In the first four months of 2011, the BMW group, which includes the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, sold 79,306 vehicles in China, an annualised gain of 70.1 percent.

© 2011 AFP

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