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CHINA: BMW sees growth slowing but still double digit

By Graeme Roberts | 4 March 2013

BMW expects China sales to have double-digital growth this year, according to the new local chief Karsten Engel.

Last year, the automaker's sales in China surged 40.4% to 326,444 units, including 303,169 BMWs and 23,275 Minis.

Engel was recently named president and CEO of BMW Group Region China, succeeding Christoph Stark who held the position for eight years.

"We will continue to grow our local production and introduce more products into China," he said.

"I can leverage my network at BMW for the Chinese market."

BMW now produces the 3 and 5 Series and X1 at its joint venture in Shenyang, Liaoning province . It has two plants in the northeastern city. Their combined annual capacity could reach 300,000 units by the end of this year.

Robertson said a programme to create a new, local brand at the joint venture is well on track and it will come to fruition in one or two months.

He added that BMW plans to launch its i3 electric car in China during the first half of 2014.

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