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BMW to invest in Chinese expansion

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BMW to invest in Chinese expansion
Photo: DPA
17:27 CET+01:00
BMW and its Chinese partner will invest five billion yuan ($732 million) to expand production capacity in the world's biggest car market, the German auto maker said Thursday.

The long-term injection by BMW and its joint venture partner Brilliance Auto Group will take their total investment in China to 9.5 billion yuan, BMW said in a statement, without providing an exact timeframe for the new investment.

The German luxury car maker said the money would be used to boost the production capacity of an existing plant at Shenyang in northeastern China, and to build an engine facility.

BMW said this week that sales in China of its own-name and Mini-brand autos soared 81 percent in October from a year earlier to a monthly record of 9,558 units, without providing a comparative figure for 2008.

That compares with an anaemic two percent increase in overall global sales.

China sales in the January-October period jumped 36.7 percent to 71,952 units from 52,622 units a year earlier, BMW said.

The Asian giant has been a bright spot for foreign auto makers struggling to boost sales in the rest of the world amid the financial crisis.

China's total car sales outstripped those in the United States for the first time in January to make the Asian giant the world's largest car market, helped by Beijing's efforts to stimulate domestic consumption.

These measures included slashing taxes on cars with engines smaller than 1.6 litres and subsidising alternative-energy vehicles.

China's auto sales rose 72.5 percent in October from a year ago to 1.23 million units, an industry body said this week, the eighth straight month that sales exceeded the one million unit mark.

For the first 10 months of the year, sales rose 37.7 percent on-year to 10.89 million, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement.

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