To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. (BBA) joint venture, Milan Nedeljković, a member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production, has announced the local production of the NEUE KLASSE in China. Starting from 2025 onwards, the next generation of vehicles will be manufactured by BBA in Shenyang, along with the production of high-voltage batteries.
A groundbreaking ceremony for a new high-voltage battery assembly site was also conducted during the anniversary celebration. The investment of RMB 10 billion will facilitate the production of battery cells for the upcoming sixth generation of high-voltage batteries, contributing to the NEUE KLASSE vehicle production and generating approximately 2,000 job opportunities in the region.
Milan Nedeljković expressed his delight at the growth of their plants in Shenyang, transforming them into BMW’s largest production location globally. He emphasized the integration of the NEUE KLASSE into Chinese production, accompanied by the establishment of a high-voltage battery assembly for the next generation of batteries, as crucial steps toward further electrification of their vehicle lineup and overall success as a company.
Having been present in China since 1994, the BMW Group has steadily expanded its presence in the market. The BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture was formed in 2003, and production capacity in Shenyang has risen from 30,000 to 830,000 units over the past two decades. Currently, BBA manufactures seven different model ranges, encompassing fully-electric, plug-in hybrid, and internal combustion engine vehicles.
Electromobility and digitalization are significant focal points for the BMW Group, particularly in China. The upcoming NEUE KLASSE model will epitomize the future of mobility by incorporating electric, digital, and circular elements.
The BMW Group is strategically aligning its production network for electromobility, aiming for over 50% of its global vehicle sales to be fully electric by 2030. Presently, electronic components and high-voltage batteries for electric vehicles are produced at various German sites and the Shenyang location in China.
Additional assembly sites for the sixth generation of high-voltage batteries are planned for Debrecen (Hungary), San Luis Potosí (Mexico), and Woodruff near Spartanburg (USA). These batteries will be utilized in the NEUE KLASSE models. The company also intends to establish a new location in Germany to supply Bavarian vehicle plants with sixth-generation high-voltage batteries in the future.
By adopting a “local for local” approach, the BMW Group ensures the progressive electrification of its product lineup in different regions worldwide, resulting in reduced logistics-related CO2 emissions.
In preparation for the NEUE KLASSE launch, the BMW Group has established a comprehensive electromobility ecosystem in China, comprising research and development, supply chain management, and battery and electric vehicle production. With research and innovation facilities in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Nanjing, the BMW Group has built an extensive network outside of Germany.
The Shenyang Research and Development Center focuses primarily on developing electromobility technologies and localizing products. The facility has expanded significantly, enhancing its development and validation capacity for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in China. The center now features 19 test benches for low and high-voltage testing, pedestrian safety testing, improved electronic analyses, and charging capacity tests under extreme temperatures, enabling shorter development cycles.
The BMW Group continues to expand its local supplier network in China, aligning with its “local for local” strategy. BBA already collaborates with approximately 430 local suppliers across the country, with a significant portion located in Liaoning Province and Shenyang.
The implementation of the BMW iFACTORY, the company’s master plan for automotive production, will further drive the development of high-quality, intelligent, and resource-efficient manufacturing in Shenyang. The iFACTORY, based on the principles of LEAN, GREEN, and DIGITAL, sets new standards for automotive production in the era of electric and digital mobility. The recently opened Lydia plant site serves as a prime example, as it was specifically configured for the iFACTORY concept from its inception.