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10,000 Homemade BMW Sold in Past Year

BMW China announced last Friday that more than 10,000 domestically-made luxury BMWs have been sold in China since October 16, 2003, when the company released the first made-in-China BMWs.


Up to May 2004, Shengyang-based BMW China has manufactured, for Chinese consumers, five kinds of autos among BMW 5 Series and BMW 3 Series, namely 318i, 325i, 520i, and 530i, with prices ranging from 350,000 to 700,000 yuan (US$42,320 to 84,640).


"We are very satisfied with the sale of these hi-end autos in such a short time," said Fang Zhiyong, vice president of BMW China.


However, the 10,000 sale in the first year fell short of the company's expectation of 18,000 to 25,000, as some media reported last year. The company's mid-term plan is to hit an annual sale of 30,000 autos of BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series from present to 2005.


Fang explained that after an immense growth, Chinese auto market stays stable this year. "It shows the market is maturing and has great potential," he said.


Up to now, there are only two players on China's market of homemade luxury cars, BMW and Audi. The market dominator Audi sold 28,000 autos, including 23,600 Audi A6 and 4,400 Audi A4 in the first half of 2004.


And Just days ago, Audi announced a price cut of luxury cars, putting a lot pressure on BMW, whose high price, as analysts said, reduced its sale.


According to General Motor Shanghai, Cadillac will have its CTS model produced in China by the end of this year; in 2005, it will enter the market.


Other luxury car giants such as Mercedes Benz, VOLVO are warming up to show their China made versions in domestic market in the near future.


(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2004)

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