To mark the 20th anniversary of the BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) joint venture, the German OEM has announced the local production of Neue Klasse vehicles in China. After a market launch in 2025, the next generation BMW models will also be produced by BBA in Shenyang from 2026 onwards. In addition to the Neue Klasse models, the high-voltage batteries required for the vehicles will also be manufactured locally within the country.
A total of RMB 10 billion (US$1.4bn) will be invested by BBA in a new plant that will manufacture battery cells for the sixth generation of high-voltage batteries beginning in 2026.
“Integration of the Neue Klasse into our production in China goes hand in hand with construction of a high-voltage battery assembly for the next, sixth generation of batteries and will make a significant contribution to further electrification of our line-up and, therefore, to our success as a company,” said Milan Nedeljković, member of the board of management at BMW, responsible for production.
The BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture was founded in May 2003, and over the past two decades the vehicle maker has expanded its operations in the country, with production in Shenyang for example, increasing from 30,000 to 830,000 units. At present, the company produces seven model ranges with fully electric, plug-in hybrid or internal combustion engines.
The investment decision comes as the BMW Group aligns its production network to support a transition toward electric forms of mobility. The OEM is aiming for 50% of its international vehicle sales to be all-electric before 2030.
BMW currently manufactures electronic components and high-voltage batteries for its EVs in Dingolfing, Leipzig and Regensburg in Germany, in addition to Shenyang in China. Over the coming years, additional sixth-generation high-voltage battery assembly sites will be established in Debrecen in Hungary, San Luis Potosí in Mexico and Woodruff in the USA, to manufacture batteries for Neue Klasse vehicles. A site will also be added in Germany to supply the company’s vehicle plants in the country.