BMW to produce Neue Klasse EVs in China from 2026 – paultan.org
This year marks the 20th anniversary of BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA), which is a joint venture between BMW and Brilliance Auto in China. To mark the occasion, it was announced that local production of BMW’s Neue Klasse will commence at BBA’s Shenyang plant from 2026, following the market launch of these next-generation electric vehicles (EVs) in 2025.
Additionally, BBA will invest 10 billion yuan (around RM6.4 billion) for a new high-voltage battery assembly plant, also in Shenyang, to ensure a steady supply for vehicle production. The facility will be responsible for assembling the sixth generation of BMW’s high-voltage batteries that are key to the Neue Klasse.
For a brief recap, the Neue Klasse was first announced in March 2021 and points to an EV-only platform for the brand’s next-generation EVs set to arrive in 2025. This is part of the carmaker’s grand plan where it says, “more than half the vehicles the BMW Group sells worldwide should be fully electric before 2030.”
The upcoming Shenyang battery assembly plant will be part of a global battery production network that will also see similar facilities be set up in Debrecen (Hungary), San Luis Potosí (Mexico), Woodruff near Spartanburg (the United States) as well as a new location in Germany in the next few years. BMW says this “local for local” approach helps bolster the increasing electrification of its product line-up in individual regions worldwide, while also enabling CO2 savings from logistics.
This is also true of its supplier network, and in China, BBA already has around 430 local suppliers. The joint venture was first found in May 2003, but BMW already had a presence in the Chinese market since 1994. Over the past 20 years, BBA’s Shenyang plant has increased its production capacity from 30,000 to 830,000 units and currently produces seven models ranges with all-electric, plug-in hybrid and internal combustion powertrains.
Ahead of the rollout of the Neue Klasse, BMW says it has set up an entire electromobility ecosystem in China that spans research and development, the supply chain and production of batteries and EVs. With facilities in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang and Nanjing, the German carmaker has built the biggest research and innovation network outside of Germany.
The R&D facility in particular turns this year and was expanded to increase the development and validation capacity for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in China. Now with 19 test benches for low- and high-voltage testing, pedestrian safety testing, improved electronic analyses and charging capacity tests at extreme temperatures, these expanded testing capacities can help shorten development cycles.
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