BMW prepares China plants for its ‘Neue Klasse’

BMW will invest $2.8 billion in its plants in Shenyang, China, to prepare for the production of electric cars from its ‘Neue Klasse’ (New Class) model family. BMW and the province of Liaoning, where the BMW plants are located, have signed a letter of intent to this effect.

More or less a year ago, BMW announced that it would also manufacture the Neue Klasse electric cars in China. At the time, BMW confirmed that the Chinese joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) in Shenyang would build a model based on the Neue Klasse from 2026 and the necessary battery packs with large-volume round cells.

“The new investment underlines not only our confidence in China’s long-term economic prospects, but also in the innovation capabilities of our Chinese partners,” Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW, told the media rcently.

The BBA joint venture has several plants in Shenyang, where it already builds electric models. The iX3, for example, rolls off the production line at the Dadong plant, while the i3 eDrive 35L, an electric version of the 3 Series saloon, is built at the plant in the Lydia district.

Together with the plant in Tiexi, Shenyang has a production capacity of 830,000 vehicles per year, making it the world’s largest BMW plant. However, as production is officially split between three plants, the US plant in Spartanburg is the largest BMW plant on paper. Most BMWs from Shenyang are destined for the Chinese market, and only the iX3 is exported.

Five production sites for ‘Neue Klasse’

Five production sites for the ‘Neue Klasse’ electric cars have been confirmed, with Shenyang in China. The EVs will begin to roll off the production line in Debrecen, Hungary, then Munich, Germany, and somewhat later in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, and Spartanburg, US. BMW is planning at least six model launches within 24 months for these electric cars from 2025.

According to reports, most of the almost three billion-dollar investment in China has been earmarked for the plant in Dadong, where vehicle production will be located. Exactly which ‘Neue Klasse’ model will debut in China is not yet known.

In Europe, the ‘Neue Klasse’ will launch in 2025 with an electric SUV the size of the X3, the study for which is called the BMW Vision Neue Klasse X. An electric saloon in the 3-series format from the Munich plant will follow in 2026. It will be the production model of the IAA Vision Neue Klasse study.


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