May 19, 2017 / 3:03 AM / 3 months ago

BMW China production capacity to reach 450,000 cars per year

FRANKFURT, May 19 (Reuters) - German carmaker BMW said its annual production capacity in China will reach 450,000 vehicles once an investment plan to upgrade its local factories is completed.

BMW produces cars at two plants in Shenyang, China and has invested 1 billion euros to adapt production lines for newer models over the past three years, the German carmaker said.

At its Dadong site in Shenyang, China, BMW now produces a long-wheelbase version of the 5-series sedan and is preparing to make the X3 offroader at a factory run by its joint venture partner BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA), BMW said.

BMW is now remodelling the southern section of the Dadong plant to increase the factory's flexibility, while another plant in Tiexi in the west of Shenyang, builds a long-wheelbase version of the X1 offroader, a 2 series, a long-wheelbase 3 series and a 1-series sedan.

A new high-voltage battery centre, to assemble batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles is also under construction and is due to be opened later this year, the company said.

In 2016 BMW sold over 516,000 BMW Mini and Rolls-Royce models in China. In 2017 the group plans to launch 14 new or revised models in China. (Reporting by Edward Taylor, editing by David Evans)

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