BMW ramps up investment in China to meet electric demand

BMW CEO Harald Krueger, right, underlined the importance of China to the German automaker, saying the country, with its increased demand for electric vehicles, is a dynamic growth market for his country. (AP Photo)
Updated 11 October 2018
0

BMW ramps up investment in China to meet electric demand

  • Munich-based BMW said it would pay €3.6 billion to raise its stake in BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. to 75 percent
  • BMW will invest in new and existing plant facilities in Shenyang, increasing production capacity to 650,000 vehicles a year from the early 2020s

FRANKFURT: German automaker BMW is taking a majority stake in its China joint venture and investing €3 billion ($3.5 billion) in factories there, underscoring the importance of the Chinese market as the company prepares to meet increased demand for electric vehicles.
Munich-based BMW on Thursday said it would pay €3.6 billion to raise its stake in BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. to 75 percent from 50 percent.
Alongside the deal, BMW will invest in new and existing plant facilities in Shenyang, increasing production capacity to 650,000 vehicles a year from the early 2020s. The plants produced 400,000 vehicles last year.
A new plant will be able to produce fully electric, partly electric, and conventional vehicles on the same line.

 

The Chinese government has issued a new energy vehicle mandate which uses a system of credits to push automakers to increase the share of battery-only and hybrid cars in their sales mix.
The policy is expected to increase the number of electrically powered vehicles in the world’s largest car market over coming years.
Last year, battery-only and hybrid cars were 2.2 percent of the Chinese market; the International Council on Clean Transportation estimates that could rise to around 4 percent by 2020 under the policy.
The country is BMW’s single largest sales market, with 560,000 vehicles sold there last year.
The deal is subject to approval by regulators and shareholders of Chinese partner Brilliance China Automotive Holdings.
BMW is taking advantage of the Chinese government’s plans to end the requirement that foreign auto manufacturers enter into joint ventures with local partners in order to make cars in China. The BMW-Brilliance deal is scheduled to close in 2022, the year the requirement ends.
“With continuous investment, as well as the development and production of electric vehicles, we underline China’s importance as a dynamic growth market for us,” BMW CEO Harald Krueger said in a statement.

FASTFACTS

China is BMW’s single largest sales market, with 560,000 vehicles sold there last year.


Apple to build new $1 billion campus in Austin

Updated 13 December 2018
0

Apple to build new $1 billion campus in Austin

  • Apple Inc. said it would spend $1 billion to build a second campus in Austin, Texas
  • Apple will also set up sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, California

NEW YORK: Apple Inc. said on Thursday it would spend $1 billion to build a second campus in Austin, Texas that will house as many as 15,000 workers, amid a broader push by many US companies to create more jobs at home.
The iPhone maker had announced at the start of the year it would invest $30 billion in the United States, taking advantage of a tax windfall stemming from US President Donald Trump’s sweeping tax reforms.
The 133-acre campus in Austin will employ workers across various functions including engineering, R&D, operations and finance. The city is already home to the second largest number of Apple employees outside its headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Apple will also set up sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, California and hire over 1,000 employees each in these locations, while also expanding operations in Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colorado over the next three years.
Many American multinationals have been facing political pressure to ramp up investments at home as part of Trump’s “America First” policies, which have left the United States embroiled in a bitter trade war with China. The president has also warned of tariffs on iPhones and other Apple products imported from China.
Apple’s technology rival Amazon.com Inc. last month ended a months-long search for its second headquarters, picking New York City and an area just outside Washington, D.C. for massive new offices, with plans to create thousands of jobs.
The new Austin campus will be located less than a mile away from Apple’s existing facilities, and will first house 5,000 new employees with the capacity to expand to 15,000.
The company, which last year moved into its sleek “spaceship” campus in Cupertino, said jobs at the new Austin center would include engineering, research and development, finance and sales functions.