by Xinhua writers Zhu Sheng, Xu Yang
MUNICH, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- The opening-up is an important policy and German carmaker BMW Group will make use of it as best as it can, one company executive told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview in Munich.
"If you look at those big collaboration projects with Chinese companies, like Great Wall, Baidu, which we announced in Berlin in July. Those all demonstrate that we are keen on making use of all the options of collaboration and engaging us in China," said Thomas Becker, vice president of governmental affairs with BMW Group.
Becker said that the original objective used to be produce combustion cars in China and for the Chinese market when the Bavarian company firstly entered China in 1994.
"However, when you look at our industry in which direction it is going, all have fundamentally changed," Becker emphasized, adding that BMW is investing a lot in the electrification in order to take forward.
China is the market where this development will be among the very fastest around the world, according to him.
Meanwhile, BMW factory in China used to make cars only for the Chinese market in the past. But today it is increasingly seeking to make the production facilities in China as an integrated part of its global network that also supplies other markets.
According to Becker, BMW X3 electric vehicle is going to be made in China not only for Chinese customers, but also for export to third markets.
"Therefore, we think that the Chinese government is absolutely right to redefine the overall rules of industrial policy in general and the automotive policy specifically," Becker continued.
The Chinese government announced to remove foreign ownership limits for special vehicle and new energy vehicle manufacturing starting on July 28 this year, while those for passenger car manufacturing will be lifted by 2022.
"Opening up for new shareholder ratios allows more flexibility in the way Chinese companies work with foreign manufacturers, and it allows them to have tailormade arrangement not only on shareholder ratios, but also on how to produce, how to export and how to work together. It is absolutely right and we are strongly supporting this," Becker said.
Being asked whether BMW will increase its stake in BMW Brilliance Automotive to at least 75 percent from its current 50 percent holding, Becker said currently he cannot comment on the details.
"For us it is clearly an important discussion and it needs to be done carefully. We move forward carefully and seriously," Becker said.
"The change in the political framework is an important signal for opening up. For us, it means lots of opportunities that we want to make use of," he concluded.