The "new normal" in the Chinese market shall be considered in the strategic planning of BMW Group, CEO of the German automaker said on Wednesday at its annual press conference.
According to Nobert Reithofer, an annual growth rate of 40 or 50 percent is not realistic any more after further normalization of the Chinese market, the largest individual market of BMW in 2014, and it will pose new and big challenges to the Bavarian company.
"We have long said that the Chinese market will slow to a more normal pace. Just last week, the Chinese government also made it clear, this is the new normal. Slower economic growth will also affect the automotive industry. We continue to consider this in our strategic planning," Reithofer told journalists.
The outgoing chairman of the board of management reiterated that BMW is strengthening its local production at northern city of Shenyang in China, and the Munich-based company will produce locally six BMW models specifically for the Chinese market in the future.
In 2014, BMW Group reported a fifth consecutive record year in terms of sales volume, revenues and group earnings. For the first time, more than 2 million units were delivered to customers. Sales in the Chinese mainland rose to 456,732 units, representing a year-on-year increase of 16.6 percent.
In addition, Reithofer announced that BMW Group plans to totally launch 15 new models and model updates of BMW and MINI brand vehicles and five new BMW motorcycles this year.
"As always, our forecasts assume the economic conditions worldwide remain stable and won't deteriorate, although many uncertainties remain," Reithofer cited some experts, who expected the global car markets to continue their growth trend this year.