Business / Auto China

Car lovers test their need for speed in BMW Mission 3

By Li Fusheng (China Daily) Updated: 2014-03-31 15:46


More than 14 million 3 Series have been sold worldwide, making it the best-selling premium car ever, said Binsbergen.

Global sales of the 3 Series reached a record high of 500,000 units in 2013 and nearly 75,000 new 3 Series were sold in China, a 59 percent surge from the previous year.

Binsbergen said one reason for its popularity is sportiness: a 50:50 weight distribution, the combination of the Twinpower Turbo engine and 8-speed gearbox, state-of-the-art chassis technology and sporty design.

Mission 3 is another contributory factor, he said, adding that the seven-year-old event has become one of the most influential customer experience campaigns in the country.

He said that the event gives customers and fans of the BMW 3 Series the perfect opportunity to experience the driving dynamics, luxury, comfort and lifestyle the car represents.

"People who come to experience it talk about it with friends. And this is important because we know in China the word-of-mouth is probably one of most important ways to influence people's decision."

The event also helps BMW Brilliance to improve its sales network as more than 250 dealers, many of them new ones in smaller cities, are joining the campaign this year.

"In addition to the hardware, we are offering them strong support in finding the right people and training them on everything from sales to after-sale services," said Binsbergen.

He said dealers are excited about the event because it will also help them be better connected with potential customers.

In addition to Mission 3, BMW Brilliance is launching a wide range of other activities to bring the brand closer to the Chinese market.

Among other things, Binsbergen said BMW Brilliance is equipping some locally made sedans with all-wheel drive technology to improve safety as some regions have heavy snow in winter.

It is also offering a limited Year of the Horse edition of the 3 Series for Chinese customers to celebrate the Year of the Horse.

The automaker unveiled its electric car brand ZINORO in early 2013 as part of its campaign to alleviate air pollution. The first model 1E is already available.

BMW Brilliance achieved record sales of more than 200,000 units in 2013, a 28.5 percent increase from the previous year.

Satisfied with the performance, Binsbergen expects BMW Brilliance to see steady growth this year.

"Hyper growth is history. We will have steady profitable growth. That is what we and our dealers need to secure the long-term future," said Binsbergen.

Based in Shenyang, BMW Brilliance has a plant in the Tiexi district of the northeastern city.

It started operating in 2012 and currently produces several models including both the new 3 Series standard wheelbase and the long-wheelbase versions.

Binsbergen said the plant will produce engines for volume products like those currently produced at the Tiexi plant but did not specify models.

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