Automakers continue to pour big money into the developing market that is China, and new sub-brands born of joint ventures with domestic partners crop up on what seems like a weekly basis. The latest? According to reports, BMW and its Chinese ally Brilliance are forming a new sub-brand called Zhi Nuo ("The Promise") that will likely rely on existing or older BMW products as a basis for new models.

Previous reports had indicated that the sub-brand could build its offerings based on an older 3 Series model (presumably the E90 series), but newer rumors have the X1 crossover (shown) factoring in. The Zhi Nuo brand could receive its official unveiling as soon as later this month at the Shanghai Motor Show.

Perhaps most interestingly, Automotive News Europe reports that the automaker's ambitions for Zhi Nuo may extend beyond China's borders. It's not clear what markets BMW may be eying, but executives admit the company hasn't ruled out Europe.


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  • 36 Comments
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      Too bad they can't rebuild a new e30 or 2002 with more modern engines. Now that would interesting!
      jf.bouchard
      • 1 Year Ago
      So it's like a BMW version of Skoda.
        Pdexter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jf.bouchard
        If that really is the case, that would be amazing.
      ksrcm
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ehm ... X1 IS based on E90 platform. Isn't it? So, whether they use one or the other is about the same thing ...
      Dave
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW could put a 20 hp lawn tractor engine in it and build the body out of wood and glue to meet the Chinese standards, and slap some dragon and BMW propeller decals on it to make it sell there. Huge profit margins are just waiting to be exploited.
        clquake
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        The prospective clients that would buy a BMW know more about luxury than you can possibly imagine.
        CCCrre
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        Your statement truely reflect why America stop growing. LOL
      WarrenIsMad
      • 1 Year Ago
      How long before the Chinese say-'Thank for all the R&D, the century of development in only 10 years, the free training...the off the shelf technology...now go home.' We are feeding a beast in the hope that it chooses to eat us last.
      Dvanos
      • 1 Year Ago
      Really, BMW?? How low can you go?
      Shiftright
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW...marching relentlessly to eventual irrelevance...
      IBx27
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, they've been selling out since the E92 which is absolutely boring to drive. Why not make a deal with the devil at this point.
        Jai302
        • 1 Year Ago
        @IBx27
        E92 is boring to drive? Are you out of your mind or hating just for the sake of it?! The e92 M3 is regarded as one of the best drivers cars of all time
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jai302
          [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      desinerd1
      • 1 Year Ago
      A cheaper version of cheaply built German trash? I didn't think it was possible.
        Rich
        • 1 Year Ago
        @desinerd1
        It may force them to actually 'think' before doing something.
        desinerd1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @desinerd1
        Now that I think about it, VW is a cheaper version of cheaply built Audi.
          FIDTRO
          • 1 Year Ago
          @desinerd1
          I think my comments on other articles have made you a little mad. Take a breather, big guy.
        desinerd1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @desinerd1
        Add MINI to the list as well
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who is this targeted at? People who want a BMW but can't afford it? It should be interesting to see what steps they take to bring the price down -- BMWs are already produced in China so that alone would not be a distinguishing characteristic for Zhi Nuo.
        JSH
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Wasp
        This is targeted at the Chinese government. First the Chinese government mandated that for foreign automakers to sell in China they must partner with a Chinese companies and create joint ventures. Now the Chinese government has mandated that foreign automakers create new Chinese brands. Anyone with a little forward thinking can see that the step in the progression is for the Chinese government to wait for the new Chinese brands to build market share and name recognition then mandate that foreign automakers stop selling cars in China under there own brand names. Something similar has already happened with trains. The Chinese asked for bids from foreign companies to build thousands of miles of high-speed trains in China. However, the government mandated the the foreign train companies partner with a Chinese company and share the technology. Now 10 years later those foreign train companies are seeing their former Chinese partners bidding on contracts in their home countries offering their technology for less.
      D E S I G N
      • 1 Year Ago
      as cruel as random nature can be, even it can not create something so hideous looking!
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