When you combine 1.3 billion citizens, 100 cities with more than a million inhabitants and an economy that's as unrestrained as Jim Cramer on an Adderall binge, China's explosive auto industry growth shouldn't be a huge surprise. Audi already lists the communist country as its largest market, while Mercedes-Benz is expecting it to be there in the next few years. Now, according to a report from Automotive News, BMW is expecting the People's Republic to overtake the United States in sales by the end of 2013.

We already discovered the extent that BMW is going to in establishing a dedicated Chinese stronghold, when we explored BMW's Shanghai-based DesignWorks studio ahead of April's Shanghai Motor Show. And while we argued that DesignWorks Shanghai hasn't really borne fruit, it isn't due to a lack of sales.

BMW China has seen a 16-percent jump in year-over-year sales, lead by a 28-percent gain in 5 Series sales. Part of BMW's growth strategy comes from an ever-expanding dealership network. Remember those 100 cities we mentioned with over one million people? According to Karsten Engel, CEO of BMW's Chinese operations, those 100-million-plus city dwellers don't have access to a premium dealership.

Despite BMW's successes in the Chinese market, it's still playing second fiddle to Audi. Its rival had the highest market share in the premium market in 2012, and it's seen an 18-percent increase to BMW's 16-percent increase, moving 228,000 vehicles to BMW's 170,000.


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  • 57 Comments
      Sean Conrad
      • 1 Year Ago
      The market with 4x as many people will have more customers. Shocking. It's still a little surprising considering how abysmally low the typical wage is in China, I suppose.
        aatbloke1967
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sean Conrad
        But not surprising when you consider the staggering boom in its entrepreneurs over the past decade. When you have the likes of Gieves & Hawkes setting up shop in places like Shanghai during that time, this news should come as surprise to nobody.
        tinted up
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sean Conrad
        China = booming entrepreneurs USA = waning entrepreneurs
        404 not found
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sean Conrad
        I met 2 entrepreneurs while I was over there. One owns a shoe factory and another owns an exports business. Both make millions. These are the people buying the BMW's.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @404 not found
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      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      In short order the Chinese auto makers will be up to snuff and the West will lose out again. Western Capitalists have been trying to flood the Chinese market since the 19th century and something always goes wrong. Meantime, we are stuck with Walmart filled with Chinese manufactured goods. So much for free trade: how about fair trade???
      RobbieAG
      • 1 Year Ago
      China's population is 1.3 billion, not 2 billion - still the most populous country in the world. India is closest with 1.2 billion.
      Dienliv
      • 1 Year Ago
      That guy looks like he's getting ready to fire up his baby maker.
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dienliv
        If he's like the average BMW owner, he got a raging hard-on as soon as he saw the 'roundel'.
        clquake
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dienliv
        He's installing the badge, not molesting it.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Dvanos
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Chinese manufacturing a German automobile, something about this pic ain't right. Smh.
      jason32379
      • 1 Year Ago
      China's economy is going to implode very soon; the signs are there and have been building for years. Stay tuned. Nothing lasts forever...
        tinted up
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jason32379
        Agreed. It seems that the Chinese population is far too huge to be able to export to the rest of the world for as long as the US did. At this point it's like a 5 year old still breast feeding, eventually the milk is going to run out. Then what...
        Pdexter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jason32379
        I would be worried about that. US and China are held together buy China buying bonds with its years of surplus that it uses to buy dollars to keep US buying power up. China owns US dept. When China truly imploes, so will US. Losing money outside for 21 years can't work. It has worked because of China.
      David
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is this any way to showcase a communist country? When all adults have a BMW or equivilant they will be comrades. Mao,Stalin and Lenin must be rolling in their glass coffins.
        superchan7
        • 1 Year Ago
        @David
        Calling China a "Communist" country really irritates me. What part of using cash to buy a house from a private developer, a car from Buick, a smart phone from Samsung........is Communist?
          AnalogJesse
          • 1 Year Ago
          @superchan7
          That's not communist. That's just tyranny masked in a political ideology.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @superchan7
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          @superchan7
          [blocked]
      schizzle
      • 1 Year Ago
      Future Chinese owners of BMW's should start stocking up on plenty of water pumps & thermostats. They're the first things to fail in a BMW.
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      They can have these overpriced German turds. Nobody cares.
      xspeedy
      • 1 Year Ago
      That explains why BMWs are no longer "drivers" cars.
      Rob J
      • 1 Year Ago
      The world is going to be an interesting place when hundreds of millions of Chinese (and Indian) people begin to live "western" style lives.
        tool0117
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob J
        Western lifestyles meaning as fat, lazy, entitled, poorly educated, highly-polluting slobs? it's gonna suck
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