The current pandemic that has taken over the world and is forcing people to stay home has had, and will continue to have, dire consequences for economies worldwide. China has already seen a drastic reduction of its GDP over the course of 2020 and other countries are bound to follow. China, however, is one of the most important countries to watch out for though, because of its massive economy. Whatever happens there can have drastic effects all over the world.
Before this crisis hit, China was the biggest automotive market in the world, basically dictating how most manufacturer work and even design their cars. BMW has definitely been reaping solid rewards from investing in the communist country but some analyst pointed out that the current development might change things to some extent. According to a recent statement from BMW’s head of operations in China, that’s not going to happen.
In a video conference held last week in China, Jochen Goller, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China said BMW is planning to continue investing in the region: “All of our investments we committed (in China) will continue, and we are actually discussing investing more in China in the future. So China will remain our most important market worldwide.” According to the BMW official, the company is optimistic and estimates that even though a drop in sales will be recorded throughout the first half of the year, a comeback will be made in the second half.
For now, BMW resumed its operations at the plants it has in China and up to 85% of its dealerships are now once again open. According to Pieter Nota, sales are already picking back up in March but it’s too early to make an estimate for the entire year. “Clearly we are tackling challenges and ramping up our business,” Goller added. “Unprecedented crises like this require decisive actions and leadership, and this is precisely what China has demonstrated over the past weeks and months.”