A long wheelbase version of the BMW 3-series is set to be put into production in China.
The stretched BMW 3-series will compete for sales with the ultra-successful Audi A4L, and will be built in conjunction with BMW's Chinese partner Brilliance at a new factory in the Shengyang economic zone.
The new factory - which will be built by 2012 - will have the capacity to build 100,000 units a year, and will also house a production line for the X1, according to the chairman of Brilliance Auto, Qi Yu Min.
The plant's creation underlines both the growing importance of the Chinese market to BMW and the growing relationship between Brilliance and BMW.
Once the factory is complete, the alliance will be able to build up to 300,000 cars a year in China, with up to 60 per cent of the parts locally sourced. That means the plant is likely to exceed demand for BMW's in China, and will export cars.
BMW is projected to sell 120,000 cars in China from 2012, having doubled its sales in the region so far this year.