BMW's Chinese joint venture with Brilliance Automotive has said it will build an electric car to be marketed under the newly created Zinoro brand.
BMW Brilliance Automotive Co. will build the car at its Tiexi plant in the northeast China city of Shenyang. The car will go on sale in the first quarter of 2014.
During a press conference last week in Beijing, the joint venture indicated that Zinoro means "honoring promises." Additional details about the vehicle have yet to be disclosed. The JV currently makes the BMW 3 series, 5 series and X1 in Shenyang.
The Chinese government requires foreign automakers building vehicles in China to develop new brands for their local joint ventures.
The joint ventures of General Motors, Toyota, Honda and Nissan each have begun marketing their own brands. The Toyota, Honda and Nissan brands are stocked with models built on the Japanese automakers' old vehicle platforms.
Separately, BMW said group sales rose 5 percent year-on-year in March to 32,200 units, maintaining its position as China's second-largest luxury automaker.
Brand sales for the first three months totaled 80,570 units, up 7.4 percent year-on-year.
BMW trailed luxury market leader Audi, which had sales of 102,810 units in the first quarter, up 8 percent. By contrast, Mercedes-Benz sales declined 12 percent to 45,440 units.