The recent refusal by the Chinese government to approve plans by BMW to expand its Shenyang site located in the northeastern part of the country has given rise to concerns that global carmakers could find it more difficult to secure regulatory approval on projects in China. The country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection disclosed that it sent back an application by BMW, citing inadequate wastewater analysis as well as the plan's failure to comply with government anti-pollution targets.
Bill Russo, president of automotive consultant Synergistics, remarked to Bloomberg that the ease of expansion in China will likely not to be “as easy as in the past." Russo said that he can’t remember China ever issuing a statement derailing a carmaker's expansion plans for an existing project, saying such move is “unusual.”
BMW spokesman Alexander Bilgeri remarked that the ministry asked for additional documents, adding that China’s decision on the project wasn't final.
In a statement posted on the ministry's Web site, China said it didn't approve plans by BMW Brilliance Automotive for the third phase of the Shenyang site, saying that the first phase has yet to pass an inspection.
The Economic Information Daily reported Monday that industry officials are increasingly calling for China to start a probe into imported car prices. The daily noted that the profit from imported luxury cars in China was 30 percent higher than the global average, citing Shen Jianjun, executive vice president and secretary general of China Automobile Dealers Association.