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BMW’s N20 Engine Goes into Production in Mian Yang

Note: Followingare news stories originally printed in Sichuan Daily

OnJune 26, 2014, BMW’s N20 engines were formally launched into production inPower XinChen’s assembly plant in Mian Yang.

A first in its hundred-year history for BMW to authorizean outside player to build its reputable engines

OnThursday morning,26th of June, a grand roll-off ceremony was held tocelebrate the launch of N20 engine production in Power XinChen’s manufacturingplant, where GuetnerWollny, senior vice-president of BMW group, Dr.Anton Heiss, seniorvice-president of BMW Brilliance, Qi Yumin Chairman and President ofBrilliance, Liu Jie, Deputy Governor of Sichuan witnessed the 1stengine rolling off the assembly line.

As a leading Chinese enginemaker, Power XinChen in 2011 embarked on a “treasure hunt” to seek external resourcesto help fulfill its lifelong mission: “build the best engines in China”, whichculminated with a productive outcome. In December,2012, BMW group signed aformal agreement with the company on N20 licensed production (project name:Blue Sky), marking the first time in the hundred-year history of the Germanluxury carmaker to allow an outside player to produce its much-praised engines.This partnership also creates a new avenue for local OEMs to graspstate-of-the-art core engine technology through cooperation with internationalindustry leaders. Riding on the momentum of the project, Power XinChen listedits shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in March of the following year.

The project codenamed Blue Skybroke ground in Mian Yang June 2013, with a dedicated team established in BMWBrilliance to ensure the engine producer could fully digest and absorb theengine’s advanced design concepts and process standards.

N20 is an in-line four-cylinderturbocharged engine known to be BMW’s latest flagship product whose robustpower and great fuel economy make it one of the best in its class. From 2012 to2013, the engine was ranked among Ward’s 10 Best Engines by Ward’s Autoworldmagazine for two straight times.

According to Power XinChen,the N20 engines produced in Mian Yang are to be used both in BMW Brilliance’s3&5 series and Brilliance’s own car brands.

BMW’s N20 Engines Find Home in Mian Yang

June 26th, BMW’s N20 engines were formallylaunched into Production by Power XinChen in Mian Yang, lending new momentum tothe city’s automobile and component manufacturing industries. What it is sospecial about this local company that impressed the auto giant BMW? We take youinside the Chinese engine maker to find out why.

“It is trust in our Chinese partner’s ability toproduce good quality engines,” said Guetner Wollny, senior vice-president ofBMW group.

As one of few makers in China of light weight gasolineand diesel engines having the capability to independently perform design anddevelopment, Power XinChen has gained a secure foothold in the domestic marketwith more than 10 years of industry experience. However, it is still a long wayto go for the company to rival leading international players. To bridge thegap, borrowing strength from a strong partner seems to be a wise move.

In 2011 the engine maker initiated a “treasure hunting” strategy to seekexternal cooperation. Soon, opportunity presented itself in the 2012 BeijingAuto Show where BMW Brilliance’s Chairman Wu Xiaoan introduced the chiefexecutive of Power XinChen Wang Yunxian to several senior executives of BMW. Duringthe following meetings, he and his staffers’ diligence, attention to detail anddetermination commanded their immediate respect and interest.

After strenuous effort frommultiple parties, the two sides entered into a cooperation agreement in MunichGermany December 2012, which allows the Chinese company to produce N20 enginesand main engine components in Mian Yang. In June of 2013, the project brokeground in the high-tech development zone of Mian Yang.

However, this remarkable partnershipwould not be possible without BMW’s eagerness to find a local partner in Chinato build its engines.

“In BMW any decision about engine production is no small matter,” said Wollny,“Authorizing PXC to produce our engines is a first in the hundred-year historyof BMW, and this shows our full confidence in the Chinese partner. We share acommon goal to build more than BMW cars in China.”

For PXC, N20 is more a sophisticated system than justa simple engine

N20 is an in-line four-cylinder turbocharged engine known to be BMW’s latest flagshipproduct whose smooth power delivery, instant throttle response and great fueleconomy make it one of the best in its class.

Since building such a complex high-end engine is noeasy task, one cannot help but wonder whether the company’s technicians areable to absorb, digest the engine’s advanced technology and use this experienceto enhance their own innovational capability.

“Producing N20 engines requires not only a matchingmanufacturing process and a system of rigorous quality management, but moreimportantly a team of highly dedicated and skilled professionals. We think PXC meetthose standards,” asserted Dr.Anton Heiss, senior vice-president of BMWBrilliance.

To ensure the project could pass BMW’s rather stringentquality audits, the joint venture offered PXC all-round support includingpersonnel training, process planning, quality standard formulation andequipment installation.

“N20 is more a sophisticated system than just a simpleengine, I believe we made a good start for advancing our cooperation with BMWin the future,” said Wang. He also told the Sichuan Daily that hiscompany would make an earnest effort to assimilate BMW’s engine technology andramp up production to capacity as fast as possible while ensuring quality.

“Our current goal is to put N20 engines made by us notonly in BMW’s mid-level luxury vehicles, but also in the car brands of ChineseOEMs. Through deep and long-term learning from BMW, we have every confidence inour ability to build the best Chinese engines in Mian Yang.”

P.S. In the roll-off ceremony today, one interesting episodecaught our attention: Despite his not-so-perfect English, Wang insisted on offeringhis greetings to the German friends from BMW in the language to directly conveyhis excitement, appreciation and eagerness to learn. The gesture deeply touchedall the guests including Wang’s boss Qi Yumin, Chairman and President ofBrilliance. “It seems that not to be outdone, I must study German in earnestfrom now on,” he said humorously.