In 2009, German luxury auto brand BMW entered new territory with its X family and the BMW X1 became the world's first premium compact sports-activity vehicle.
Since then, the X1 has won the trust of more than half a million customers around the world and is a leader in its segment.
Now, the compact SUV has aggressively hit the Chinese market again with the second upgraded version, following the original model in early 2010 and the first upgraded version in 2012.
The new X1 is produced at BMW's state-of-the art Tiexi factory in Shenyang, Liaoning province, and offers customers 10 variants, with prices ranging from 259,000 yuan to 436,000 yuan.
"The X1 was the only premium compact SUV on the market at the time of entry and has been leading the segment with huge success ever since in China," said Olaf Kastner, president and CEO of BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd.
"However, we continue to raise our bar for products both in design and quality to maintain outstanding competitiveness. At BMW Brilliance, we improve our products year by year, above and under the hood. From the product enhancement of the 3 and 5 Series to the new X1, we offer the most competitive products in each segment, which are highly appreciated by our strongly growing customer base," he said.
Kastner said since entry into the Chinese market in 2010 and being the first in the segment to produce locally in 2012, the X1's glamour and attraction has never faded.
"The high visibility of the X1 on the roads is the best proof - it is very popular in China, especially among the young and trendy customers," Kastner added.
More than 120,000 units
The total number of X1s in China surpassed 120,000 units.
In the first five months this year, BMW sold more than 20,000 X1 SUVs to Chinese consumers, representing a 41 percent increase from last year, far higher than the average growth in the segment.
Featuring the theme of "freedom", the new X1 was launched during an event on the volcanic island of Xiamen, Fujian province - an outdoor activity hub, which offered a series of specially designed product experience programs.
"Yes, there was one key word running through all the programs - freedom. Every single experience was designed around it. This is exactly what we would like to convey to the BMW X1 fans and customers: the joy of discovering freedom, a car to unleash your passion and live your mobility life," said Kastner.
"The X1 is such a great car for individuals, couples and families who want to explore their personal freedom in mobility day in and day out, during their business and leisure time," he said.
The combination of the BMW 2.0L 4-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine and eight-speed automatic transmission with the Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration, ECO PRO mode and a wider range of BMW EfficientDynamics technology, further optimized the X1's performance and fuel consumption.
The top torque of a basic BMW X1's Drive18i was increased by 20 percent to 240Nm, its acceleration from 0 to 100km/h improved by 7 percent to 9.7 seconds and fuel efficiency also increased by 20 percent to 6.9 liters per 100km.
Depending on the model variants power is transferred via brand-typical rear-wheel drive or via the intelligent BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
The new BMW X1 also offers innovative individualization possibilities for the exterior and interior, namely the line packages as alternatives to the basic trim level. The BMW xLine particularly emphasizes the robust versatility of the new BMW X1 while the BMW Sport Line accentuates its agility and dynamics.
"Today, BMW Brilliance offers state-of-the-art Twin Turbo powered engines in all our products, one of our contributions to sustainability. At the same time, we offer the world's most intelligent all-wheel-drive technology, on our xDrive, variants," said Kastner.
"What I want to stress is that the driving dynamics, quality, configuration and functionality of the new X1 are a perfect combination for our target customers to help them fulfill their dreams," said Peter van Binsbergen, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at BMW Brilliance.
"The new X1 contains all the signature ingredients of a leading model in the premium compact SUV segment. I have heard it said: 'when you are young, go and pursue your dreams, but never be slaves to your dreams.' With the new X1, we have the perfect product with which to pursue your dreams," he said.
"BMW is a customer-oriented company, and so, providing customers the best products with the latest technology and ever-growing added value, remains our top priority. In a highly competitive auto market, as we face today, product enhancement is not limited to the launch of a new generation product anymore; fine-tuning the product on a constant basis, in order to best meet the demands of the market, has become a vital role," added van Binsbergen.
Kastner said that BMW aims to offer the most joyful brand experience to Chinese customers and this is supported by the company's dealer network expansion and on-going customer engagement activities such as BMW Mission 3 and Destination X Tour.
By the end of this year, BMW will have the largest service network among the premium brands in China with 470 authorized dealerships and land service outlets across the country.
"We are also planning to provide an unprecedented professional training to more staff members of our dealers, aiming to further improve BMW's service to customers," said Kastner.