BMW and Chinese partner Brilliance is on the verge of announcing a new brand for the Chinese market called Zinoro. It will be owned by an existing joint venture between the two automakers, which currently produces BMW-branded vehicles in China. Zinoro will focus on fuel efficient vehicles and will launch in November a new electric car as its first model, likely to be a crossover.

The introduction of brands like Zinoro is aimed at tapping China’s burgeoning electric car market and follows the launch of the Denza electric car brand from Mercedes-Benz and partner BYD as well the Venucia from Nissan and Dongfeng.

Speaking with the People’s Daily Online, BMW board member Friedrich Eichiner said China is on the right track with regard to electric cars, although the transition away from conventional gas and diesel models will take time. Importantly, Zinoro will have its own distribution channel and will not have any clear links with BMW. This will be especially important once BMW’s own i range of electrified vehicles go on sale.

If the Zinoro brand proves successful, BMW and Brilliance are considering selling its models in other markets.

BMW’s joint venture with Brilliance already produces models like the 3-Series and 5-Series sedans as well as the X1 crossover in China and has previously unveiled a 5-Series plug-in hybrid prototype. It's not clear if any of the technology from this prototype will appear in a Zinoro model, although BMW plans to share research and development resources.


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