On behalf of the board of directors (the "Board"), I hereby present the annual results of Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited (the "Company", together with its subsidiaries, the "Group") for the year ended 31st December, 2022.
The Chinese economy continued to face challenges in 2022 and China's GDP grew mildly at 3.0% for the full year. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, total vehicle production and sales in China increased by 3.4% to 27.0 million units and 2.1% to 26.9 million units respectively in 2022, which ranked the largest in the world consecutively for 14 years. Sales of passenger cars increased by 9.5% to 23.6 million units. Sales of new energy vehicles ("NEVs") (including battery electric vehicles ("BEVs"), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and also fuel cell vehicles) increased significantly to 6.9 million units, up 93.4% from 2021. Premium passenger vehicle sales continued to grow at 11.1% to 3.9 million units outperforming the overall market. The strong performance of premium passenger vehicle sales was driven by the consumption upgrade trend resulting from the increasing income level of consumers in China.
In spite of the challenging operating environment due to COVID-19 pandemic, temporary shutdown of dealers, geopolitical tension, industry-wide shortage in chip supply and rising raw material costs, BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. ("BBA") continued to deliver remarkable results with both record sales volume and profit for the year and participate in the long-term growth story of China. With strong dedication of the teams and support from BMW, BBA was able to maintain sufficient production to meet strong customer demands. BBA also took advantage of market opportunities to further improve price realisation. At the same time, BBA opened its Dadong Plant extension and new Lydia Plant according to schedule. These new capacities will support the planned launches of new models in 2022 and beyond. BBA's dealer network nationwide reached 625 full service 4S/5S shops by the end of the year.
For new models, BBA successfully launched the All-New BMWi3 (a long-wheelbase BEV version of the 3-series model) and the All-New X5 (a long-wheelbase model) in 2022. Unit sales of BEVs in China doubled to over 45,000 units for the year. BBA exported almost 30,000 units of iX3 in 2022. Going forward, NEVs are expected to constitute a higher percentage of the total production of BBA.
BBA is committed to be a leader in premium e-mobility in China, and is working with BMW to explore new technologies and accelerate sustainability throughout the entire electric vehicle value chain. Ling Yue Digital Information Technology Company Limited, a whollyowned subsidiary of BBA, provides services including data solutions, digital solutions, customer relationship management, e-commerce and IT development and operations for BBA and BMW entities in China. Its core competencies have enhanced customer interaction and satisfaction (via over 7 million users of My BMW App), acted as a customer relationship management tool and identified sales leads, and also drove e-commerce transactions.
In 2022, Ningbo Yumin Machinery Industrial Co., Ltd. ("Ningbo Yumin") achieved a mild growth in revenue but margin was squeezed by price cuts from customers and inflated key raw material (aluminium alloys) costs. It has secured 5 new customers (including 2 overseas customers) and undertook 20 new development projects. The number of new businesses increased by 70% year-on-year, and a number of innovative products were developed. Ningbo Yumin was rated as a Zhejiang provincial level enterprise technology research and development ("R&D") center. In 2022, its production and sale of sunroof guide rail products accounted for about 21% of the market share in China and maintained its number one position.
Mianyang Brilliance Ruian Automotive Components Co., Ltd. ("Mianyang Ruian"), another wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, continued to engage in the R&D and manufacture of camshafts for petrol vehicle and EV engines. In 2022, it achieved single digit growth in sales and profit amid challenging operating environment. Vehicles equipped with its products (such as NEVs of Li Auto and Geely) were launched with favourable response and sales performance. Mianyang Ruian will take advantage of its core R&D capability to actively participate in the NEV sector, and make efforts to achieve breakthroughs in the range-extended hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicle segments.
Our minibus and light commercial vehicle business carried out by Renault Brilliance Jinbei Automotive Company Limited ("RBJAC") has applied to the Intermediate People's Court of Shenyang City, Liaoning Province （遼寧省瀋陽市中級人民法院）on 30th December, 2021 for a restructuring which had been ongoing throughout 2022. The Board is evaluating various strategic options for RBJAC from an operational perspective.
Despite the overall challenging operating environment and the higher refinancing costs that Brilliance – BEA Auto Finance Co., Ltd. ("BBAFC"), our auto finance subsidiary in China, was facing due to the ongoing and extended Huachen group restructuring, it achieved profitable results in 2022. BBAFC has expanded its new business cooperation with carefully selected NEV partners in China including Tesla and Li Auto. In February 2023, BBAFC successfully completed its first green and carbon neutral RMB235 million syndication bank loan which paved the way for more stable and diversified funding sources.
During the year, the Board had resolved to declare a special dividend of HK$0.96 per ordinary share of the Company in connection with the disposal of its 25% interest in BBA. With China's ambition to resume its normal growth trajectory post pandemic since the beginning of 2023, the Board is optimistic about the performance of our group companies. In addition, the Board will continue to seek suitable strategic investments primarily within the automobile industry value chain which could generate sustainable business growth for the Group.
Last but not least, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our shareholders, business partners, management teams and employees for their continued support and dedication to the Group.
華晨寶馬致力成為中國豪華電動汽車領先供應商，現時正與寶馬共同探索新技術，加快整條電動汽車價值鏈之可持續發展。領悅數字信息技術有限公司（華晨寶馬之全資附屬公司）於中國為華晨寶馬及寶馬各實體提供數據解決方案、數碼解決方案、客戶關係管理、電子商貿及資訊科技開發及營運等服務。其核心能力已增強客戶互動及滿意度（My BMW App擁有超過7,000,000名使用者），並充當客戶關係管理工具，識別銷售線索，同時推動電子商貿交易。