Unfortunately some people have not just jumped the gun but possibly the moon.
The sub-brand has no definite strategy outside of China for the time being. The brand itself uses the chassis from the E90/E91 etc but with a clean-sheet design. The car is aimed at customers in emerging markets but yes in the long term there is scope for other market introductions further down the line.
But in case you have a short memory we have been down this road before but now in this reboot its the Chinese but it was The Koreans last time and look where they are now. If you can cast your mind back to the first Hyundais or Kias and yes they were abysmal back in the mid-eighties now look at how those brands have progressed. The Chinese are for the time being at that stage but at Geneva they launched the Quros brand which potentially could become the first Chinese brand to combine Chinese manufacturers cars with a global outlook , from the examples on show at Geneva there was no absence of quality or originality.
Zhi Nuo is aiming for the same perception, its not going to happen overnight to get western customers used to the idea of a Chinese made car as the perception in the media stresses unoriginality and poor manufacturing. But the Koreans had the same negative reaction as did the Japanese. When you see how long it took for this brands to become household names , potentially we could be looking at this again in twenty years time and saying remember the first Chinese cars?
The automobile is if nothing else a continuous revolution of progress , who would have thought that BMW that small car manufacturer from Munich would become the worlds no 1 premium car manufacturer?
Zhi Nuo might be concentrating on the Domestic Chinese market for now.
But the importance of this segment is very much apparent and BMW are very much tapping into these emerging markets for compact sedans with great force.
Asia of course is important to this segment but so is the North American markets even more so since the compact hatch is not well received by US customers.
Whilst Zhi Nou will launch a small compact sedan in Asia , BMW will also chase growth with the BMW brand and also the MINI brand.
We know about the 2er Gran Coupe , but a smaller sedan being a derivative of the upcoming sub 1er city hatch ,the BMW twin to the next MINI will launch with a compact sedan variant.
But with MINI and especially in North America there is demand for a MINI sedan. The interesting thing about the MINI brand is that risks can be taken , MINI customers like the adventure of being in something original and unique and the MINI sedan aims to capture that by rethinking what a sedan under MINI could be and that is in appearance, anything but conventional.
MINI customers like the aspect of MINI as a brand and how they defy expected conventions. The sedan aims to embody this but make it far more individual and interesting than any other four door.