With increasing affluence comes the increasing appetite for luxury goods, and China’s nouveau riche are gobbling up more BMWs than what local plants can supply. Cars from elsewhere are therefore needed to fill Chinese hunger and the Munich carmaker’s German and American plants are operating at full chat.

BMW will ship 10,000 units of the 3-Series to China from Munich, revealed personnel director Harald Krueger. “Rising demand in China has meant that our plants in Germany and the United States are at full capacity,” the BMW man told Financial Times Deutschland.

Sales in China more than doubled in the first half of 2010, something BMW did not expect. This has resulted in their local plant in Shenyang, north eastern China not being able to keep up with the demand. Construction on a second plant there has only just started, so German workers will be working overtime for some time to come.

In April, BMW raised its sales target for China, now the world’s biggest auto market, to 120,000 vehicles for this year from 100,000 in 2009.