BMW's all-electric ActiveE

Zinoro, Zhi Nuo, po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to, let's call the whole thing on. Whatever the pronunciation, the BMW China joint venture Brilliance Automotive will use the new Z-brand to sell its upcoming electric vehicles in the country, Automotive News China says.

Brilliance will make the cars at its Shenyang plant, where 3-series, 5-series and X1 vehicles are also made, with sales starting early next year. No word on which model or models will be used for the EV. Automotive News says BMW sold more than 80,000 vehicles in China through March, up 7.4 percent from a year earlier but about 20 percent less than Audi among luxury automakers.

BMW recently announced the new Zinoro/Zhi Nuo badge, which roughly translates as "The Promise," and may expand the brand beyond China. Brilliance, which was established in 2003, has been in the plug-in game for a few years now, showing off a plug-in hybrid 5-series vehicle at the Shanghai Motor Show in 2011.