BMW, China's Great Wall in possible EV joint venture


BMW is now the second-largest premium vehicle maker in China after Audi. "Leveraging the growth of Mini in China is only possible with a local partner", the company said. That strategy helped propel the company to a 26 percent sales surge previous year.

Tesla, Ford Motor Co, Daimler AG, and General Motors are among those that have already announced plans for making electric vehicles in China.

BMW has not yet confirmed if the plant will churn out BMW-only products or if the agreement involves adding a second production facility for the upcoming electric Mini, which is now only slated for production at the brand's Oxford plant in the UK.

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The German auto maker said that it was in the midst of strategic development and expansion of its Mini brand, including diversification of partnerships and new cooperation models. It added they entered another agreement in February this year to evaluate the feasibility of cooperation for vehicles under the Mini brand.

"I don't know how far along we have gone nailing this deal", or whether the two companies have official central government approval for the venture, the BMW executive said.

If successfully concluded, the BMW-Great Wall talks could yield a first foreign manufacturing partner for Great Wall and a first Mini assembly site outside Europe for the German group.

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Last month it struck a deal to secure supplies of lithium, a mineral key for developing electric vehicles.

Brilliance China Automotive's shares were down 2.76 percent.

The aim of the new partnership is so that BMW can increase production volumes and its market share in the EV segment.

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