MINI to build cars in China with Great Wall

Chelsea West
October 14, 2017

BMW, which already has one Chinese manufacturing venture with Brilliance, is launching European production of an electric Mini at its British plant near Oxford in 2019. "Leveraging the growth of Mini in China is only possible with a local partner", the company said. The prospective deal focuses specifically on electric vehicles, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The sales are a sign that the company's recently announced plans to electrify more of its fleet may pay off. BMW said it planned to grow the Mini brand in China with a new local partner, without naming Great Wall.

The German vehicle 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.

FILE PHOTO: A Great Wall Motors Haval HB-02 concept vehicle is presented during the Auto China 2016 auto show in Beijing, China, April 29, 2016.

"China has made it clear that basically it will not approve of new gasoline-car partnerships".

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"Our business development with the joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive will continue as planned, and we will carry on to invest and develop our joint venture." a spokesman for BMW said, declining to comment on any new joint venture. Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA said his company won't consider selling Jeep as a separate entity and rejected the idea of making a deal with Chinese rival Great Wall Motor Co, reports Bloomberg.

Thus far neither automaker has officially commented on the reports.

Great Wall's Shanghai shares have been suspended from trading since late last month.

"The BMW Group has the largest share of the electrified market worldwide; this year, we've already sold more electrified vehicles than in the whole of last year and we are well on track to deliver our target of 100,000 by year-end", said Ian Robertson, head of sales and marketing for BMW AG.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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