BMW and the Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall are planning a joint venture to build electric cars under the Mini brand in China. Great Wall had already indicated as much last October, but now a statement of intent has been signed as well.
The rest of the details regarding the potential joint venture and cooperation contract will likely be released over the next months. Specifics such as the selection of factory locations as well as investments still need to be decided following the initial plans.
The move by BMW may be seen as a reaction to the developments in electric mobility currently happening in China, particularly the EV quota, which will come into force next year.
Furthermore, the cooperation with Great Wall will enable BMW to produce in China directly as foreign companies need a local partner in order to do so. The JV will also save BMW the 25% import tax.
Serial production of the first electric Minis will begin in 2019 in Oxford, England, later than initially planned. This latest delay mean that Europeans won’t get the electric Mini before 2020 (we reported).
BMW is also planning to expand its joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) in China. Next to two manufacturing plants, BBA is also running an engine plant with a battery factory in China, for the locally produced electric BMWs in Shenyang (we reported).