The electric Mini planned together with Great Wall could also be exported to the US market, according to a media report. According to previous plans, the cars were to be sold primarily in China.
After a non-public presentation of the new electric Mini to American dealers in May, the interest was very great, reports the Handelsblatt with reference to company circles. So much so, that the BMW board wants to decide by the end of the year whether the China Mini should be exported to the USA.
The Mini’s US dealers are said to have been so impressed by the vehicle that they apparently even want to pay the import duty due in the USA. Whether the board in Munich shares the opinion of the US dealers is an open question. BMW declined to give the German trade newspaper a comment on the matter. In addition to the opportunities for Mini (the USA is the second largest market for the BMW subsidiary after Europe), the Handelsblatt report points to the geopolitical and trade tensions around China, which makes the plans “delicate”.
For the China Mini, BMW will probably take over large parts of the technology from partner Great Wall – specifically the architecture of the Ora Cat. Great Wall presented the compact electric car at the IAA Mobility in September 2021. The vehicle has an output of 126 kW, and the 63 kWh battery should be sufficient for at least 400 kilometres according to WLTP. An unnamed BMW executive told the Handelsblatt that the technology is “very competitive in terms of range, charging capability and above all costs”.
The Chinese joint venture Spotlight Automotive of BMW and Great Wall had begun construction of a plant in Zhangjiagang in Jiangsu province at the end of 2019, where electric Mini vehicles, among other things, are to be produced in the future. As is known, a production capacity of initially 160,000 vehicles per year was agreed at the time.
If the BMW board were to decide to offer the vehicle in the USA as well, production might have to be expanded – if the Mini becomes such a sales hit as US dealers are predicting.
handelsblatt.com (in German)
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