Published on October 15th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
China’s Great Wall Motors to build Mini & BMW’s Cars?
Great Wall Motor said it is in talks to cooperate with BMW over Mini brand cars, a deal if signed could bring production of the small car outside Europe for the first time.
The carmakers have been discussing plans to launch electric and conventional Mini models in China for 18 months, Great Wall said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday, confirming reports of the talks on Thursday.
The talks are in a preliminary stage and the companies have not entered into any legal agreement to establish a joint venture in China, Great Wall said.
BMW said it planned to grow the Mini brand in China with a new local partner, without naming Great Wall.
Moving some production of the iconic British car to China may help lower manufacturing costs for BMW, which is now in the midst of a costly push for electric vehicles as governments around the world seek to cut pollution caused by fossil fuels.
If successfully concluded, the BMW-Great Wall talks could yield a first foreign manufacturing partner for Great Wall. BMW in China already builds cars locally in a venture with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings. Sales of BMW and Mini cars in China rose 16% in the first eight months to 383,976 units. China’s passenger-vehicle sales rose 3.3% to 2.34 million units last month.