Published on September 26th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


BMW and Great Wall electric car JV in question

In July 2018 (last year) BMW and one of China’s biggest car and truck brands, Great Wall signed an agreement to build Mini electric driven vehicles for the Chinese consumers. This was a 50-50 business agreement.

This battery electric vehicle was to be a cost conscious vehicle for the middle class BEV buyer in China. Now, a year later this joint venture might be fizzling out as news breaks of a possible cancellation of this project.

Automakers and its suppliers are scrambling to meet tough new Chinese quotas for less polluting cars. Those rules call for electric and rechargeable hybrid vehicles to account for a fifth of total sales by 2025.

Great Wall, which is China’s top sport utility vehicle and pick-up truck maker, currently builds Ora, an affordable battery electric vehicle brand in Baoding, the city where it is headquartered.

The venture aims to build a plant in Zhangjiagang city with the capacity to build 160,000 gasoline vehicles for export and another 160,000 new energy vehicles, documents on the city’s website show.

It will also have a research centre and car parts manufacturing facilities.

A separate local government document shows the total investment of the project is forecast at US$2.87 billion.

Meanwhile BMW continues its joint venture with Chinese car brand Brilliance Automotive Group with success.

Press Release: BMW and Brilliance Automotive Group Holdings in July 2019 agreed to expand production capacity at BMW Brilliance Automotive’s (BBA) two sites in China to a total 520,000 BMW brand vehicles in 2019, BMW said.

That means that the venture’s annual capacity will outstrip that of the German carmaker’s U.S. plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, currently its biggest plant in the world.

In addition, it said the two companies had agreed that the all-electric BMW iX3, to be produced by BBA from 2020, would be exported from China to other markets.

BMW and Brilliance signed their agreement at a meeting of Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday at which the trade conflict between Europe, China and the United States is high on the agenda. 

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