BMW, China's Great Wall in possible EV joint venture


Great Wall did not specify if the new venture would make traditional gasoline-powered Mini models or electric ones, though it did say that some output could eventually be exported.

China's Great Wall Motor Co Ltd on Friday said it was in talks with BMW to cooperate on vehicles including those the German firm produces under the Mini brand, and that the pair have not yet agreed on any new ventures. The JV will see both parties working on electric vehicles, reports Reuters, citing two sources familiar with the matter. Spokespeople from BMW and Great Wall declined to comment on the matter, with the latter saying that the company will issue a statement later.

Analysts from USA finance firm Bernstein believe the venture between BMW and Great Wall would have to exclusively sell EVs due to China's crackdown on emissions and new combustion vehicle businesses. A cooperative relationship with Great Wall would be BMW's second in the world's largest auto market - and a necessary one, as China forces all foreign automakers to team up with local partners in order to do business within the country. The company already has an alliance with Brilliance Auto to produce its range of cars, including China-only models.

Tesla, Ford Motor Co, Daimler AG, and General Motors are among those that have already announced plans for making electric vehicles in China.

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Regardless of whether the deal with Great Wall is successful, BMW's partnership with Brilliance is expected to continue.

Last month it struck a deal to secure supplies of lithium, a mineral key for developing electric vehicles.

The shares of the company will resume trading on October 16, it said.

The aim of the new partnership is so that BMW can increase production volumes and its market share in the EV segment.