Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motor is currently in talks with the BMW Group to form a joint venture which will see Great Wall producing MINI EVs in China.
According to a statement released by the BMW Group, both companies are already in advanced discussions to agree on cooperation agreement, the choice of production location, and concrete investments.
Expected to become the world’s largest market for electromobility, the BMW Group said that it has no plans to set up an additional sales organisation in China, but to work together with a successful cooperation which already has an established sales structure.
While the JV with Great Wall Motor will focus solely on the MINI brand, BMW models in China will still be produced by the company's existing partner, BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA).
BBA currently runs an engine plant, which includes a battery factory for electrified BMW brand vehicles produced locally in Shenyang.
This is the first battery factory operated by a premium automobile manufacturer in China.
In recent years, BBA has become a cornerstone of the BMW brand’s success in its largest market and serves as a model for the continued development of MINI in China.
Around 560,000 BMW vehicles were delivered to customers in China in 2017 – more than the company's two largest markets, the US and Germany, combined.
In 2017, China was MINI’s fourth-largest market in the world with around 35,000 units delivered.