MINI to build cars in China with Great Wall

MINI to build cars in China with Great Wall

BMW has not yet confirmed if the plant will churn out BMW-only products or if the agreement involves adding a second production facility for the upcoming electric Mini, which is now only slated for production at the brand's Oxford plant in the UK.

The Mini brand's planned expansion in China "does not call into question our commitment to our facilities in Britain", BMW said in a statement.

BMW AG (BMW.XE) plans to diversify partnerships to grow its Mini brand in China, the company said following reports that it was in talks with Chinese auto maker Great Wall Motor Co.

While BMW already builds cars locally in a venture with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd, Great Wall doesn't have any carmaking partners in China.

Hong Kong - Great Wall Motor, China's biggest SUV maker, halted trading in its Hong Kong shares after they surged on media reports the company plans a tie-up with Germany's BMW. "But producing electric cars will help BMW to meet its quota now that China demands every carmaker in the country. produce a certain number of such cars starting from 2019". BMW is trying to stay ahead of third-place Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, which recorded 26.6 percent growth in China sales in 2016 thanks to a fresher model lineup.

A Great Wall official declined to comment.

Last month it struck a deal to secure supplies of lithium, a mineral key for developing electric vehicles. Its Shanghai-listed shares were suspended from trading, pending an announcement.

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