BMW Group and Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motor have agreed to collaborate in a new joint venture that will see the Mini brand introduced to the Chinese market.
With production of the first battery-electric Mini beginning in 2019 at the main plant in Oxford in the UK, the agreement reiterates BMW’s commitment to the electrified future of the Mini brand.
The brand’s continued strategic development will mean battery-electric Mini vehicles will be introduced to the world’s largest market for electro-mobility. The next steps will be to agree on the details of a possible joint venture and cooperation agreement and clarify aspects such as the choice of production location and concrete investments.
Independent of its Mini brand development, the BMW Group will further expand its BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) joint venture in China with its partner, Brilliance. In addition to its two automobile production locations, BBA already runs an engine plant, which includes a battery factory for electrified BMW brand vehicles produced locally in Shenyang, China. 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 brand vehicles were delivered to customers in China in 2017 – more than the combined delivery to the next two largest markets, the USA and Germany.
In 2017, China was Mini’s fourth-largest market, with around 35,000 units delivered, underlining the brand’s additional global potential.